07 news stadiumThe city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County have ceremoniously signed the papers financially supporting the new baseball stadium. County Commission Chairman Larry Lancaster and Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin came together at city hall with members of their boards present. Buies Creek Astros minor league team general manager David Lane was also on hand.

The single-A Houston farm team has already moved from California to North Carolina. But, construction of the local ballpark is just now getting underway and won’t be ready for baseball until the spring of next year. Until then, the team is playing at Campbell University in Buies Creek.

“Teamwork and good sportsmanship are alive and well in our community,” said Lancaster. He and Colvin executed separate interlocal agreements to devote property tax revenues earned from collateral investments near the stadium in support of the ballpark business plan. “This is a wonderful example of community collaboration,” Colvin said. Since taking office in December, Colvin has emphasized improving local government working relationships.

A special tax district is being created in the relatively small area that surrounds the stadium. Tax revenues received from private development in that district will be devoted to paying off the baseball stadium’s $33 million bond debt. It will be among the most expensive minor league stadiums on the East Coast.

The city agreed to grant a Durham- based developer exclusive rights to the property adjacent to the ballpark. PCH Holdings, LLC is currently renovating the interior of the former Prince Charles Hotel. Once that’s completed, the company will turn its attention to the exterior. It will become an apartment building. The firm also plans to build a four-story parking garage as well as a multistory hotel on top of the garage as well as retail shops. The city of Fayetteville has agreed to purchase the parking deck from PCH Holdings at its actual construction cost. The garage will be used for public parking.

The signing event also included execution of an amendment to a related agreement between the city, county and Public Works Commission for continued funding of the Franklin Street parking garage. The original parking garage agreement for tax-increment funding was approved in 2010. The county will contribute property tax collections to the project for five years after the stadium is completed and 75 percent for an additional 15 years.

The amendment redefines the district’s boundaries, adds a provision to treat formerly tax-exempt property in the same manner as nonexempt property and changes the termination of the county’s obligation for the parking deck to Dec. 31, 2030. PWC continues to provide funding for the operation and maintenance of the Franklin Street parking garage.

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