Gas Plant Tidbits

The following information is based on figures from the 1970s

  • One of the oldest areas in the city

  • Estimated to be 86 acres in size

  • Spans from Dr. MLK Street (9th Street South) to 16th Street an First Avenue South to Fifth Avenue

  • In its prime was home to an estimated 800 people

  • The majority were African-American 

  • Home to hundreds of structures that were in need of repairs

  • 69% of residents had an annual income of $4,000

  • 16% of residents were unemployed

  • Renters were offered on average $4,000 to relocate

  • Businesses were offered $2,500 - $10,000 in moving costs

  • Homeowners were offered $15,000 over the assessed value of their property

  • Rents in the area-averaged $67 a month

  • Home to three of the city’s four oldest black churches 

  • Home of the first school for black children

  • Home of the first public library

  • Only 45 homes were occupied by the owner

  • City acquired 185 parcels of property

  • Demolished 262 Structures

  • Relocated 27 businesses

  • Relocated 45owner-occupants and 281 renters

  • The original plan was for business and housing

  • It later changed to bring baseball to the area

  • The city did not include residents in planning because they thought it was what that wanted

  • Improvements to the area included rerouting traffic ways

  • The estimated cost to prepare for redevelopment was $9.5 million dollars

  • The process was to be carried out in four phases

  • The city anticipated an $11 million increase to the tax base

  • Promised an increase of up to 688 new jobs

  • Hoped to generate $90 million in sales

  • Add $5.6 million annually into the local economy

  • The initial cost to taxpayers was $110 million

  • It took 20 years before the first pitch was thrown

  • Twenty years later the team looks to relocate