HPU president raises $50 million for High Point downtown project

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Dr. Nido Qubein announced Wednesday in front of hundreds of High Point residents that he secured $50 million to go toward High Point's catalyst project.

The total is 31 percent higher than Qubein’s original commitment of $38 million. The proposed catalyst project includes a children’s museum, events center, urban park and an educational cinema for families, if the city’s plan to build a proposed baseball stadium moves forward.

Qubein's presentation featured another announcement: the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball will start a minor league baseball team if the ballpark is constructed. The league plans to move their team in Bridgeport, Connecticut -- the Bridgeport Bluefish -- to High Point. The chairman of the league said they would be ready to play by spring 2019.

BB&T also announced they will provide naming for the stadium, and Carroll Properties is looking to build a hotel downtown.

"We said we needed to raise $38 million; we did it,” said Qubein. “We said we needed to secure naming rights; we did it. We said we were going to get a baseball team; we did it. So, ladies and gentlemen, let me be very clear: The time is now and the person is you.”

Guilford County Commissioners still have to approve the project. In the past, some members raised questions about the taxpayer's role. About 25 percent of the proposed budget would be paid with public money.