Located on the northwest corner of West Third and Graham is a small sign that is announcing that the site is the future home of the Charlotte Knights. While it is great to see that sign, how soon is coming soon?
I have tried to go through my usual contacts for some indication that activity is taking place, but have been unable to get any kind of update. This much I do know. Jerry Reese has run out of appeals on all of his various legal actions against the county, though he claims he is not finish yet.
My belief is that the construction of the stadium will be underway by the time of the Democratic National Convention for these reasons. A vote by the county will be coming this summer to decide whether to begin construction of the Romaine Bearden Park. That should be an easy decision. The Knights have a payroll of close to 70 people, they all pay taxes to South Carolina, a move to Charlotte will require taxes be paid to North Carolina. Currently that area is not generating any tax revenue, whether property taxes or payroll taxes.
The empty space in the Third Ward between Tryon and the railroad tracks MLK Blvd and Fourth Street encompasses close to 20 acres. By comparison sake, the Levine Arts Complex with the Duke Energy Center covers about 6 acres. The Third Ward site needs something to kick start development, and a baseball stadium would do that. The stadium will bring in excess of 500,000 people into the Third Ward covering over 70 events. That kind of traffic draws development. And finally, construction costs will never be lower.
Once this project gets underway, the level of activity will increase the desire of living in the downtown area, and since new construction is down, existing home prices will begin to stop their downward spiral and property appreciation will return.