By Brian Heap & Robert Marin
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
10:06 AM CST, January 10, 2012
The Wichita City Council set a public hearing for Feb. 14 on a development planned for K-96 and Greenwich.
The Developer GoodSports Enterprises, LLC, wants to build a $50 million multi-sport athletic complex and retail development. The developer wants to use STAR Bonds to pay for the project. The incentive would allow sales tax generated in the area to help pay for the development.
The council did not approve the bonds yet, that decision would come after the public hearing. The council set the hearing for Tuesday morning Feb. 14, during the regular city council meeting.
The Wichita City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to set a public hearing for consideration of the establishment of a STAR Bond District at K-96 & Greenwich.
Developer GoodSports Enterprises, LLC is planning a $50 million multi-sport athletic complex and retail development in the area.
The company is asking the city and state to approve the use of Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) bonds to finance the project. Sales tax money generated in the area would remain in Wichita to cover the principal and interest on the bonds and other eligible expenses.
"It's definitely an activity generator and that's what we need to look at," said District 4 City Council member Michael O'Donnell. What's going to be attracting new businesses to Wichita, new attractions and make us more of a destination city?"
A resolution to be voted on Tuesday shows the project will be a "mixed use lifestyle center including a multi-sport athletic complex, destination hotels, and destination retail center that will be unique to the Wichita market".
The expectation is the sports complex and businesses that grow around it will produce enough sales tax revenue that the project essentially pays for itself. O'Donnell said it's a risky proposition for the taxpayers, given the current economic climate.
"This entire development is hinging on sales tax," said O'Donnell "You're projecting something that you're not sure if the economy is going to be able to support it."
STAR bonds require a project generate tourism dollars. 20% of visitors must come from out of state and 30% must travel at least 100 miles to get there.
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