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Is a ballpark a homerun of an idea for uptown property?

This month, construction began on a $54 million ballpark for the Charlotte Knights in uptown Charlotte. The site, bordered by Mint, Martin Luther King Jr., Graham and Fourth streets, is prime real estate, so we wanted to know: Is a ballpark a homerun of an idea for the property?

Site rendering courtesy of Odell

The question was: Can we get an uptown park and a ballpark (together)? Since we were able to get Romare Bearden Park and the ballpark — on 7.8 acres, or whatever it was — that’s a very good use of that space.

—Andy Dulin, Charlotte councilman

I feel unqualified to make that distinction. But if you look at the impact of a sports facility on a community, it’s a little overblown. When you think about economic impact, it gets overblown as compared to a corporate headquarters or manufacturing operation.

—Mark Farris, economic development director for York County, S.C.

I’m an avid baseball fan. I have season tickets to the Knights. But I’ve struggled about that. It’s going to be a great stadium, but I’ve wondered in my mind if that was the best use for that land. I don’t know.

—Bert Green, strategic initiatives director, Charlotte Habitat for Humanity

I think it is the best use. What we’ve found over time is that when you have a product like that, it will help spur development. Over history, when you develop a public-use venue, it helps bring development.

—Mike Griffin, Griffin Bros. owner

 I think it’s a great use of the land, and I think it should spur additional development around it that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred. I’m not even necessarily a baseball fan, but I’m sure I’ll go down there for the entertainment.

—Scott Hensley, president of the Charlotte Region Commercial
Board of Realtors and a partner with Piedmont Properties

 Yes, because I feel like it creates a sense of place in uptown Charlotte. The reason people like uptown is because of the investments made … in the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. Each one of those projects for the Panthers and the Bobcats may be controversial by themselves, but in the aggregate they give a sense of place. A strong center city is a prerequisite for a strong region.

—Jon Morris,
industrial partner with Beacon Partners

GUION can be reached at [email protected], (704) 817-1344 or on Twitter at @paytonguion.


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