The former home of the Augusta Greenjackets is getting a second life. Last week Augusta leaders agreed on a deal to bring more entertainment to the Augusta area. A 10-year master lease agreement to bring big acts and events to the Lake Olmstead Stadium will have us seeing the area around Lake Olmstead transformed starting this April. The Augusta Commission voted and approved for the Augusta Development Authority’s “stadium master lease” of the facilities. C4 Live, the subtenant, will be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to make upgrades to the structure and in addition to Masters Week, we can expect other entertainment events through out the year. This is great news for Augusta and this piece of land getting a second life!
What’s a master lease, you may ask? Here’s Bigger Pocket’s summary, but in short, it’s when an owner leases a space to a tenant who then has the right to sublease to another tenant. The city of Augusta will lease to the EDA, who in turn will lease to C4 Live. This is generally good when the landlord trusts the master tenant, but has no relationship to the subtenant–the master tenant is guaranteeing the performance of the lease.
When talking about Gentrification, I think the four stages that Phillip Clay identified in his 1979 book “Neighborhood Renewal” are a helpful gauge:
1)Pioneer–Small group of Risk Oblivious Pioneers. Artists, Designers, Gays, Lesbians. These pioneers generally renovate homes that are vacant and in bad shape. These folks are visionaries.
2)Expanding Gentrification–Risk Takers– Flipper and remodelers move in, start renovating buildings.
3)Displacement–Risk Neutral–Values start rising, middle class people start moving into neighborhood. This is when major changes come to a neighborhood.
4)Mature Gentrification–Risk Averse–The neighborhood becomes desirable, often with new resources and businesses. Often the original residents and early gentrifiers are displaced.
How are we seeing this in Olde Town now? We’re seeing single females purchase homes in the neighborhood. We’re seeing section 8 apartments turned into market rate housing. We see young women pushing strollers down Greene Street, rather than old women pushing shopping carts down Greene Street (most of those folks are gone now). The neighborhood is changing quickly.
Do you live in an urban neighborhood? Where do you think your neighborhood is in this process? What signs do you see to confirm that?