Fayetteville City Council approves two baseball deals

28 March 2017

The Fayetteville City Council gave final approval Monday night to two complicated deals that officials say will allow construction of a downtown baseball stadium.

The council adopted a master development agreement with investors of the Durham-based Prince Charles Holdings LLC that includes a land swap and sale of the Festival Park Plaza office building on Ray Avenue.

And the council awarded a contract to Barton Malow Co. of Charlotte to oversee construction of the $33 million minor league ballpark off Hay Street.

Both votes were unanimous, and no one spoke at Monday's public hearing for the master development plan, which paves the way for the city to complete the stadium's design and then break ground this summer. The development plan had been under negotiations for months.

The city has signed a 30-year lease with the Houston Astros, which will field a Carolina Leagueteam at the new stadium when it opens for the 2019 baseball season.

“We covered a lot of ground tonight,” Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Colvin said during a break after the two pivotal votes. “We get site control that we need to move this forward. And two, this gets the construction team to start pricing this out and to start working with the developers.”

Per the contract, Barton Malow will attempt to give at least 30 percent of the work to locally and minority-owned subcontractors — an important concession sought by the council.

Last month, the council chose Barton Malow based on its qualifications and experience building other baseball stadiums. The city then negotiated price and other terms, such as bonding.

On Monday night, Deputy City Manager Kristoff Bauer said the city has agreed to pay Barton Malow almost $170,000 during the pre-construction phase. The bigger fee, for construction, will be negotiated and brought back to the council, Bauer said.

Master plan

Some of the key terms of the master development agreement changed after the city released them March 13. One is that Prince Charles Holdings will now build the apartments on the parking deck parcel next to the stadium.

An earlier proposal was to build the apartments over the stadium’s permanent structure, with the company paying the city $1.25 million in residential development rights. The company will no longer have to pay for those rights.

And the sale price of the Festival Park Plaza has been reduced.The city will sell it to Prince Charles Holdings for $4.2 million — down from $4.45 million two weeks ago.

The price dropped after negotiations over parking at the building were finalized, officials said.Bauer said Prince Charles Holdings has committed $60 million in investment downtown.

Jordan Jones, the Prince Charles hotel project manager, said the figure includes the following: a new hotel and apartment building at the baseball site; renovation of the adjoining Prince Charles Hotel into apartments; and purchase of the Festival Park Plaza office building. The sale will put the plaza back on the property tax books.