The Unified Government and Ongoal are closer to a final development agreement on the $64 million U.S. Soccer deal in western Wyandotte County.
Doug Bach, UG administrator, said the agreement has been in negotiations for some time, and will be put into a final contract to be brought before the commission. The issue may go to the full UG Commission on March 26. Bach made his remarks at the UG Economic Development and Finance Standing Committee meeting Monday night.
The U.S. Soccer Development agreement, a $64 million proposal with a 100,000-square-foot National Training Center, includes indoor and outdoor components, as well as tournament fields, said George Brajkovic of the UG economic development department.
He said the STAR bond district approved for the development area includes the Speer family farm area, about 130 acres, and a 40-acre site on the Schlitterbahn property that is intended for the U.S. Soccer project.
A venture agreement provides for eight additional futsal courts, added to two existing courts at Wyandotte High School, he said. This would replace three recreational fields.
Tournament fields originally were planned to go into the Wyandotte County Park, Bonner Springs, and now the UG is supporting a move of the tournament fields to the Speer family site, Brajkovic said.
The U.S. Soccer Development agreement, a $64 million proposal, includes the National Training Center indoor and outdoor components, as well as tournament fields, he said.
Futsal and tournament fields agreement
The agreement calls for futsal courts at existing double tennis court sites at Bethany Park, Highland Park, Welborn Park and Westheight Park, Brajkovic said. Ongoal would do the conversion from tennis courts to futsal at these locations.
At existing single court sites, the UG will retain the option that if it can provide a secondary base for a double or second court, Ongoal would provide the construction of two futsal courts for those areas. The four single-court areas are Edwardsville Park, Harmon High School, Garland Park and Vega Field, he added.
The completion date for the futsal project is 2015. It is separate from the bond funding, according to UG officials.
The eight new futsal sites have the potential to be 16 courts, according to Bach. If a particular district doesn’t find the money for a double court, where there isn’t an existing base, then just a single might be built. An approximate cost to build a base for a court might be $25,000 to $30,000, according to UG officials.
Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club, said once a site is determined, it’s a 90-day construction program, and they would like to do as many as they could at the same time. He stated he would like to start on it as soon as possible.
Brajkovic said it is anticipated that there would be 12 tournament fields in all, with a minimum of eight fields at the Speer site. Four other tournament fields could either co-locate at the Speer site or be located at the National Training Center nearby, he said. The tournament fields would be built and Ongoal would be managing them by the spring of 2017, he said.
With fields being located on the north side of the Speer property, that leaves quite a bit of vacant property that fronts on State Avenue, east of 94th Street, according to UG officials.
The development agreement provides that the UG will own the Speer property, according to Todd LaSala, who is working with the project for the UG. OnGoal will be operating everything on the Speer property according to the agreement, officials said.
For three to four years, OnGoal will be the developer with the opportunity to present projects for that property, LaSala said, while the UG will have the potential to talk about alternative developments with Ongoal.
Chase Simmons of Polsinelli said they tried to craft the agreement so they are not standing in the way of some opportunity that the UG might have.
On the site, in the area south of the fields, is a standard development site of about 50 acres with good frontage access on State Avenue, he said. If the developer wants to take the property, they would pay for it, according to officials, at the purchase price.
Simmons said some of the fields or a park area in the northwest corner of the Speer family site will be named after the Speer family as part of the agreement.
U.S. Soccer agreement
The U.S. Soccer National Training Center is not located on the Speer property. It is on some of the Schlitterbahn property, with 98th Street to the west and with Parallel on the north. The buildings are toward the northeast part of this segment of the Schlitterbahn property. There is a large space nearby for fields.
The National Training Center and site would be owned by Ongoal or U.S. Soccer or some partnership, according to Simmons.
Heineman said this site is 40-some acres, with 35 acres usable. He said he has come to like this site, because the slopes can be used to advantage.
There are two buildings shown on the site chart that could be for future health care or medical users. Currently there are two interested companies looking at that site, he said.
“U.S. Soccer has told us that they are likely to put out an RFP (request for proposals) for 100,000 square feet of office with 300 jobs sometime over the next two years, so we wanted to maintain some space in the development so that we could go after that wholeheartedly,” Heineman said.
While it is a challenging site, the way it is set up is going to be a beautiful location for them, he said.
The National Training Center will be an indoor-outdoor facility, with up to 100,000 square feet, Brajkovic said. Although it could be in one building, there is also an option to set it up like a soccer village, he said. The completion date would be in 2017.
The indoor fields may be used by community organizations for a reduced fee during hours that they are not used by the U.S. Soccer National Training Center, according to the agreement.
Heineman said the center will be in use from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday by the center, leaving evenings and weekends often available.
“There’s definitely demand in the community,” Heineman said. “We could fill it for every available hour.”
The UG Parks and Recreation will have 20 percent of the time at no cost to run existing programs or create new programs, Brajkovic said. It is 20 percent of the community use time. The community use time is about 50 percent of the total, so that will actually total about 10 percent of the total time for Parks and Rec, Bach added.
While the 10 percent is exclusive to UG Parks and Rec for however it is decided to program it, the community use part of the usage will be more regional, according to Bach, with groups coming in to reserve the facility.
Heineman said if the UG wants to make a first offering for community use directly to the local community, he didn’t have a problem with it. Commissioner Ann Murguia said she didn’t want to see all the community time bought up by another county, with the local county not having much access. She suggested a higher rate charged to those who don’t live in this county, and a lower rate for this county.
Brajkovic said there will be other local benefits from the center, including spurring economic development, a civic and charitable role, and U.S. Soccer to designate local hotels and the county as official hotels for events held at the site.
The venture agreement also changes the job creation requirements of the Cerner office project to language more closely matching the agreement with the state of Kansas, moving the total number of jobs from 4,000 to 3,750, according to agenda documents.