In planning Project Jackson and a new Augusta GreenJackets (Low A; Sally League) ballpark, project officials see Fort Wayne as a model for success.
Fort Wayne has built itself a success story in Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low A; Midwest League), and the adjacent Harrison Square development. Since the ballpark’s opening in 2009, it has contributed to increased economic activity within downtown Fort Wayne, and is continuing to make a major difference in the area.
Project Jackson requires a lot of moving pieces. Along with constructing the ballpark, North Augusta, SC officials are trying to attract investment for a surrounding mixed-use development that includes lodging, residential, office, and retail space to Project Jackson and Ballpark Village.
Pulling those elements together is going to take some time, but Chris Schoen, Project Jackson’s master developer, believes that the benefits could be similar to those of Fort Wayne. More from the Augusta Chronicle (as a point of disclosure, Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard is quoted in this story):
Schoen thinks North Augusta has a better chance of succeeding than Fort Wayne, for several reasons.
“North Augusta has a river, the residential base and a larger restaurant and fast-casual base than Fort Wayne had at the time,” he said.
Fort Wayne’s Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 450,000, while the Augusta area has 580,000, he said.
“(Fort Wayne’s) downtown has become a destination now. And that’s what we believe Ballpark Village will become,” Schoen said.
North Augusta is in the process of finalizing the terms for the project. Under its current schedule, construction of the new GreenJackets ballpark will begin in the spring, with the beginning of the 2018 season being the target date for completion.
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