After Tuesday night's Aiken County Council meeting, Project Jackson needs one more reading before the project can move forward. Supporters say the redevelopment would be the beginning of growth for North Augusta.
Since the announcement of Project Jackson, North Augusta officials have said the project would create thousands of jobs. There were claims that more businesses would be attracted to the area. During Tuesday night's council meeting, we learned there could be more coming to North Augusta.
"6 of the council members see the vision that North Augusta has for not only our city, but for the entire Aiken County and surrounding area," North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones says.
Although there are two sides who have very different visions for North Augusta, after Tuesday night's county council meeting, it was apparent that Project Jackson has generated a lot of buzz. Currently, the project calls for $100 million dollars of private funding from an Atlanta Development Company.
Project Jackson is expected to cost close to $150 million dollars, but several other developers have contacted officials about bringing multimillion dollar projects to North Augusta.
At least two developers showed up during Tuesday night's county council meeting.
"We're intending to invest upwards of 32 million dollars if Project Jackson goes forward," a potentional developer said. He talked about building more apartments on the North Augusta riverfront.
Meanwhile, a businesswoman talked about constructing a resort-style spa near Project Jackson.
"We have an interest, because of this project, to develop something here in North Augusta. Create jobs and create a place that not only serves the local community, but is also increasing in tourism," Kimberly Hard of BeWell International said.
North Augusta leaders say the Project Jackson buzz is keeping them very busy. They say they have been contacted by a popular national food restaurant and other businesses that are looking for a place on the riverfront.
"If everything goes according to plan, it will be, do we have enough room for everybody? As this thing builds excitement and momentum," Jones says.
The next and final vote for the Project Jackson financing plan is expected on Tuesday. If the county council approves the plan, North Augusta leaders say there is still a lot of work to do before we will see any construction.
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