Stadium's first permit issued
Construction to start immediately

LAWRENCEVILLE - Construction will begin immediately on a baseball stadium for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves.

Gwinnett County issued a land disturbance permit Friday to begin work at the Buford Drive location, southeast of Interstate 85.

"That's a good thing because we've got 12 months now to put that together," Chairman Charles Bannister said.

According to a contract signed between the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Atlanta Braves earlier this week, the 10,000-seat stadium must be complete by mid-March so the minor league season can begin in April 2009.

"That's going to be a tough thing to do in 12 months," Bannister said of the construction. "The other permits need to fall in line in order to be complete by first pitch time."

Gwinnett Planning and Development Director Glenn Stephens said he understands that the grading work will begin soon. The next step in the process, he said, is the submittal, review and approval of a site development plan to allow the installation of necessary infrastructure and paving. Once building plans are submitted, reviewed and approved, construction on the stadium and related structures can begin.

According to a press release, county economist Alfie Meek estimates the ballpark will generate approximately $15 million per year in new economic activity, including an estimated 200 additional jobs countywide and generate about $6.5 million in new personal income.