Construction to start next month on $18M music center site

The city on Friday closed on the 33.6 acres of land it purchased from Meijer for $2.31 million using tax increment financing money. Construction on the music center will begin mid-to-late September, project manager Ken Conaway said. The 4,500-seat covered venue is projected to open in the late summer of 2014. ( " target="_blank">View the city’s video on The Heights.)

The bid package for the site construction is expected to go out later this month as part of the $10 million budgeted for the music center portion of the $18 million project, Conaway said.

“There’s a lot of excitement and interest in it,” Conaway said. “The next round of businesses will take note when we start moving dirt. It’s been talked about for so long. When it’s real, that will be the difference because people will say, ‘Wow, this thing’s happening.’”

City council recently rezoned 11.8 acres to planned mixed use, with eight of the acres dedicated to a proposed $22 million GoodSports Enterprises fieldhouse/hotel.

The 33.6 acres — which is along the south side of Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange — will be for the music center and fieldhouse/hotel. The music center will be at the west end of the property, with the fieldhouse between it and Meijer.

Scott Falkowski, assistant city manager, said the site fits the projects’ needs, including the 2,200 total parking spaces, based on the environmental studies conducted on the land.

“We’re far enough long on the design plans that we know the site works,” he said. “We now feel comfortable that it’s time to actually own the land and move forward.”

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

GoodSports has not signed the development agreement that Huber Heights City Council approved last month, according to Anthony Homer, GoodSports vice president of development.

“We’ve agreed in principle and we’re committed to that location,” Homer said. “We’re still on track.”

Homer said GoodSports is lining up its financing for its package of six fieldhouse/hotel locations around the country. The sites that are for certain are Huber Heights, Wichita, Sarasota and St. Louis. The final locations will be two out of these four: Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio.

“Some of the other sites haven’t moved as smoothly as Huber Heights,” Homer said. “We’re still going through our due diligence. Huber Heights will most likely be the first out of the six locations where we have a shovel in the ground.”

Homer said he expects construction to begin in September, with the facility opening a year later. The fieldhouse portion of the facility could open earlier because the build-out won’t take as long as the hotel, he said.

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.

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