LUBBOCK, Texas–Cities across the nation are investing time and money to revitalize their downtowns. Amarillo, Texas has joined those wanting a vibrant downtown by pinning their hopes to a $113 million dollar project that includes a baseball stadium.
A report out of the Amarillo-Globe Newspaper details a property swap between Coca-Cola and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. According to that report, the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation will build Coke a new plant at Amarillo’s business park at a price tag of $8.5 million dollars. The AEDC will also kick in other benefits including $600,000 in moving costs. In return, Coke will hand over their three and half blocks worth of land in downtown Amarillo.
After Coke has moved out of downtown Amarillo, their buildings will be knocked down to make way for a brand new baseball stadium that would house the Amarillo Sox. The Sox began playing in Amarillo in 2010 at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium. The stadium is a baseball only facility and was built in 1949 then later renovated in 2005. The new stadium will reportedly be a multipurpose stadium. Amarillo officials believe that the stadium will bring new activity to the downtown area.
Buzz David, the President and CEO of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation told Breitbart Texas that he believed the venue would act as an “activity generator”.
He said, “The vision for the MPEV (Multi-Purpose Event Venue) is that it will serve as an activity generator in downtown Amarillo and as a catalyst project for other projects that are watching to see how the downtown revitalization process goes. Success will bring people and activity and result in a more financially viable downtown.”
After the agreement between Coca-Cola and the AEDC is signed, Amarillo officials believe that partners in the downtown project will meet to discuss final plans. The overall project calls for a hotel and convention center along with a parking garage to be built. Developers of the $69 million dollar hotel and $13 million dollar parking garage have waited until a deal with Coca-Cola be signed before breaking any ground on the facilities. David told Breitbart Texas that the AEDC anticipates “the construction of the new Coca Cola distribution center will be complete in about ten months and for the company to move in 2nd quarter 2015. After demolition of the existing Coca Cola facilities is complete, stadium construction should be ready to begin in the second half of 2015.”
The downtown project has been in the planning stages since 2011 and is being managed by the Amarillo Local Government Corporation which was formed by the Amarillo City Council.
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