GASTONIA --Demolition is now underway of the old Sears building in Gastonia to make way for a new multi-million dollar sports and entertainment venue; The Franklin Urban Sports & Entertainment, or FUSE, district.
"This is going to be the place to come 12 months out of the year in Gastonia,” the city’s economic development director Kristy Crisp said.
The FUSE district is a sports, concert, and entertainment venue to anchor a 16-acre site meant to attract private development. Crisp said Gastonia took inspiration from similar facilities in Columbus, Wilmington, and Fayetteville.
"All of these communities are using a sports facility for redevelopment purposes,” Crisp said.
The city is investing $10-15 million in the multi-use facility. Contractors began tearing the former Sears building down Tuesday.
The plan is to finish demolition, and begin construction on the FUSE district by the end of 2018. With the goal to open by 2020.
“We need to create a destination here in Gastonia to bring redevelopment and new investment into this area,” Crisp said.
The FUSE District will be the new home field for the Gastonia Grizzlies baseball team.