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Contractor named for new GreenJackets ballpark

New Augusta GreenJackets ballpark

New Augusta GreenJackets ballpark from center field

We have a contractor for a new Augusta GreenJackets (Low Class A; Sally League) ballpark to be built as part of Project Jackson — provided the ballpark funding survives a court appeal.

The North Augusta City Council approved Brasfield and Gorrie LLC as the general contractor for the entire Project Jackson development, a 25-acre development that will include a hotel, convention center, retail and a new GreenJackets ballpark. The project is on hold while the city defends a lawsuit from Stephen Donohue, whose legal challenge opposes the TIF financing plan at the core of the project. He has already sued once, arguing the TIF plan used by North Augusta was unlawful. His argument was that the Project Jackson site was not blighted — a criteria for founding a TIF district — but ultimately he lost in South Carolina Circuit Court, as Judge Ernest Kinard ruled that North Augusta could indeed create a TIF district to back Project Jackson.

While the project is being challenged, the city is moving ahead with planning — and the Brasfield and Gorrie LLC appointment is part of that planning:

“Even though it specifically spells out everything (in the resolution), this is not approved final stadium design,” Mayor Lark Jones said. “We don’t have a number for the cost. This is not an authorization to build the stadium. This is just trying to make up, and keep things going as we would have anticipated being here six months ago if the litigation hadn’t drawn things out.”

Brasfield and Gorrie is the contractor for Medac’s future home, which will be located across from the North Augusta Municipal Building and currently is under construction. The company also is part of a joint venture to build SunTrust Park, the future home of the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County, Georgia. They also were the contractor for the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and the Birmingham Crossplex in Alabama….

“Lark and I toured the AA stadium in Birmingham, and several others they constructed,” said City Manager Todd Glover. “One of the things the committee liked about them was they saw that even though they’re located in Birmingham, over 45 percent of contractors they got pricing from are local (to North Augusta’s Metropolitan Statistical Area). From the beginning, we wanted to keep money in the local economy,” he said.

Work on the new ballpark is expected to begin in 2015 for a potential 2016 opening, but that opening date may slip if court proceedings drag on.

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