GoodSports Enterprises’ plans to build a fieldhouse and hotel in Huber Heights appear on track but the company’s other projects are not progressing as quickly, according to city officials in other communities.
The $22 million Huber Heights facility is the first of six that GoodSports plans to open around the country. The company is scheduled to close on the financing package for six projects on Nov. 15 — including Huber Heights. The other five sites are: Wichita; Sarasota; Chesterfield, Mo.; Greenwood, Ind.; and Foley, Ala.
But officials in four of the five other communities recently said that the company has not submitted site or development plans yet.
Scott Falkowski, Huber Heights assistant city manager, said the city is not “concerned with what other cities are doing,” and city staff talked to Wichita officials because that project also was “out in the public at the time.” The development agreement in Wichita became effective Sept. 13.
Huber Heights leaders did not speak with officials from the other four locations, Falkowski said.
The status of the other five GoodSports projects is:
In Wichita, construction is scheduled to begin no later than Jan. 1, 2015, and be completed no later than March 15, 2016, according to Allen Bell, the city’s urban development director.
Lisa Barnott, director of marketing and communications for Lakewood Ranch near Sarasota, said there were preliminary discussions with GoodSports but the community is no longer in contact with the company. She declined to comment further.
Jeff Rouzie, Foley’s economic development director, said the city had several talks with GoodSports but Blue Collar Destinations is the developer. The city is working on its own sports event center, Rouzie said. A message left with Blue Collar was not returned.
Libbey Tucker, Chesterfield’s community services and economic development director, said GoodSports has not submitted any official site plans. “It may be a little premature,” Tucker said.
- Ed Ferguson, planning director with Greenwood, said the city has been hearing “rumors,” but it has not been contacted by GoodSports nor have there been any plans filed with the city.
Anthony Homer, GoodSports vice president of development, would not comment on the specific locations in the four other cities because the details have not been finalized. Either a development agreement with a municipality or a purchase agreement with a private developer will be signed depending on the location, he said.
The six projects are not “all interdependent,” and the Huber Heights facility will not be affected if one of the other five projects falls through, Homer said.
“We’ve committed and it’s going to happen,” Homer said. “We’re on track and things are moving. Now, we’ve got to stick to it and get it done.”
Members of Huber Heights city staff took a tour of GoodSports’ SportONE Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne, Ind., on April 3, as well as researched the company thoroughly, Falkowski said. GoodSports’ affiliate company, Focus Hotels, manages 50-plus hotels around the country.
“Our goal is to make Huber Heights a better city and bring them into our city,” Falkowski said. “We’re not involved in their discussions with other cities. We are working out the best deal for the citizens of Huber Heights.”
The development agreement between Huber Heights and GoodSports was signed Sept. 18 for a 60,000-square-foot fieldhouse, 115-room athlete-centric hotel and restaurant.
“Somebody’s got to be first, and we’d love to be the first,” Falkowski said. “It’s groundbreaking. Other cities may be looking to us to see how it works, and we’ll be glad to show them.”
Homer said Huber Heights will be the first one built because of how smooth the process has been and the $2 million in incentives from the city. Construction is expected to begin around Jan. 1.
The fieldhouse/hotel will be built next to the city’s $18 million music center along the south side of Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.
Falkowski said 412 total jobs — 112 permanent and 300 temporary construction — will be created by the GoodSports facility.
The city also 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.
The Dayton Daily News has been covering this story closely since we broke the news in early March of GoodSports’ intentions to build a fieldhouse/hotel in Huber Heights. We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest updates as they develop.