With so much to put into LakePoint, some members of the community now are wondering why nothing has been built.
However, LakePoint representative Natalie Springfield said the site contains “more than 1,400-plus acres of very difficult terrain.”
“Just in excavation alone, we are moving close to 15 million cubic yards of dirt. Some construction has begun but we anticipate a formal groundbreaking ceremony this fall,” Springfield said.
According to Springfield, “portions of the project will open in summer 2013” with the rest “slated to open in summer of 2014.”
Lakepoint’s complex is to include 16 tournament baseball fields, 14 tournament soccer and lacrosse fields, a FIFA II-certified soccer field, an 8,000-square-foot sports pavilion, more than 1 million square feet of mixed-use and retail facilities, and about 1,500 hotel rooms.
Emerson Mayor Al Pallone said in June 2010 the developers and the president of Perfect Game scouting service “were coming through this area after visiting Orlando to explore this as the site for the development.”
“The city of Emerson worked in concert with the city of Cartersville and Bartow County and with the [Convention and Visitors Bureau] who put together a great presentation,” Pallone said. “We simply presented the reasons why this was such a great location and it sold itself.”
Perfect Game will help organize showcase baseball tournaments for amateur athletes at LakePoint.
The comparatively large project also has contributors to the LakePoint Facebook page questioning if Emerson’s infrastructure can contain the amount of people the developers expect to visit LakePoint. Officials estimate as many as 4 million visitors may travel to the complex.
Pallone, however, said he believes his city can handle the volume.
“A Development of Regional Impact (DRI) was conducted in 2010. The DRI addressed such issues and is public record. We can serve this area with two interstate exits which was a key part of the decision. There is sufficient water and sewer capacity to serve the facility and we continue to look for ways to increase the capacity,” Pallone said.
According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Developments of Regional Impact are large scale developments likely to have regional effects beyond the local government jurisdiction in which they are located.
Even though this community may cause some extra traffic in Emerson, there is the upside of more jobs.
“Upon full buildout, LakePoint will become one of the largest employers in the Northwest Georgia region, creating close to 26,000 jobs,” Springfield said.
Pallone said he had seen an “overwhelmingly positive” response from the community in regards to the new job opportunities.
“In summary we are looking forward to seeing this family-centric project moving forward in Emerson,” Pallone said. “We recognize the challenges ahead but we believe we are ready to address them.”