City confident $22M GoodSports venue still coming

Officials have expressed some concern because construction has not started.

A lack of activity at the site where GoodSports Enterprises’ $22 million fieldhouse/hotel project is being planned has some Huber Heights leaders concerned, although the company has only one more component to fulfill in its development agreement, a city official said.

GoodSports — a Florida company aiming to specialize in athlete-centric villages — announced in March 2013 its intentions to build a fieldhouse/hotel complex along Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.

Councilman Mark Campbell, chair of the Administration Committee, asked city attorney Alan Schaeffer earlier this month to review the city’s development agreement with GoodSports.

Schaeffer is expected to discuss the agreement at the Administration Committee meeting on Tuesday.

“If they were to start work June 1, that hasn’t happened,” Campbell said. “They haven’t started work on it. And it’s a concern if someone in the city’s administration thinks they started work.”

Assistant city manager Scott Falkowski said the project is being slowed because GoodSports is reworking a portion of its financial package with its original lender. The company also has announced locations in Wichita, Chesterfield, Mo. and Greenwood, Ind.

“They’re adding more and more, so they’re redoing a portion of that (financing) for their benefit,” Falkowski said. “They’re still coming. There’s no question there.”

GoodSports officials did not return emails and messages seeking comment for this story. Anthony Homer, GoodSports vice president of development, said in January the company finalized its financing around the first of the year.

According to the first amended development agreement between the city and GoodSports, the land would have been turned back over to the city if construction didn’t start by June 1.

Falkowski has said multiple times that GoodSports has satisfied the front end of the development agreement. The original agreement states that “commence construction” means the date of issuance of a city building permit for construction of the fieldhouse/hotel complex.

The city has issued GoodSports zoning and grading permits, Falkowski said. He said GoodSports is reworking the plans it originally submitted to the county in March.

The city still owns the six acres, and transferring the land to GoodSports will occur “as soon as they’re ready,” Falkowski said.

“We would like them to get started soon, but there’s no reason to rush them,” he said. “They are a private developer. It’s their schedule they have to work off of. In the end, when it’s built, it doesn’t matter when they started because everybody’s going to be happy.”

Falkowski said the only piece of the development agreement for GoodSports to satisfy is the construction completion date, which is now Sept. 1, 2015. Last month, City Council approved a second amendment to the development agreement, extending the back-end date three months from June to September.

Schaeffer said he has reviewed the development agreement, but declined to comment on his findings, saying “council deserves to hear it first.”

“The city is very excited about GoodSports coming to Huber Heights,” Schaeffer said. “When you’re anxious about something, it can never happen fast enough. Sometimes you need to have patience. We need patience in this deal.”

Ken Conaway, project manager for the music center site, said his construction crews extended utility lines to the site and prepared the building pad last fall, a cost of about $300,000. Falkowski said that was paid for with tax increment financing dollars.

There has been no activity at the site since a construction trailer and fencing were installed in April, Conaway said. He said he’s stored some equipment at the GoodSports site so it’s not in the way during music center construction.

“From a (GoodSports) site perspective, nothing’s changed,” Conaway said.

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.

The fieldhouse and hotel will be stand-alone buildings. A courtyard area will be created between the fieldhouse and hotel.

The fieldhouse will feature 85,000 square feet, including 50,000 square feet of hardwood courts (six basketball or 12 volleyball) and an 8,000-square-foot fitness center. The five-story hotel will have 124 rooms. Other on-site amenities will include a restaurant, bar, pool, meeting room, sports therapy and virtual golf.

Huber Heights and GoodSports have said 412 total jobs — 112 permanent and 300 temporary construction — will be created by the GoodSports complex. GoodSports has posted 10 job openings on its website for the Huber Heights complex.

Construction is a 10-month build-out for the fieldhouse and 12 months for the hotel, Homer has said. GoodSports plans to host events such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling and cheerleading.

The city projects the fieldhouse/hotel will annually generate $100,000 in hotel tax (3 percent tax, 60 percent occupancy rate), $454,741 in property tax and $1.9 million in county sales tax. Over a 30-year period, approximately $7.2 million will be generated in tax increment financing money.

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