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Huber Heights weighing option of marketing GoodSports land

Huber Heights officials have started preliminary discussions of possibly marketing the city-owned land next to the music center that has been designated for GoodSports Enterprises’ $22 million fieldhouse/hotel.

But a GoodSports official says the company is closing in on finalizing its financing again, and meeting the city’s completion deadline next year is within reach.

Huber Heights also is still waiting to see if GoodSports will comply with a request for a $150,000 payment as an act of good faith since construction has not started on the project, which would be built along Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.

GoodSports — a Florida company aiming to specialize in athlete-centric villages — announced in March 2013 its intentions to build a fieldhouse/hotel complex, but the construction trailer was removed from the site earlier this month because the company’s financing hasn’t been secured.

Anthony Homer, vice president of development for GoodSports, declined to comment on the $150,000 payment or the land, noting it was the first he had heard about the property potentially being marketed again.

City leaders discussed that possibility earlier this week in the Administration Committee and more talks are likely if GoodSports doesn’t soon show a commitment, said Councilman Mark Campbell, chair of the committee.

“My intentions are to continue the discussion in that direction because until we get a sign from GoodSports that this project is viable, we’re wasting valuable time not having that land on the market,” Campbell said.

City Manager Rob Schommer said a conversation with GoodSports officials is being scheduled to talk about the project status and $150,000 payment.

The original request for the good-faith money was made Aug. 8, and Schommer said he hadn’t heard from GoodSports when he sent an email to company executives Aug. 18.

“A good-faith contribution to the project would show commitment and a level of readiness that will once again instill confidence in the project,” the email says. ” … Generally, when one remains silent it is a sign of disagreement. … This topic is one that is important to us all, and I feel it warrants continued dialogue.”

According to the second amended agreement with Huber Heights, GoodSports must complete construction by Sept. 1, 2015, or the land will be turned over to the city.

Homer said that date is “attainable,” as long as the company can secure its equity and construction debt commitments. He said GoodSports is on track to have equity investors committed in the next 30 days, then attention can shift to the construction debt component.

Homer previously said the company finalized its financing around the first of the year, but it fell through in May.

“We’re looking forward to getting commitments back in place and moving ahead with construction,” Homer said. “That’s our goal.”

According to the development agreement, Huber Heights will contribute about $2 million in incentives to GoodSports, including giving the company approximately six acres of land; building a shared parking lot with the music center of 400 spaces; constructing and extending water and sewer lines to the site; and providing public sidewalks and landscaping.

Music center construction crews prepared the GoodSports building pad last fall, a cost of about $280,000.

“I don’t want to prematurely turn loose this project,” Councilwoman Jan Vargo said. “It’s too good of a project for this city.”

City attorneys have said GoodSports has not contributed any money to help cover the city’s expenses.

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