North Augusta Mayor gives update on Riverside Village

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) - It promises to offer you a new way of living on the River and we're learning more about Riverside Village in North Augusta

"When I'm out here running, walking, or jogging, I like to walk down to the stadium area just to see how the construction is going and it's going very well," Reggie Stokes told NewsChannel 6's Shawn Cabbagestalk. 

"Every week it seems like more and more work is being done," he added. 

Stokes is one of the hundreds of people who see Riverside Village on a daily basis including SRP Park.

"It's great. I am so glad that the stadium is here," Stokes said.

"It's a centerpiece, a keystone, it's an important part of what North Augusta is doing," Mayor Bob Pettit said.

Pettit gave City Council an update on the status of the Live, Work, Play center during a work session on Monday, October 1.

"It's my plan every quarter to provide council with an update on the revenues related to the construction at Riverside Village," Pettit told NewsChannel 6's Shawn Cabbagestalk ahead of the meeting. 

"The city is committed to making the bond payments and I want to show them how we're doing."

At the informative session, Pettit told Council that the City is making its bond payments on time but as a whole, there is about a $190,0000 gap between projected revenues and where the City actually is. No parking revenues, accommodations tax, and admissions fees are to blame for the shortfall.

Officials say they should start earning more when the Crowne Plaza Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry hotel is complete.  We're told the City is also negotiating parking fees with the GreenJackets for next season. 

We now know that some of the aspects of the project are complete or near completion. "The hotel will be open by the end of the year. Apartments are well underway," Pettit said.

There are still parts of the overall project Pettit hoped could move quicker.

"The office building is not yet finalized in terms of financing and then there's a parking deck that's associated with it that we have to get completed and another restaurant is coming along," he said.

"Some things aren't going as fast as I would hope like and as planned but that's to be expected when you're doing a development like this. Things change and you have to react," he added.

We've also learned that Southbound Smokehouse and Sweetwater in SRP Park are now targeting an opening in either late October or early November.

The City is also providing a way for you to keep tabs on the progress via its website. The website includes estimated completion dates.

For Reggie Stokes, he's imagining the possibilities in the area.

"To be honest, I would like to see North Augusta have a 5-star steakhouse possibly maybe even a Cheesecake Factory and lots more economic development to get more visitors to come to the City. The more sales revenue we have the better it is for the City," he added.

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