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News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
The Legislative Government Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to let the city borrow up to $38 million for the project, said High Point University President Nido Qubein, who spearheaded millions in private fundraising to help build the stadium as well as a children's museum, park and other spaces near the ballpark.
A Raleigh commission has given High Point the OK to seek bonds to cover the cost of building a multiuse stadium in downtown.
The General Assembly's Joint Legislative Government Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to let the city borrow up to $38 million for the project, said High Point University President Nido Qubein, who spearheaded millions in private fundraising to help build the stadium as well as a children's museum, park and other spaces near the ballpark.
High Point city officials have said they can repay the money without raising taxes.
"It is a terrific day for the city of High Point," Qubein said. "It proves that this community believes in the art of the possible in spite of the obstacles along the way."
He said he will soon be announcing the members of the executive board that will manage the design, construction and funding of the event center, children's museum, educational cinema, park and interactive playground that will be built by the stadium.
"I think we've only just begun," Qubein said. "Look for announcements and positive proclamations over the next few months."
Officials have said they hope to have the stadium up and running by spring 2019 for the city's new minor-league baseball team, the Atlantic League team formerly known as the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish.
The stadium will have other uses, too, hosting soccer, football and lacrosse games, along with concerts and High Point Market-related events.
It's part of a plan, two years in the making, to turn a blighted part of the downtown area into a thriving residential, retail and cultural center.
The plan includes building a $30 million to $35 million stadium on land the city already owns or is trying to buy in an area bordered by Gatewood Avenue, English Road and Elm and Lindsay streets.
The area would include private development, too. Qubein raised $50 million for the baseball team, a children's museum, a park and an event center.
Greensboro developer Roy Carroll said he plans to build a hotel there, and High Point developer Blue Ridge Cos. said it will build 200 apartments.
Feasibility studies estimate $99 million in new development over 10 years, and 708 full-time equivalent jobs.
Last month, the project's Baltimore-based developer updated City Council members on the plan, explaining that it would be built in stages. Tim Elliott also talked about senior housing, office buildings, shops and restaurants — and maybe even a satellite building for High Point University, along with graduate student housing.
The plan, Elliott said, is a carefully calibrated "effort of private development that brings the city alive 365 days a year."
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