AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Commissioners are asking questions and getting some answers when it comes to the Riverfront at the Depot Project. One question being about the city land this project is going on. Will the city get paid for this valuable riverfront real-estate?
Augusta Commissioners have millions of reasons to be asking questions about the Depot project, because the city is planning to commit $14 million dollars in bonds to make it a reality.
“I feel a little bit better about it because I have been guaranteed, that $14 million will be all that the citizens and Augusta is going to invest is $14 million,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
In a letter to the Downtown Development Authority, Commissioner Ben Hasan raised several including will the city get any income from the riverfront property.
The answer is $1.8 million dollars, that’s the appraised value, and that will be deducted from the city’s $14 million dollar contribution, so the city’s bond debt will be reduced to a little more than $12 million dollars.
“The developer is getting the credit for the $1.875 million, so that brings the bond debt down to $12.25 million, yes,” says Margaret Woodard Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority.
“If you go out and value that property, riverfront property… 6.2 acres worth more than $1.8 million dollars. I don’t care who does the appraisal,” says Commissioner Ben Hasan.
And that’s not counting the city spent more than $1.9 million dollars back in 2008 cleaning up the contamination at the site.
“Just the cleanup itself, we’re two hundred thousand dollars in the hole,” said Commissioner Hasan.
The return on that $14 million dollars is what we are looking at and it’s going to be substantial,” said Commissioner Clarke.
Another question involves the parking deck the city is paying to go into this development, who gets the revenue from that parking deck, and who pays for the maintenance. The answer: the developer gets the revenue, the developer takes care of the maintenance.