Proposal to bring a baseball stadium to North Augusta is still hot-button issue

Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- A plan for big development could change the North Augusta's riverfront as you know it, and it's causing mixed reactions.

The proposal would bring more restaurants, a resort-style hotel and maybe even a baseball stadium to the Hammond's Ferry neighborhood.

However, some in the area don't want it and say if they build such a big project in the area, they'll miss out on enjoying nature.

"I think North Augusta already has its own identity," said David Grubbs about comments Mayor Lark Jones made recently.

The mayor says the proposal to build a stadium, along with other businesses, will help North Augusta in becoming recognized as its own city and not just the "other Augusta."

On sunny days, the trees, ponds and waterfalls are what many enjoy about the area.

"It's a shame," said Maryann Hill.

Hill is upset because she wants things to stay just how they are. Just the idea of a baseball stadium nearby is a worry to her, especially if the nature element is taken away.

"The nature, I mean, where will it go? What will happen to it?" Hill.

The development will cost $150 million of public and private funds. It will include a resort-style hotel with conference center and baseball stadium for the GreenJackets. Plus, a 900-car parking deck, apartments, townhouses, a new Family Y and space for businesses and restaurants.

Hill says all that will mess things up.

"We need places like this. To be able to bike, just get away, read your book and spend time in nature," Hill said.

Grubbs agrees and says while nature is the key to the park and surrounding area, it also offers more. It's a place to spend time with friends and do a little fishing.

He just hopes the mayor and city leaders realize it, too.

"Come on out here. Spend an afternoon with your family and then see if that's what you want to do. Get rid of stuff like this," Grubbs said.

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