The High Point City Council recently voted to direct city staff to adjust a ballpark funding plan, and will look to continue discussions on the project.
Last week, Guilford County Commissioners voted to hold off for 60 to 90 days on making any decisions regarding the county’s funding participation in the project. As previously proposed the city, which has pledged $15 million for land acquisition, would borrow another $30 million for ballpark construction. High Point had asked Guilford County to forgo any additional tax revenue generated within the 649-acre zone for the project, with the extra tax revenue used for up to 20 years to pay off the loan for the ballpark.
If it moves forward, the ballpark would host a team in the independent Atlantic League and anchor a larger downtown redevelopment plan. It was previously revealed that a group led by High Point University president Nido Qubein has raised $50 million for the plan, above its intended goal of $38 million, and that BB&T is expected to serve as the facility’s naming rights partner.
High Point officials want to keep discussions on the proposal moving forward, and voted on Monday to direct city staff to develop an alternate financing plan. The motion passed by an 8-1 margin. More from The Courier-Tribune:
What this will look like — and whether it will involve Guilford County — is not clear.
But Monday’s action moves the project forward on the city’s timetable with the goal of delivering a stadium ready for an Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team by May 2019.
The action, which was opposed by Councilwoman Cynthia Davis, also authorized borrowing up to $5 million from the city’s landfill fund to pay for demolition, remediation, site preparation and architectural services related to the proposed stadium site at Church Avenue and Pine Street, according to Councilman Latimer Alexander.
“If you don’t have a stadium in the spring of ’19, you don’t have a team,” he said. “And if you don’t have a stadium, you don’t get the $50 million raised by (High Point University President Nido Qubein). And you don’t get the $50 million in new apartments and a new hotel (in proximity to the stadium.)”
A variety of amenities and development, including new lodging and residential units, have been pitched as part of the larger downtown redevelopment plan.
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