AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) It’s been two months since a majority of the Coliseum Authority selected Regency Mall as the site of a new James Brown Arena, leaving some city leaders wondering what the hold is is up.
“Well I’m frustrated I’m frustrated that the Coliseum Authority and hasn’t transmitted this over too us I think that is something that should happen,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.
The latest offers from mall owners discussed last week came in letter an e-mails ; The owners want 25 years of tax breaks on their property the owners wanted long term financing to redevelop the mall in and the city to resurface the parking lots. In exchange the mall owners are offering to gift the ten acre Montgomery Ward building to be used as the arena site.
‘Be careful of the word gift this is not a good deal for the taxpayers and according to research and experts this is not a good place for the arena,” says Brad Usry, Vice Chairman of the Coliseum Authority.
To get all they want, Mall owners would need Commission approval but even commissioners who support the mall as the arena site now say with the current offer it’s time to walk away.
“That’s not a good deal and we can’t do that we need to either go back to where we are with the old arena and redo that one or move to another location,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
“We need to get out of the way and let them take care of their business, said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
Do you like what’s on the table can you support that?”
“There is nothing that I see that I like that I can support,” said Commissioner Hasan.
“Do you want the Coliseum Authority to finish the deal, and bring it to the city or send it over to us right now?
“If they can’t move forward send it to us right now I just want to move forward,” said Mayor Davis.
Mayor Davis says he supports the gift of the Montgomery Ward building and having the city maintain the parking area and lights for five years he says he doesn’t support 25 years of tax breaks but is open to further negotiations with mall owners and says the proposal is not quote dead in the water back to you.