NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF-TV) — A long-planned North Augusta development won’t be baseball-ready until 2018.
Project Jackson has been in the works since 2012, but a lawsuit and contract talks have pushed back the opening date several times.
The city has been working behind the scenes with the developer to make sure the agreement makes both parties happy.
Despite the long process, city leaders say they’re close to signing the dotted line.
“I feel like I’ve been saying for a while that we’re close, and we are. It’s just an incredibly complex project,” City Administrator Todd Glover said.
Construction on the project hasn’t started yet, but North Augusta’s riverfront has been cleared. Old structures are still there and the weeds and grass are growing. City leaders say the groundbreaking will happen soon.
“As far as baseball in the stadium, we’re clearly into the 2018 season. Now that doesn’t mean that the stadium couldn’t be finished earlier and perhaps the first event in the stadium is a concert or something like that,” Glover said.
As planning for the project is still happening, Glover says the developer continues to get interest from businesses and restaurants who want in.
Right now, the total cost for Project Jackson is well over $200 million.
“Sometimes people only focus on in on the baseball stadium part of the project and it’s really much more than that. You have baseball games 70 days a year, but this project is there 365 days a year,” Glover said.
Despite new designs that show shops and restaurants, the names of the businesses involved with Project Jackson still haven’t been announced yet.
“I think this process would have been a lot smoother if we could have started announcing business names that we have lined up to come because I think people would really get excited then,” Glover said.
The city council has been hard at work on negotiations for a hotel, which is one of the bigger components of Project Jackson.