AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) It’s what Commissioner Marion Williams envisions for the future, a new arena, and new development along Gordon Highway at the old Regency Mall.
“As I go out through this city, people ask me all the time why not that location it is the best location not that deal not that building but the location is perfect,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
But in a seven to three vote Augusta commissioners rejected what some feel is the perfect spot for a new arena.
“We’re back to square one, I think we got here by mishap, I think we have the opportunity to recalibrate, and start over again,” says Commissioner Ben Hasan.
“With all that’s going on downtown the development the economic development across the river here to I just can’t image taking a facility an entertainment facility away from all this action that’s happening,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis.
But Supporters of the mall location feel it’s time south Augusta saw done action has well.
“You’ve heard the outcry from the people who don’t want it there but the people that want it there they’ve been crying, just as loud and basically I’m representing constituents who want to see it out there,” said Commissioner Andrew Jefferson.
The issue divided the community and those on the commission with Commissioner Williams vowing to bring the mall location back for another vote despite this rejection.
I’m going to bring it back, I guarantee I’m going to bring it back I’m going to keep it on the agenda because it needs to be on the agenda,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
“I’ve been told there are still discussions but not for an arena but to have a solution at the Regency Mall area so I hope we can get the right people at the table and find a solution,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis.
Mayor Davis has been criticized for his role in the selection of the mall location in the first place, the mayor admitting his handling could have been more artful, but said the criticism has been hurtful.