What may sound like another extension for GoodSports Enterprises actually is a legal hurdle the Florida company must make in its pursuit of building a field house complex at K-96 and Greenwich.
“We are now going through the actual legal process … of default,” says Korb Maxwell, the attorney for master developer Wichita Destination Developers.
The master developer and city of Wichita on Thursday responded to paperwork that GoodSports submitted on Monday, which was the second of two extended deadlines for the company to meet requirements to begin construction.
“While we appreciate the effort and time that went in the submission, we know that it is deficient,” Maxwell says. “The question became between the city and master developer, do we continue to go back and forth with questions and pointing out items of deficiency?”
The other option was to begin the default process, which Maxwell says was laid out in the development agreement.
“I would say this is a significant step but is not a final step as there is this cure process, and GoodSports could cure it and be successful in the development of the field house, which we would like nothing more than to see.”
Anthony Homer, vice president of development for GoodSports, says he would like a call back from the city and master developer. He says he’s been trying to reach them since Monday to ask about a small detail in his paperwork.
On Thursday, GoodSports received word of the default via e-mail.
“Quite honestly, I was a little bit surprised,” Homer says.
“Again, I called everybody and e-mailed everybody, and still no response.”
City Manager Robert Layton says his office is working with GoodSports to set up a conference call.
Homer says the Thursday e-mail did not say where GoodSports may have failed to meet requirements.
“If there’s something they need us to do, I need to know what it is so we can do it,” he says.
A three-page letter the master developer and city sent to Goodsports, which Maxwell shared with The Eagle, shows that the parties did specify the areas in which GoodSports is deficient.
The development agreement and default period allow GoodSports a chance to amend its submission – or attempt to cure it – if the company starts the process within 14 days and finishes it within 30 days.
“We have the right to cure and … would be happy to schedule a conference call,” Homer says. “We’re looking forward to getting on the phone with everybody and figuring out what we’ve missed.”
Maxwell says there are several key areas in which GoodSports is deficient.
He says they include supplying proof of financing, submitting building permits – which entails civil engineering applications and fee payments – and meeting contractor licensing requirements.
“I don’t believe that they have all of the insurance documents required under the development agreement or the bonds required under the development agreement,” Maxwell says.
“This does not mean that the city or master developer are going to stop working with GoodSports,” he says. Maxwell says they will work to see if GoodSports “can deliver on what they promised.”
Homer says he would like to believe the city and master developer are not avoiding Goodsports.
“I certainly hope not,” he says. “I felt like … we’ve had good communication.”
Maxwell says everyone involved would prefer to have GoodSports do the project instead of the master developer stepping in. He says the parties involved could still have confidence in GoodSports to do it, even with the delays that have happened so far.
“If they can meet all of the requirements under the development agreement, yes, we have confidence,” Maxwell says. He says that’s because the agreement is structured in a way to guarantee a successful project.
Layton says proof of financing is especially important.
“They’ve provided some information, but it’s not complete,” he says. “They have to have a credible sources-and-uses document and then proof of private financing.”
Layton says, “If we’re provided everything … we’re prepared to move forward.”
Though he’s disappointed in the default, Homer says he’s looking to quickly remedy it.
“We were really excited on Monday when we got all of those documents in. We’re ready to get this thing going.”