Gastonia, NC officials look to be on the verge of a major decision, as Pendulum could begin design work on a new Gastonia Grizzlies (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) ballpark.
As discussions for a new Grizzlies’ ballpark and related development continue, Gastonia has been exploring its options for a design firm. A decision on which firm joins the project could be made on Tuesday, which is when the Gastonia City Council is expected to vote on a proposed $1.26 million contract with the Kansas City-based Pendulum. Should the proposal move forward, Pendulum would perform architectural and engineering work on the project and partner with the Charlotte-based LaBella Associates.
If the contract is approved on Tuesday, it will mark the latest step in the ongoing planning process for the ballpark, which is expected to anchor the Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment (FUSE) district. More from The Gaston Gazette:
The $1.26 million figure represents the maximum the city would spend for design costs. It is based on the city paying Pendulum a design fee that is roughly 6.75 percent of the expected, eventual stadium construction costs; a ‘construction administration and observation fee’ representing 2.25 percent of estimated construction costs; and an additional $50,300 in reimbursable expenses for the project.
If the contract is approved, the design process will move ahead in phases over the next 12 months, allowing City Council members to weigh in along the way and make decisions that will shape the finished product. Gastonia Economic Development Director Kristy Crisp said a special effort will be made to allow for public participation along the way as well.
While the stadium is being designed, the city will continue working to demolish old buildings on land it has acquired for FUSE. The city has closed on the purchase of three of the four properties that currently make up the district.
Pendulum’s portfolio features some ballparks that have opened in recent years, including Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park and Utica, MI’s Jimmy John’s Field. Last October, the Gastonia City Council 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.
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