The City of Gastonia is moving forward on the planning of both a new Gastonia Grizzlies‘ (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) ballpark, and surrounding downtown development.
As covered here earlier in the week, Gastonia officials are in the process of sorting out the details behind a proposed Grizzlies’ ballpark that would be constructed in its downtown. The facility has been pitched as a major component in the larger Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment (FUSE) district, and is expected to host events on a year-round basis.
During a meeting on Tuesday, the Gastonia City Council learned more information about city staff’s preferred choice for an architecture firm, Pendulum Studio, which would partner with the Charlotte-based LaBella Associates to work on the project. Going forward, the city will look to finalize negotiations with Pendulum. In addition, the city is expected to work on the remaining property acquisitions needed for the FUSE district. More from The Gaston Gazette:
Final negotiations with Pendulum will take place before city leaders vote on an official architecture and design contract proposal next month.
The city has closed on the purchase of three of the four properties that make up the FUSE district. It expects to acquire the final tract, where FabTech now operates, within the next two months, and that business will relocate elsewhere in Gaston County. A 90-day notice has also been given to commercial tenants that will be vacating the Trenton Mill.
The city hopes to combine the contract for the demolition of the remaining Sears building and the newer, metal portion of the FabTech building. The historic portion, which was originally a Coca-Cola bottling plant, will be preserved along with the Trenton Mill.
Last October, the city approved the acquisition of 16 acres of downtown property for nearly $4 million. If the proposal comes to fruition, the new ballpark would replace Sims Legions Field as the home of the Grizzlies. The ballpark has been estimated to cost in the range of $10 million to $15 million.
RELATED STORIES: New Gastonia Ballpark Planning Continues; Gastonia Grizzlies Continue Ballpark Pitch; Grizzlies Continue Ballpark Planning; City Votes to Acquire Land for Grizzlies Ballpark; Gastonia Unveils $15M Ballpark Plan