AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Commissioners say when it comes to a new arena the key is location and they say Regency Mall is suitable, but there’s another problem.
“I’m very pleased with the site being on the table I really don’t like the deal we put too much financial at risk,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
Owners of Regency are proposing the city that it lease 39 acres of the mall site for 35 years for a dollar a year and but pay for the upkeep of the parking lot and lighting but then the mall could charge the city market rate rents after that.
“You like this deal?”
“It gives me a heart attack, I can’t support the James Brown arena going to Regency mall under those conditions,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.
“I couldn’t support it for what I seen in the letter there’s not to be a lot more talking now this is a business deal on both sides,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
“That’s unfair it’s good for the owner of the property but it’s a bad deal for the citizens of Augusta Richmond County,” said Commissioner Hasan.
Mayor Davis is a big supporter of putting the new arena and Regency mall and says what’s on the table is just a proposal a starting place for negotiations.
“There’s is no current deal,” said Davis.
“The current proposal.”
“There’s a proposal, said Davis.
“If that came to you today could you approve it?”
“I would not approve it which is why as they said in their letter this is the beginning of a proposal that’s what everybody needs to understand,” said Davis.
And while city leaders are not set on the current proposal for the arena Regency l a commission committee is set on helping bring retail business to south Augusta and other areas approving a joint program with the Development authority to create a retail recruiting office to bring in shops and restaurants, The total cost of the program could run 250 thousand dollars a year.