Work begins at site of Huber Heights’ $18M music center

Site work for Huber Heights’ $18 million music center started last week and construction on the venue is scheduled to begin next month, city officials said.

Dirt began moving at the site Tuesday and the two main objectives are to have the music center pad completed by the end of September and get as much of the paving done in that area by winter, project manager Ken Conaway said.

Construction on the 4,500-seat covered music center is projected to begin in late September.

“So far, everything’s tracking on schedule,” Conaway said. “We’re still sticking with a late (2014) summer opening.”

The site is on 33.6 acres of land along the south side of Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.

The property is being prepared for both the music center and a GoodSports Enterprises’ proposed $22 million fieldhouse/hotel. The music center will be at the west end of the property, with the fieldhouse between it and Meijer.

The square footage of the music center pavilion is 42,500. Each of the two concession stands will be 2,750 square feet, according to the site plan. The total number of parking spaces will be 2,067, with 1,500 dedicated to the music center.

Conaway said that request for qualifications for the venue construction are due to the city by Aug. 16. Construction bids will be due around Sept. 16, and city council is expected to award the contract at its Sept. 23 meeting, Conaway said.

Scott Falkowski, assistant city manager, said the city’s goal is to have a company in place by the fall to manage the music center. It is unknown what the cost will be, he said.

The city also is in discussions with potential sponsors for the venue’s naming rights and other signage. The city projects to generate about $300,000 annually from sponsorship revenue, Falkowski said.

“We want to make sure we start this on the right foot — that it’s a success from day one,” Falkowski said. “That really starts with the management company because they have the experience of bringing in the quality we’re looking for and doing it in a financially acceptable way.”

GoodSports is planning to build a 60,000-square-foot fieldhouse that also will feature a 115-room athlete-centric hotel and restaurant.

Anthony Homer, GoodSports vice president of development, said the company expects to close on the financing for six projects, including the Huber Heights facility, within the next month. GoodSports expects to have a financial commitment letter by the end of this week and then the development agreement with the city will be signed shortly thereafter, he said.

The construction process will begin next month, and the facility is on track to open next September, Homer said.

GoodSports is expected to file its detailed development plan by Sept. 1, which is the deadline in the development agreement.

The development agreement calls for the city to contribute about $2 million in incentives to GoodSports, including eight acres of land; building a shared parking lot; constructing and extending water and sewer lines to the site; and providing public sidewalks and landscaping.

According to the development agreement, none of the city’s incentives will take effect until GoodSports’ detailed development plan is approved and construction has started.

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