The Wichita City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an amended STAR bond district for a multi-destination entertainment project at K-96 and Greenwich Road.
The council had approved the same bond district in February, but that ordinance didn’t include the district’s proposed $50 million athletic complex. State law didn’t require that it be in the ordinance, but the city’s bond counsel wanted it to be in there.
Last month, the council approved the amended ordinance, but another public hearing was required.
The $270-million, 370-acre project also must seek final approval from the state. The Kansas Department of Commerce approved the project in concept in March and has said it qualifies under STAR bond guidelines.
That state action sets the stage for a project plan using sales tax revenue from the sports and entertainment retailers making up the district.
GoodSports Enterprises, developer of the project, is proposing a 53,000-square-foot indoor sports fieldhouse, part of a tourism and shopping destination district that includes the Cabela’s store, which opened in March.
In making the motion to approve the district, council member Pete Meitzner said restaurant owners in the area of the project have told him their business has picked up since Cabela’s opened.
The STAR bonds issued by the city would be paid from the state’s 6.3 percent sales tax, plus the city’s portion of the 1-cent, countywide sales tax that doesn’t go for bond payments on the Kellogg freeway work. That amount is .29 of each 1 cent collected in Sedgwick County, Allen Bell, the city’s urban development director, has said.
The bonds can pay for certain development costs in the district, including land acquisition and public and private infrastructure.
The developers say the sports facility would target a broad range of events, including national-caliber Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournaments.