Those who are currently working in the realm of economic development in Cumberland County believe in a bright future for our community. Robert Van Geons, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation said, “One hundred fifty million dollars (in) private sector investments are currently under construction in the city.”
He told City Council’s baseball committee that FCEDC is working on six projects directly related to the stadium now under construction on Hay Street.
Jordan Jones, project manager of Prince Charles Holdings, the firm renovating the former Prince Charles Hotel, has said North Carolina’s banks are now paying attention to downtown Fayetteville. Prince Charles Holdings secured a $9.3 million loan from Carter Bank & Trust, a community bank based in Martinsville, Virginia. North Carolina’s big banks initially ignored the request for loans, Jones said.
“Oh my God, this is going to be great,” said Mayor Pro Tem Ted Mohn as the baseball committee, of which he is a member, got an update on the stadium project Feb. 12.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our kids,” said Committee Chairman Jim Arp, who suggested recreation center and public-school baseball teams should be invited to opening day festivities.
Stadium project manager Roslyn Henderson told the committee that $7.3 million has already been paid out to firms that have been working on the stadium. She gave a detailed update on work that has been accomplished and what lies ahead. Most of the work cannot be seen by the public because it’s going on behind the walls.
Representatives for construction general contractor Barton Malow Company have assured city officials the stadium will be finished on time. The completion date is set for March 29. The ballpark, which will seat nearly 5,000 fans, cost $40 million. It will be managed by the Houston Astros Advanced Single-A minor league Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
After beginning the season on the road, the Woodpeckers will open their new ballpark with an April 18 matchup against the Carolina Mudcats. The newly minted Woodpeckers will arrive at their permanent home downtown after spending the past two seasons at Campbell University’s Jim Perry Stadium.
Fayetteville will be home of the annual Big South Conference baseball tournament for three years, from 2019 through 2021. Fayetteville officials have touted the new ballpark as the anchor of $100 million in downtown redevelopment projects. The stadium will host other community events in the off season.