“We are a victim of our own success in that this thing has grown very quickly,” said Neal Freeman, managing partner of the Consortium Realty Advisors LLC. “A city is being birthed before us, and we’ve got several companies working together to do everything first rate.”
The complex will cover more than 1,400 acres between the Red Mountain and Emerson exits on Interstate 75.
LakePoint will be an all-inclusive development featuring baseball, lacrosse, soccer, a track and field section, along with a large indoor facility to accommodate basketball, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading and other tournament-style sports.
Outside of the sporting venue, LakePoint will feature hotels, retail development, and an entertainment area featuring movie screens and bowling alleys, as well as a medical complex that will focus on research in sports medicine.
Freeman spoke to the Rome Rotary Club at Coosa Country Club on Thursday.
“We do not have a major tennis facility, and that is on purpose, and it is out of respect for the (proposed) Rome tennis center and Mr. (Gordon) Smith,” Freeman said, referencing the native Roman who is executive director of the United States Tennis Association. “We’re here to add enterprise, not to shift enterprise or to take enterprise away.”
He said that there will be some tennis courts included as amenities for guests at the LakePoint complex, such as parents of youth who are playing tournament baseball, lacrosse, soccer or other events at the massive complex near Emerson.
Freeman said the development of the primary baseball complex is about eight months behind schedule and that earth moving will begin in September.
About 13.5 million cubic yards of dirt will have to be moved for the north campus, which will feature 16 baseball fields and 14 soccer-lacrosse fields.
“That’s more than what was moved for the Kia plant, as a point of reference,” Freeman said.
Another 1.9 million cubic yards will be moved for the south campus, which will be anchored by a wake board park and 250 acres of forested outdoor recreation areas.
Freeman said that Rawlings has committed to building a sporting goods superstore where they will be able to take a player through the entire process of manufacturing baseball gear ranging from gloves to bats.
Rawlings will also have a Hall of Fame Restaurant overlooking left field of the main stadium on the north campus. Other retailers Freeman said have signed leases include Mellow Mushroom, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Menchie’s Yogurt.
Freeman said that at build out the complex would provide more than 26,000 jobs and have more than 4 million visitors annually. When the first phase is brought on line in the spring of 2014, Freeman project LakePoint would create 5,000 direct jobs and another 5,000 indirect jobs.
He did not offer the civic club a timetable for completion of the entire complex.