HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights and GoodSports Enterprises are on the verge of signing a development agreement for the $22 million fieldhouse/hotel that the sports recreation company is planning to build next to the city’s $18 million music center.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the music center was held Saturday afternoon. The 4,500-seat covered venue is projected to open in the late summer of 2014.
Huber Heights City Council recently approved the development agreement, which calls for the city to contribute about $2 million in incentives to GoodSports to construct a 60,000-square-foot fieldhouse that also will feature a 115-room athlete-centric hotel and a restaurant.
GoodSports is reviewing the agreement and it should be finalized in the next couple of weeks, said Anthony Homer, GoodSports vice president of development.
“It’s the crossroads of America,” Homer said. “It makes sense for us. Just the access from all the interstates and local markets makes it ideal.”
Homer said he expects construction to begin in September, with the facility opening next fall.
Scott Falkowski, Huber Heights assistant city manager, said an estimated 100 to 120 jobs will be created when the fieldhouse/hotel opens. Assistant city manager Don Jones said the city projects to generate $70,000 annually in hotel tax and $13 million over a 30-year period in tax increment financing money.
“It definitely makes financial sense to do this,” Falkowski said. “This fieldhouse will be very good for the community. You just don’t see this in the northern region.”
As part of the $2 million incentive package, the city will give GoodSports approximately eight acres of land; build a shared parking lot with the music center of 400 spaces; construct and extend water and sewer lines to the site; and provide public sidewalks and landscaping.
Other incentives in the agreement include discount passes to the Kroger Aquatic Center at The Heights for guests and tournament participants, and an opportunity for GoodSports to seek sports-related venues, restaurants and retail for The Heights development.
Utilities, landscaping and improvements specific to the fieldhouse/hotel site will be the responsibility of GoodSports. None of the city’s incentives will take affect until GoodSports’ detailed development plan is approved and construction has started. Deadline for GoodSports to file its detailed development plan is Sept. 1.
“Part of the goal with the construction is that this happens the same time as the music center,” Falkowski said. “It helps in the overall costs of doing things at the same time.”
The land will be turned back over to the city if construction doesn’t start by Jan. 1, 2014, or if the fieldhouse/hotel is not open by Jan. 1, 2015.
Homer said he is “absolutely” confident that GoodSports will meet those deadlines.
The eight acres for the fieldhouse/hotel will be rezoned as planned mixed use at the June 10 council meeting, Falkowski said. Last month, city council approved a contract to purchase 32.5 acres of land from Meijer for $2.31 million. The land is along the south side of Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.
The city expects to close on the land in mid-June, Falkowski said.
The city hopes to select a management group to run the music center within the next few months, Falkowski said. The cost to hire an agency is unknown at this time, he said.
“We want to get somebody involved ahead of time to get input on the design features,” Falkowski said. “We’re really trying to come out of the gate successful.”
Read Article: Steven Matthews – Dayton Daily News