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cityboi

NewBridge Bank Park

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On October 7, 2003, Greensboro voters rejected an ordinance that would have prohibit open-air stadiums in the central business district. The vote outcome cleared the way for the downtown ballpark project to move forward without delay. Currently, the Guilford County Department of Social Services sits where the stadium will go. A street had to be closed to accomidate the large footprint of the ballpark. In a land exchange deal, the group responsible for building the ballpark will pay half the construction costs of a new DSS building two mile north of downtown. The county will pay the balance. Even though the maintenance facilty for the downtown ballpark is already constructed, the costruction on the actual stadium itself can't begin until the older DSS building is demolished. Today (Dec 3rd) the new DSS building is now completely constructed and the building dedication ceromony will take place. This will mark the begining of the process for transfer the county workers from the old DSS building to the new building. Once the move is complete, demolishion of the old building will take place imediately and construction will begin on the stadium. The move is expected to be done by January 2004. The ballpark will be open in time for the 2005 season. I will be posting construction photos of the entire process on my website at www.downtownstadium.org. I already have photos of the maintenance facilty and of the old DSS building on my website.

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Stadium deal enters new phase

12-14-03

By BILL HASS, Staff Writer

News & Record

GREENSBORO -- The way baseball deals are sometimes made, one player is traded for another and cash.

The deal that formally clears the way for a downtown baseball stadium is down to the "and cash" part, which should be completed today.

Papers were signed and deeds executed Friday that turned over Guilford County property bordered by Eugene, Bellemeade and Edgeworth streets to Downtown Greensboro Renaissance, a subsidiary of the Joseph Bryan Foundation. That property is the site for the new stadium, which will be home to the Greensboro Bats of the South Atlantic League.

In exchange, the county received the deed to a new office building at 1203 Maple Street.

The county will complete the transaction today by wiring $4.75 million to Downtown Greensboro Renaissance. That accounts for the $4.5 million the county agreed to pay for the office, plus a return of an earnest money deposit of $250,000.

"The deal is done," said Jim Melvin of the Bryan Foundation. "The punch list for the new building is complete and the county signed off on it. The building is theirs."

Technically, the county becomes a tenant on its former property, but Melvin said it has the right to use the land at no cost until Feb. 1, the date the old offices must be vacated.

Employees should start moving into the Maple Street building Jan. 5, and Melvin hopes the process will be completed before the deadline.

The first building vacated will be an annex that used to be an old grocery store. Demolition of that building will take place while employees are still moving from the main building, which used to be the headquarters for Burlington Industries.

Samet Corp. is the general contractor for the stadium. Project manager Mike Sears said Jan. 9 is the target to begin preparation for demolition of the annex.

Preparations for demolition of the main building should begin Jan. 20.

D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. will handle the demolition. Sears said the annex should be leveled in a day or two. The main building will take longer and will involve some asbestos removal.

When the buildings are down, work will begin on preparing the site for the construction of the stadium, which will have a capacity of 6,000, including 5,200 permanent seats. Target date for completion is April 2005.

"It will be a fun thing," Melvin said. "It's been a long time since we've seen that much construction in the center city.

"We're off and running, and I don't think we'll ever look back."

Bats general manager Donald Moore said interest in the new stadium is gaining momentum.

As of Friday, the team had sold 452 season tickets for 2004, the final year of professional baseball in 77-year-old Memorial Stadium.

Moore said that was more than double the number of tickets sold at this time last year. While some orders are renewals, many are new orders. Those who have purchased 2004 season tickets by March 1 will have first pick of the seats in the new stadium for 2005.

Melvin said the complicated land transaction was "remarkably hassle-free." He said the project on Maple Street had a cost overrun of $36,000, which he called "insignificant for a $10 million project."

Downtown Greensboro Renaissance paid the balance of the project and the overrun.

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B) Here are some renderings of future residential development that will go in the downtown Bellemeade Neighborhood (Ballpark district)

Much of the residential will be rowhomes lined along Smith Street near the ballpark. It will feel like a northern city type atmosphere along smith street.

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mixed use shopping/restaurants/residential near the ballpark

futurebellemeadeneighborhood.jpg

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I love these drawings :) The area will look very impressive once the entire project gets completed. The Ballpark District stands to gain a lot from the momentum that the ballpark itself has created. I see no reason why this area won't become a great destination for many people and I am anxious to see the progress.

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Here is a photo update for the downtown ballpark. As you can see, Greensboro's ballpark is going up fast. The seating risers are alomst put in place and it will be near time to install the seats. Currently the brick veneer is going up. The installation for the 60 foot tall Scoreboard/videoboard and out field stadium lights will begin soon. Work will also begin on the field real soon.

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The Southside downtown neighborhood

This urban neighborhood is also going up fast with many of the units under construction are already sold. Its very clear that alot of people like urban living versus suburban living.

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More Live-Work Units are under construction. A person or family can have their business on the first floor and live on the upper two floors.

