North Augusta Project Nearing Reality
By Gary Kauffman
If you build it – finally! – they will come.
Project Jackson, with its new baseball stadium for the GreenJackets, is one step away from becoming reality after the North Augusta City Council passed a second reading to approve moving forward with the project. The project will become official after a third reading, which at press time had not been scheduled.
A video produced by master developers Greenstone Properties showed the scope of the entire project, which will become a nearly self-contained village with its own streets and landscaping. While much has been made about the stadium, which is the centerpiece of the project, it will be surrounded by a large hotel, retail buildings, office buildings and several large apartment buildings.
If approved as expected, construction for the new stadium is scheduled to begin on March 1, 2017 and be ready to host the team by April 1, 2018.
The 4,500-seat stadium will be based on the stadium the San Francisco Giants, the GreenJackets’ parent team, play in. In San Francisco, the right field stands run along the bay and long home runs can reach the water. Kayakers routinely paddle the waters hoping for a home run ball.
In North Augusta, right field will run along the Savannah River, which can be reached with a long home run. A local outfitter plans to rent kayaks to fans who would like to recreate the San Francisco experience.
The video shows stands with two decks behind home plate, a café-type eating area down the right field line and a grassy area along the left field line, which in other stadiums is a popular area for fans with young children who like to run around. There will standing room only areas in left and right fields. A 32-unit apartment building with fitness center butts up against the left field wall.
Construction on the hotel, which will include a conference center, will also begin on March 1, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. North Augusta already has a commitment from a hotel developer for the property, but that will not be made public until after the final reading.
A 72,000-square-foot office building will be built across the street from the stadium. Construction of that building will not begin until Sept. 1, 2017, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2018.
The first part of Project Jackson to get underway will be the 270-unit apartment complex and 125-unit senior living building. The start date is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2017, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. The video shows the complex with courtyards and parking nearest Hammonds Ferry and across from the Brick Ponds.
In addition, there will be 24-unit residential flats in the “downtown” area of the project, where there will also be 55,600 square feet of retail space. The downtown apartments and residential area will also begin construction on March 1. Half the retail space is scheduled to be open by the opening of the stadium. The apartments and the rest of the retail will be done by Dec. 31, 2018.
Also part of the project are 12 single family homes facing the river, which will start construction on June 1, 2017 and be finished by Dec. 31, 2018.
North Augusta has already built one parking garage next to the Medac building across from the Municipal Building. A second parking deck will be built near the stadium with 590 parking spaces. Work on it will begin March 1, with half of it to be completed by the stadium opening.
The video overview also shows outdoor café-style seating outside the stadium, a small outdoor amphitheater at the river and walking trails along the river.
The total cost for Project Jackson is projected to be $219 million, with $64.5 to be paid from the public coffers and the rest through private funding.