The Fayetteville City Council has moved forward on plans to build a downtown baseball stadium, approving two big measures this week.
The first was to swap land with Prince Charles Holdings LLC, a Durham-based investment that plans to build apartments across from the future ballpark.
The other was to grant a construction contract for the proposed $33 million project. Approval of a final budget is pending.
Fayetteville Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Colvin said that decision reflects the council's long term goals.
“We've said that any major spending initiatives, we would have local and small-business and minority goals embedded,” Colvin said. “So we wanted to make sure that as we made these selections that those folks knew what our interests was and that they could abide by that.”
Colvin said officials expect to break ground on the project this summer and aim for an April 2019 opening. It’ll sit on what is now a city-owned parking lot. The city has granted the Houston Astros a 30-year lease to use the park.
Deputy City Manager Kristoff Bauer said the empty lot is already open for visitors.
“In fact, if any of the members of the council or the public would like to go see where home plate is, it's actually painted on the sidewalk out there,” Bauer said. “So you can go take your swings now, before the audience gets in to watch you.”
The council also awarded a contract to Barton Malow Company to oversee construction of the ballpark.