NORTH AUGUSTA, SC — It’s been more than three months since North Augusta city leaders approved the first reading of the agreement for Project Jackson.
Since then, the city and the developer have been talking behind closed doors.
Now, some people are beginning to wonder if the project has fallen through.
North Augusta’s riverfront still looks the same as it did when Project Jackson was first announced in 2012.
Recently, rumors have been spreading around town that the $200 million dollar project is falling apart because the hotel developer has backed out, but City Administrator Todd Glover says that isn’t true.
“I’ve heard rumors that they’ve pulled out and they’re going somewhere else, but that’s just not accurate. We’re planning on it being 180 rooms. It’s very nice. It will have a conference center in it,” Glover said.
Glover believes a lot of the speculation about the project is coming from the fact that the first vote on the agreement happened three months ago and there hasn’t been a second or third one yet.
The city has to approve Project Jackson three times before construction can start.
“You can’t substantially change the deal between the second and third reading. We didn’t want to go out and do second reading, something have to change, we go back and have to second reading again,” Glover said.
Glover says the agreement is complex and that both parties are taking their time.
“You’re negotiating what degree of public investment. How much private investment are they doing? They’ll maybe come back, if we build this, will you do this?” Glover said.
Glover says through negotiations, private investment has gone up and public investment has gone down.
And despite the time it’s taking to get this project moving, the city administrator says nobody has backed out yet.
“We refer to it as investor fatigue, but no, we have a committed group of developers that have been with us,” Glover said.
And although we haven’t had any specific businesses named for the project yet, Glover says people should be excited about it.
“This will be a true live, work and play community,” Glover said.
Todd Glover says the only thing that has changed about the public part of the project is the addition of two more parking decks.
The Medac office building’s parking deck will also be used for baseball games.