Two projects together totaling more than $700 million went before a Unified Government committee tonight, a scale that Economic Development Director Kathryn Carttar said was “quite stunning.”
The Homefield youth multi-sport complex proposal for the former Schlitterbahn site at 94th and State was estimated at more than $300 million, and the URBN distribution fulfillment center and office development at 118th and State is estimated at $403 million, according to UG officials.
The Homefield multisport athletic complex, performance center and youth baseball fields are proposed to be built at the former Schlitterbahn water park, which has been closed since 2016.
Robb Heineman, a part owner of Sporting KC, presented a proposal for the Homefield complex at Monday night’s Economic Development and Finance Committee meeting. The virtual meeting was on Zoom.
“Our intent on the site is to develop a premier amateur sport resort in the Midwest,” Heineman said. He said they have 230 acres under contract from the Henry family, that owns Schlitterbahn.
The project will be a large mixed-use destination, and It may include other retailers, auto dealers, a 200-room hotel, convenience store, grocery and ancillary buildings.
Their intent is to open Homefield in late spring or early summer in 2022, he said. They would plan to demolish the existing Schlitterbahn buildings, including the vertical slides, according to Heineman. The water park was closed after a fatal accident on Aug. 7, 2016.
There would be $130 million in public financing, with $200 million of private capital, and there would be no property tax abatements, according to the project proposal. The project proposes to use STAR (sales tax revenue) bonds, paying off the old Schlitterbahn STAR bonds. Carttar said they feel like the old STAR bonds can be paid off early. Also, sales taxes from the Menards’ store on 98th could be applied to this project.
Commissioner Gayle Townsend asked if everyone could use the sports complex, even if they weren’t on teams. Heineman said there would be opportunities for individual youth to participate in some activities for individuals, for example, if a daily rate for an individual activity was $25, a Wyandotte County rate could be $15, he said. They would work toward giving people access, he said.
Commissioners attending the committee meeting praised the project. Commissioner Tom Burroughs also asked about having a swimming pool for the public within the sports complex, as there had been some residents asking for one.
There wasn’t a vote on the Homefield development at this time. It’s expected to go forward to considering the development agreement at a future meeting.
More information on the Homefield project is at https://wyandottedaily.com/schlitterbahn-property-proposed-to-become-homefield-an-amateur-sports-and-entertainment-venue/ and also on the agenda at https://wycokck.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=1730.
The URBN distribution fulfillment center and office development is being built next to the Kansas Speedway on the southeast corner at 118th and State. The project advanced on Monday night, with the EDF Committee voting to approve the development agreement, industrial revenue bond ordinance and bond purchase agreement. The commission set a public hearing on the project for Oct. 29.
The URBN distribution center development was announced at a news conference online on Aug. 5. It will become the hub for Urban Outfitters, according to David Ziel, chief development officer for Urban Outfitters. He said they are looking for a long-term partnership with the community.
The building will have a total of 1.5 million square feet, according to officials, and will have jobs paying about $18 an hour. They are developing a plan to have a child care center for employees that will be located at Indian Springs and will be on the bus transit line, according to Carttar.
The project will use industrial revenue bonds and will have a net 75 percent for 10 years abatement, but the UG will not be on the hook for the money, according to Carttar. She said a financial study showed that every taxing jurisdiction came out with a significant return on investment from the project. To see an earlier story, visit https://wyandottedaily.com/new-350-million-development-announced-for-kansas-speedway-area-in-wyandotte-county/.
Menards was on the agenda again with a public hearing set for Oct. 29 for a redevelopment proposal that would build a new Menards store in an Epic Center TIF development at the southwest corner of 18th and I-35.
The project wasn’t discussed but it is expected to go before the Planning Commission on Sept. 14
Agenda information stated it may also have an office, hotel, restaurant and retail, and mixed-use development.
For more information, view the Aug. 31 meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmeqbDyoJ0A.