A promotion board sits in front of the construction offices on Ga. Highway 293 in Emerson, heralding the future home of the sports complex. Situated on 1,380 acres between Interstate 75 and U.S. Highway 41, the project will feature sports fields, entertainment facilities, retail shops, restaurants, hotels and educational campuses when complete.
The core of the development, which features three miles of frontage along I-75 including the Red Top Mountain and Emerson-Allatoona interchanges, is a 260-acre sports complex with 16 Major League Baseball-sized fields, 12 soccer and lacrosse fields and a 100,000-square-foot indoor sports facility.
LakePoint Development Group's Earl Ehrhart on Monday said the project has begun creeping toward fruition.
"As you can see, things are starting to happen. ... Dirt is starting to move. Our offices have power and lights as of [Monday] morning," Ehrhart said in an address at the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce Ring the Bell Victory Celebration. "We are moving in ... I am very excited about everything we are seeing here."
Emerson City Manager Kevin McBurnett said Tuesday no time frame has been established for when grading and construction will begin.
"We are in the plan review procress at this time. Once we get through that, we'll bring it before the council," McBurnett said, adding that several agencies, including the county's water department and Environmental Protection Division departments, still must sign off on the plans.
"We've been going through this a while. We might break it down into phases," he said.
Expectations are for the city to approve the grading process in the first quarter of 2012.
"That's the goal right now, is to get it in the first quarter," McBurnett said.
Ehrhart said the development is expected to produce 2,000 jobs in the next two years, and thousands of resumes already have poured in through the website, www.lakepointsports.com.
Perfect Game USA, billed as the world's largest baseball scouting service, will consolidate all of its Eastern seaboard tournaments and showcases to the Emerson location. Along with Perfect Game, the North Atlanta Soccer Association's existing operation out of Cobb County is expanding to LakePoint, and LB3 lacrosse, founded by two-time All-American Syracuse lacrosse player Liam Banks, will relocate its tournaments to Emerson.
The indoor sports facility will allow LakePoint to move training indoors for soccer, lacrosse and baseball, and will provide space for volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, gymnastics and wrestling.
Backed by such heavy-hitters as former Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox, LakePoint is projected to draw some 3 million visitors a year.