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Published Monday, August 3, 2020 3:27 pm

Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

CITY OF GASTONIA

Brandon Bellamy is the owner of Gastonia’s new Atlantic League baseball team, making him the only Black person to own a majority stake in a professional team at any level since 1987.

Gastonia is the home to a new baseball stadium and a piece of history.

The city last week announced an agreement with the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and a team by real estate developer Brandon Bellamy, the only black owner of a professional franchise. Gastonia and Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies Inc., will collaborate on economic development projects tied to the city’s 4,800-seat multi-use ballpark, including residential, retail, hotel, and office space. City leaders believe the project could result in $100 million in new investment.

The 5,000-seat city-owned stadium, which is under construction, cost $21.5 million. It will be ready for the Atlantic League’s 2021 season.

“When we learned of this incredible project, we realized it was an opportunity not just to own a team but also to connect with a community that deserves to be showcased,” said Bellamy, a North Carolina native whose Maryland-based Velocity Companies is a real estate development firm. “The city of Gastonia has a strong entrepreneurial history, and we are excited to be a part of its continued growth. We look forward to being a good neighbor and making a lasting impact in Gastonia.”

According to Baseball America, Bellamy is the first Black majority owner of a professional club since Tom Lewis owned the South Atlantic League’s Savannah Cardinals from 1986-87. The team will be Gastonia’s first professional franchise in nearly 30 years when it’s South Atlantic squad relocated to Hickory.

“We are excited to have Mr. Bellamy join us in our continued efforts to create a great place that our community can be proud of,” Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid III said. “This is a milestone for our city and an example of how public-private partnerships can revitalize a community, proving to be beneficial for everyone.”

The ballpark is part of an economic development area known as Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment, or FUSE, District, which connects to downtown and creating a viable and attractive area for residents, visitors, and investors. Bellamy’s company has developed $500 million in projects. The stadium, which will be managed by the team, is under construction, will also host family-friendly events and athletic and entertainment events, including high school soccer and football. Gastonia will become the second North Carolina market with an Atlantic League site, joining High Point, whose team, the Rockers, joint the Atlantic League last year. Atlantic League teams play a 140-game schedule.

“We are delighted to bring Atlantic League baseball to Gastonia, a city that has shown tremendous ingenuity and resolve, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rick White, president of the eight-team Atlantic League said in a statement. “Under Mr. Bellamy’s ownership, this club and the ALPB will provide the community with best-in-class baseball and exceptional entertainment for years to come.”

On the Net:www.fusegastonianc.com

Read the article: http://www.thecharlottepost.com/news/2020/08/03/business/developer-lands-gastonia-baseball-team-stadium-management-deal/

GREENBELT, MD (July 26, 2020) – Velocity Companies announced today that an ownership group led by Brandon Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies, has entered into a franchise agreement with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB). In partnership with the City of Gastonia, Bellamy and the Velocity Companies will also collaborate on economic development projects, including residential, retail, hotel, and office space properties tied to Franklin Urban Sports & Entertainment (FUSE), a $100M potential investment opportunity for the City.

FUSE, an economic development and revitalization project designed to attract new commercial and residential development to the heart of the city, is a $27.5M, 5,000+ capacity, multi-use sports and entertainment facility that will host year-round events and activities. The facility and the surrounding private development will generate investment that will create jobs, increase the tax base, and fuel economic growth that will benefit the entire city. It is the heart a growing commercial district that features the best of urban living: residential, retail and office space, sports and entertainment options, professional services, green spaces and more, a transformative redevelopment project for the City of Gastonia.

“When we learned of this incredible project, we realized it was an opportunity not just to own a team but also to connect with a community that deserves to be showcased,” said Mr. Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies. “The City of Gastonia has a strong entrepreneurial history, and we are excited to be a part of its continued growth. We look forward to being a good neighbor and making a lasting impact in Gastonia.”

The ballpark, which broke ground last October, will be managed by the team, and open to all for its inaugural season in 2021. It will also serve as the anchor for the FUSE District, making the City of Gastonia a viable and attractive area for residents, visitors, and investors. Under Bellamy’s ownership, the club is poised to step into the ALPB family to provide the Gastonia community with exceptional entertainment and best-in-class baseball for years to come. For more information on the FUSE District, please visit www.fusegastonianc.com. ###

About Velocity Companies:

Velocity Companies specializes in real estate acquisitions, commercial and residential property development, and real estate investment management. The firm has developed and consulted on projects located in the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas with an aggregate asset value exceeding $500 million. The Velocity Companies team specializes in assisting clients in real estate investment and property development activities by analyzing real estate development and conceiving investment opportunities. Driven by their commitment to providing a significant impact in under-invested communities, the Velocity team boldly pursues projects that champion the health and vitality of local economies through meaningful development. For more information, please visit www.thevelocitycompanies.com.

Media Contact: Veronica Jeon | VSJ, Inc. | vjeon@vsjinc.com | 202-803-3303

Read the article: https://thevelocitycompanies.com/news/Velocity_PRESS%20RELEASE_Gastonia_Final.pdf

GREENBELT, MD (July 15, 2020) – Brandon Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies, will deliver the keynote address at the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Summer Conference on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The virtual conference, scheduled from 9:00 A.M. to 12 P.M., will highlight leaders from both the public and private sector sharing insight on how economic developers can assist business owners and the unique challenges that they face in the midst of COVID-19.

Bellamy, a successful real estate entrepreneur, has worked for many years to locate and build opportunities where it is needed the most. But his success, and that of his projects, have not been without their unique challenges, many of which are not apparent to everyone working in economic development.

“Communities that were distressed pre-COVID-19 are even more distressed today, and many of these communities are comprised of minority business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Bellamy. “I look forward to sharing my journey at this year’s Summer Conference and hope that it benefits those working to create jobs and investment in the state of Maryland.”

Brandon will provide examples of challenges he has met and overcome and share how he is not alone when it comes to being faced with these unique challenging hurdles. He has a story that exemplifies how to put together a recipe for success using hard work, community support, and economic development.

The MEDA Summer Conference is sponsored by Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and Maryland Association of Counties (MACO). For more information about the MEDA 2020 Summer Conference and to register, visit www.medamd.com. ###

Media Contact: Veronica Jeon | VSJ, Inc. | vjeon@vsjinc.com | 202-803-3303

Read the article: https://thevelocitycompanies.com/news/PRESS%20RELEASE_MEDA_MB_VJ.pdf