LILBURN -- City officials have given more time to developers bringing a Big League Dreams sports complex to Lilburn.
In a specially called meeting Thursday, the City Council approved another year extension to an agreement originally signed in 2010 for the project, which would bring a spate of replica ballfields for tournaments and other recreational activities.
But Mayor Johnny Crist said he expects the details to be finalized soon.
"We are very, very close," Crist said, adding that he could not disclose information yet. "When you do a project of this size, you run into all kinds of stipulations and snafus (that cause extensions)."
Crist said the city has asked for the $450,000 deposit it made on the Big League Dreams licensing agreement to be repaid, as the city had always affirmed public dollars would not go to the development. But the parties could not reach the deadline and requested the extension.
Earlier this year, the city purchased the 38-acre site of the now defunct Jackson Creek sewage plant from Gwinnett County for the development. But even that land, at the corner of Indian Trail Road and Lawrenceville Highway, will eventually be purchased by the developer and the city funds will be returned, Crist said.
"We've made a commitment that we're going to develop Lilburn to become a city that you are really going to be proud to be a part of," he said. "In order to get restaurants and retail (to open in town), we have worked very hard to put together attractive pieces of property to attract them. ... This is about getting private developers to invest in Lilburn."
Plans for a groundbreaking have not been set, but Crist said it would come soon, with other improvements, including a groundbreaking for a new City Hall, coming in the next year.