Depot Project decision from Commissioners causes confusion on what's next

Depot Project decision from Commissioners causes confusion on what's next

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - While one side of Reynolds street is celebrating, a $90M + project on the other side of the street took what some would consider a big hit on Tuesday.

City Commissioners agreed to finance $14M into the Depot Project, but it's the other part of the deal that can delay this project.

Since last November, Augusta-Richmond County Leaders have been discussing the deal of the $93M depot project. The mixed-use development consists of housing, office space, shops, and much more. But today, a vote could possibly alter that.

"The developer has not seen this resolution, so we would have to go back to the developer so the developer would have to agree to do it," says Margaret Woodard.

Woodard, with the Downtown Development Authority, says the understanding between the City and the developer is that the project will be completed in two phases. But Leaders voted today to have it completed all at once.

"It gave us leverage that if down the road something comes up, and it's something that can give us heartburn, the commission can back out," says Commissioner Ben Hasan. He says this deal this gives the City and taxpayers leverage.

"The first phase would have cost them about $50M and they still want us to contribute $14M. There was no way possible we can do that because it would leave $43M on the table and it just doesn't make sense," says Commissioner Hasan.

Now with the ball in that specific developer's court on whether they want to accept it or not, Commissioner Hasan say's he's confident this deal can happen one way or another.

"With all the growth and the development that's happening downtown, there will be takers if they decide to walk from the table. I'm not concerned about that."

City Leaders have discussed most of this issue in legal session since November, but they haven't released information to who is the possible developer.

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