Commissioners preparing to let depot project die


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A cloud hangs over the future of the depot project, and many Augusta commissioners are not sunny on its future.

“The developer is going to pull out anyway, I believe. I really feel the depot deal is done,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

In an e-mail, the developer, Bloc Global, says the deal will be over if $50 thousand dollars of its earnest money is not refunded. The Downtown Development Authority approved the refund last week however the full commission must also approve.

“If the commission doesn’t endorse this?”

“Bloc will terminate, yes, that is exactly what the letter says,” says Margaret Woodard Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Commissioners were scheduled to discuss the depot project in legal session Tuesday. There were city officials waiting to take part, but the discussion never took place.

“Do you give the money back…do you keep the depot on track?”

“Well I don’t think so. I think as I previously stated we’ve had enough. We need to do what we need to do to get rid of this,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.

“I’m not doing that myself. I don’t know about my colleagues but we got to find a wow situation to put on that property and go ahead and do something,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.

“Will it be this project?”

“In my option it will not be this project,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

“I understand this has been going on about five years now. If you can’t do it in a year or two, I just think it’s something you don’t need to do,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.

Again Commissioners set a January 28th deadline to have all depot issues resolved, but in their letter the developers say because of delays due to the city unable to work out a parking solution for Unisys at that site, they will need another 180 days to work out finances and market studies. So clearly all issues are not going to be in place in the next ten days.

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