HIGH POINT, N.C. - The city of High Point jumped a big hurdle, one that gets it closer to big downtown development.
City Council gave the green light to provide the city's share of a multi-million dollar project that'll produce a baseball stadium, a hotel, an apartment complex, and so much more. Monday’s meeting brought out a lot of people - the vast majority, voicing their support.
They believe this project will put them on the map, to compete with Greensboro and Winston-Salem with year-round activities, in the heart of the city.
The city says they still haven't finalized the exact design plans, but with the funding and zoning approved tonight - they're one step closer.
After several public input meetings, the council got to vote. All but one council member, Cynthia Davis, voted yes to move forward with the zoning in that area, and the funding. Councilwoman Davis said she's heard concerns about that funding, because a large chunk would come from taxpayer dollars.
On the other side, some people like Jenny Barker urged everyone to see that a stadium & downtown can only help the city grow.
“People are losing interest and hope in High Point,” she said, “So this project is much more than a stadium...it is a multi-function multi use facility that will bring high point back together.”
Supporters reminded council how donors like High Point University's Nido Qubein have promised millions to see this through. One of the members from Forward High Point chimed in saying the project, which includes shopping, restaurants, office space and apartments, will put the city "back in the ballgame for economic development."
Based on tonight's atmosphere - most people are ready.
“There's always going to be some risk,” said Ron Barker, a High Point citizen and small business owner, “Without risk we don't make progress. This has been democracy at work and a very good example tonight.”
The next hurdle is just a few days away, Guilford County Commissioners will now vote on the county's contribution to and approval of the project.
Dr. Qubein pledged 50-million dollars in private donations for the area surrounding the ball park. Another 30-million will be needed from the city to build the stadium. The stadium could open as early as Spring 2019.