A rendering of the proposed North Augusta complex. (WRDW-TV)
Friday, Jan. 11, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- It's home run for some and a foul ball for others. At least that's what a new website calls the deal to bring the Augusta GreenJackets to North Augusta. In bold letters, they say the project is a "bad idea."
"The bottom line is it really doesn't fit with this neighborhood," said Ronald Johnson, who lives in Hammond's Ferry.
He's not the author, but he's seen the Web page. He, too, is opposed to the $150 million public-private venture that would bring the stadium, a parking garage and a luxury hotel, among other things, only yards away from his porch.
"I think the city's just sitting and watching and watching to see what's going to happen," he said.
The publisher of the blog is watching with a sharp-eye too. The page, named North Augusta Fowl Balls, includes a potpourri of complaints. It claims a new hotel wouldn't do well, since some across the river are already struggling. There's detailed reports about the developer's troubled past. There's also discussion about how little economic impact a team like the GreenJackets actually has.
There are a lot of concerns about traffic addressed on the website, too.
"Most of our health services are across the river, and for us to get there, you know, we have to take the 13th Street bridge," said Johnson, who predicts things could get crowded with a stadium in town.
But who's behind the mysterious blog? A man or woman named "Jean Grackets." You could look up that name in a phone book, but you wouldn't find anything. That's because it's a fake name, and a pretty clever one at that.
Jean Grackets will probably have many more posts as the fight to bring "Project Jackson" to North Augusta is just in its infancy.
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