In a vote on Tuesday, the Augusta Commission voted to end negotiations over a proposed new Augusta arena at the Regency Mall site.
Discussions on the potential construction of a new arena in the Georgia city have been focused on the location of the vacant Regency Mall, particularly since an August vote by the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority to pursue the site. However, the location has become a point of contention among various officials.
While some have argued that the new arena should be constructed downtown, proponents of the Regency Mall site–including mayor Hardie Davis–believe it could provide an economic benefit to south Augusta. The commission had voted against a proposal for the site earlier this month, and took the issue into consideration again on Tuesday. The result was a 7-3 margin in favor of scrapping the mall as the arena’s site, and ending negotiations with land owner Cardinal Management, though some officials appear to want to revisit the discussion in the new year. More from The Augusta Chronicle:
Asked whether he is ready to move on after the vote, Davis indicated he is not.
“This was a conversation about how do we best reconnect our city,” the mayor said. “This is an investment that gives us an opportunity to take a shot at that.”
Marion Williams, who returned the project to a committee agenda last week, said Regency is the “model” and the location “we’ve been looking for.” He said he won’t give up any time soon and called for City Clerk Lena Bonner to place it on a meeting agenda early next year.
The construction of a new venue in Augusta has been discussed as officials consider their options for replacing James Brown Arena, the downtown facility that opened in 1980.
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