News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Dec. 14, 2012
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Are the GreenJackets coming to North Augusta?
"We will address any of those questions on Wednesday," answered North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover.
There's no announcement yet, but on Friday, Glover made an announcement about the announcement. Next Wednesday, during a North Augusta Chamber of Commerce meeting at 7:15 a.m., the city will reveal its plans to develop the riverfront near Hammond's Ferry.
"We're hopeful that 2013 is going to be a year of development in North Augusta," Glover said.
On Monday, North Augusta City Council will have its third reading on a proposed park and business center, but there's lots of speculation about bigger projects, too.
"Well, we've heard a couple times that the GreenJackets, I guess it's Cal Ripken, would like to move the GreenJackets stadium over here," said George Batten, who lives in Hammond's Ferry.
Batten's house would be only a couple hundred yards from the rumored baseball diamond. He's also heard of the plans to build a Family Y and parking garage near his subdivision, too.
"I just think it's the wrong place," said Batten, who adds that he's a fan of the GreenJackets and attends about 10 games each season.
However, he says he's not a fan of the lights, noise and traffic a possible stadium might bring.
From what he's heard, he says, the people of Hammond's Ferry are generally against the development.
Another concern is that his property value could go down.
"I would think it'd be exactly that opposite -- that you'd see people's property values increase," said Glover, who says he's aware of the concerns.
He says the project, codenamed Project Jackson, isn't a done deal.
"This is a proposal. Nothing has been decided. Council still has to deliberate over it and have public hearings," he said.
Others in Hammond's Ferry said they were "vehemently opposed." Another said this could become the "GRU" of North Augusta. In other words, they say it could be something forced down people's throats.
Additionally, Ballpark Digest is reporting that Ripken Baseball is in the process of selling the GreenJackets for $7.5 million.
By the way, the "Project Jackson" designation comes from the founder of North Augusta, James U. Jackson. In 1891, he called for the development of the North Augusta riverfront in his plan for the city.