The Union Recorder

June 21, 2013

CSH sees partnership with Shaw repurpose

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Central State Hospital redevelopment authority stated partnership interest in the Shaw Building development. The City of Milledgeville and Fox Holdings Limited agreed to officially engage in negotiations for the repurposing of the Shaw Building located off South Wayne Street last week.

“I’d like to have the opportunity to go back to the city and say we are here to partner with you. We think the Shaw Building innovation center vision is a natural segue to this campus,” authority Executive Director Mike Couch said Wednesday.

The board agreed to draft a letter hoping for inclusion into the public/private partnership.

Couch said grants averaging $1.2 million are available for development authorities working congruently with a university or innovation center.

Georgia College Associate Professor of Marketing Dr. Renee Fontenot presented Milledgeville City Council with a repurposing proposal for the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Community Business & Arts Development Center last month. The innovation hub would provide a shared space for a wide range of activities fostering the development of community economic potential, according to the proposal’s mission statement.

The 93,000 square foot building could harbor a convention center, manufacturing facilities, a production kitchen, art studio and tech hub to name a few proposals outlined in the proposal.

Solar Zones, LLC needs 10,000 square feet for solar panel production, and along with the Milledgeville Players is ready to move. The Players are committed to building a 200- to 250-seat theater.

Phase one construction could begin no later than July pending city approval.

The “Center” can use a local push, according to area resident David Sinclair. He assists the Central State Hospital redevelopment efforts and is acting chairman for Fox Holdings, a private offshore private property holding and development group. 

“As a partner with the city, I must impress this evening that we get maximum support from the key members in this community. We keep discussing things time and time again without actually doing them.” Sinclair said earlier this week. 

Getting all community leaders and higher education bodies on board will make the Shaw proposal come alive.

“This is the best deal out there at this moment in time for the city and everybody else. Especially if the (CSH) authority came on board, the vehicle for applying for grants is there. This would be a tremendous asset at the end of the day,” Sinclair said.

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