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Tennessee Based Bank Buys Naming Rights To Greensboro Stadium

Tina Tedesco , Web Producer

Last Updated: 12/7/2004 12:25:57 PM

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Print-Friendly Format

Make WFMY News 2 Your Home Page

Greensboro, NC -- The Greensboro Grasshoppers home field has been named.

Megan Thomas, Director of Media with the Greensboro Grasshoppers, tells WFMY News 2 First Horizon National Corp. bought the naming rights to the stadium. The stadium's official name will be First Horizon Park. Thomas would not release any further details.

According to the Business Journal, First Horizon, which changed its name from First Tennessee, has been planning a major expansion in the Triad.

An official press conference to announce details will be held Wednesday morning. WFMY News 2 and the Good Morning Show will have live coverage of the announcement.

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Thanks. Maybe you could even take a train to enhance the experience :D The only thing is that the train station at the downtown depot hasnt open yet and you would have to stop at that ugly Amtrak station several miles west of downtown. :(

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Nice pics! I haven't been by the stadium in a few weeks. Looks like they're finishing up.

re: the current amtrak station:

That place is a hole in the wall! I can't wait until the new station is all a go.

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The great thing I like about this ballpark is the combination of the brick and the creme colored clappboarding. The style is sort of like Churchhill Downs which is a race horse track in Kentucky. The stadium has actually been described as Churchhill Downs on top of Camden Yards. But you really do feel like you're in an old urban stadium. In a weird way it feels older than War Memorial which was built in 1926 yet its modern.

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Thanks. Maybe you could even take a train to enhance the experience :D  The only thing is that the train station at the downtown depot hasnt open yet and you would have to stop at that ugly Amtrak station several miles west of downtown. :(

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

When the new station opens I will most definately take it up to Greensboro. Most likely we will board at the new station in Kannapolis. Unfortunately we did not make it to the new baseball stadium (attended the bass boat show at the colseum). The weather was just so miserable and cold, and a bit icy, that we just headed back to Huntersville once we left.

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Wow those are excellent photos, and the view of the skyline is awesome--better than what I expected from the renderings.

Perhaps we should make some long range plans for a Piedmont meet at a Bats game? Surely with enough lead time we could make something happen. Greensboro is convenient to both Charlotte and Raleigh (not to mention Winston-Salem, etc).

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Wow those are excellent photos, and the view of the skyline is awesome--better than what I expected from the renderings.

Perhaps we should make some long range plans for a Piedmont meet at a Bats game? Surely with enough lead time we could make something happen. Greensboro is convenient to both Charlotte and Raleigh (not to mention Winston-Salem, etc).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Isn't the team changing its name to the Grasshoppers when it moves to the new stadium? Anyway, that sounds like a great idea to me. Maybe we could schedule it for sometime between June 16th and 19th, since that's when my team (the Asheville Tourists!) are going to be in town. The train station should be open by sometime in May, so we could all take Amtrak and check out the town on foot. The northbound and southbound trains are scheduled to arrive within an hour of each other, both in the morning and in the afternoon, so the timing should work out just great.

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Looks like the ballpark already has some new neighbors on the way--

http://www.news-record.com/news/now/parkdevelop_022505.html

bellemeade200_022405.jpg

Way to go Greensboro! This looks like a "new urbanist" type of development, but at least it is downtown and will interface directly with downtown streets.

Edited by NorffCarolina

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Looks like the ballpark already has some new neighbors on the way--

http://www.news-record.com/news/now/parkdevelop_022505.html

bellemeade200_022405.jpg

Way to go Greensboro! This looks like a "new urbanist" type of development, but at least it is downtown and will interface directly with downtown streets.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In my opinion, the fact that it is downtown and it fits on the existing network of streets makes it more than just "new urban" - it is the real deal. It is urban. :thumbsup:

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Greensboro Grasshoppers vs. Florida Marlins

It was a total sucesss! there were a few glitches with the score board but other than that, everything went smoothly. 8,540 fans showed up. Its also the first time, the younger generation has seen a major league team play in Greensboro. Here are some video clips and photos I took. By the way, the Marlins won as expected.

VIDEO CLIPS (you may need the latest version of Quicktime to view the movie files. Make sure you right click to save it to your computer. They may take 3 minutes to download or even more if you have dial up, enjoy!)

http://www.downtownstadium.org/100_0429.mov

http://www.downtownstadium.org/100_0446.mov

http://www.downtownstadium.org/100_0449.mov

http://www.downtownstadium.org/100_0458.mov

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What a beautiful setting for a wonderful ballpark! Was this the first time a game of baseball was officially played there?

A baseball stadium is a wonderful thing to have downtown. Better than any other kind of sports facility, I'd say. Why? Because during baseball season (which lasts for a good 5 months) a baseball team plays very nearly every day. Since 50% of those games are home games, for the 5 warmest months of the year there will be a crowd of up to several thousand people who are on hand downtown. Although a lot of the people will just park for the game and take off when it's done, there are people who will linger both before and after the game. Talk about a traffic generator!

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yup this is the first official game. I agree that a ballpark is the best kind of sports facility for downtown. I dont think they could have picked a better spot for this ballpark. What a breath taking view of the city's skyline!

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