Stadium representatives have released the following points regarding Shockoe Center. The points highlight what was discussed at the Community Support Meetings held last week. “Supporters of Baseball in the Bottom” encourage fellow supporters to contact their local representatives to voice their support for the proposal. • Development Conforms to Downtown Master Plan: walkable, street retail, human scale, […]
Stadium representatives have released the following points regarding Shockoe Center. The points highlight what was discussed at the Community Support Meetings held last week. “Supporters of Baseball in the Bottom” encourage fellow supporters to contact their local representatives to voice their support for the proposal.
• Development Conforms to Downtown Master Plan: walkable, street retail, human scale, mixed use, expands Farmers Market;
• Development has been revised to and will accommodate, respect and enhance Lumpkins Jail site and Slave Trail;
• Flood Plain – Ballpark key to solution – concourse around Ball Park provides FEMA-required emergency access to buildings within the flood plain development provides almost 4 acres of green space – 4 more acres than exists now;
• Site right now: 22 Acres of undeveloped land that generates $95K in tax revenue; What site could be: $318MM in investment that generates $3.7MM annually in City revenues on top of bond debt service; after bonds paid, all revenue goes to City and State;
• Private investment made simultaneously with public investment – if private money doesn’t happen, then project won’t happen before City makes any expenditure;
• Asking $8MM only for City from public infrastructure to serve Ball Park and area surrounding it;
• Bonds are absolutely no obligation to the City: City creates the Authority – Authority owns the Ball Park – bonds from private investors fund the construction – bonds are repaid, among other things, by tax revenue generated by new development within the project – the City does NOT guarantee the bonds – upon a failure, the bonds are secured by the revenue and the Ball Park itself;
• Upon payment of the bonds, the Authority will own the Ball Park free and clear, with a lease to the ball team;
• Ball Park: 8500 capacity (6500 fixed seats) – this is half the size of the Diamond;
• Family experience: 70% of people who leave games don’t know score or who opposing team was;
• Ball Park will incorporate new sound and light technology to lessen impact on neighbors – this is not like the Diamond experience.
• Parking: 4,000 available spaces within 4 blocks of Bottom Ball Park now even before developers add two decks with hundreds of spaces (compare this to 2,000 at Diamond)
• Not a commuter Ball Park: Other cities with similar developments do not experience peak traffic like Diamond. People arrive and leave at staggered times; city street grids accommodate traffic better than suburban street design; access achieved from various points surrounding area;
• Model is a success in other cities: Louisville, Toledo, Memphis, etc. Studies cited in opponents’ RTD letters-to-editor cite major league ball park studies only and are not relevant to the minor league urban mixed use model;
• General economic development: There will be ripple effect development in the surrounding area; the project is not proposed as a cure-all to City’s ills; but new tax revenue from economic development, from an area that now produces little revenue, is what is going to help pay for new schools and roads in the City.
Be sure to contact City Council and your community representatives, and let them know what you think!