New Stadium Plan will be revealed tomorrow
"I'm a little bit miffed at people that say they didn't know anything about this"
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – County Mayor Jim Coppinger ended today’s Commission meeting with a bang.
He revealed a major announcement that is coming on Thursday and it’s a big one.
Leaders will announce plans for a new development at the U.S. Pipe/Wheland Foundry site that will include a new stadium for the Chattanooga Lookouts.
It’s not just another downtown development deal.
The Mayor calls this one “generational.”
The billion dollar project will accomplish several things:
— address a longtime eyesore on the city landscape.. the old manufacturing plants on display as you enter the city on I-24
— a major new housing, office, restaurant and hotel hub for downtown
— a new stadium for both the Lookouts and the community at large
The entire development covers 120 acres, of which, only 9 acres will become the new stadium.
Mayor Coppinger addressed some of the negativity that has come about the looming deal.
He says both the city and county are only being asked to kick in $1.5 million a piece, not the much larger numbers that have been reported.
He also seemed to address a tweet yesterday from his would-be- successor, Weston Wamp.
Wamp has critiques the transparency of the planning.
Today, the County Mayor defended the transparency since it began in 2017.
He noted that over 250 residents took part in a charette over the Southside development, which included renderings of a new ballpark.
“I’m a little bit miffed at people that say they didn’t know anything about this.. everybody knew that something was in the works, it just wasn’t detailed information.” He reminds us this if private property, not public.
Mayor Ramsey likened this moment to when Volkswagen was negotiating with local officials.
“I’m glad we weren’t up here thinking negatively about what we CAN’T do with Volkswagen. We really underestimated what Volkswagen would mean…. we don’t want to miss the mark and not do a development there … it is generational.. for generations people benefit from it.”
He said sometimes it takes courage to stand up for great projects.
“That’s what it took, whether it was to do Volkswagen or the developers, whatever it takes. And that’s why you get elected… to show courage and to be positive about those outcomes.”
The close of today’s meeting: