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City Funds for Ballpark Drainage Could Top $15 million 

The costs for city improvements to pave the way for a new ballpark in Shockoe Bottom appears to be much more than originally projected, a City Hall official tells Style Weekly.

Developers proposing the $363 million ballpark development have said that only $8 million in city infrastructure improvements would be needed to upgrade water and sewer lines and improve streets in the Bottom.

Initial city estimates, however, peg the cost at $15 million, and it could be much more, says the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Just the storm-water portion,” the source says — “the developers made an assumption based on very preliminary or incomplete data.”

To prepare the area for development, the source says, the area would need two large inlets with major pipes that would connect to the main culvert underground. The system, coupled with the ballpark — which would act as a retention basin — would help ensure proper drainage in the area during a major flood, such as the one that engulfed the Bottom in 2004 during Tropical Storm Gaston.

The improvements, key to the overall ballpark plan, are expected to help open up more than 20 acres in the neighborhood for development.

Tammy Hawley, the mayor's press secretary, declines to comment on the potential costs. Hawley says city officials are still studying the proposal.

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