Carrie Rengers

Goddard sports and hotel complex financing still not finalized

The future aquatic complex is still in the works for Goddard, but financing is slowing the project.
The future aquatic complex is still in the works for Goddard, but financing is slowing the project. Courtesy illustration

When last we checked in on Goddard’s much-discussed aquatic center and hotel complex, developer Bruce Neviaser said his group was making progress in finalizing financing.

“We anticipate closing in the next 30 days,” he said. “Probably sooner than that. That means that we’d be breaking ground immediately after that.”

That was March. The financing still isn’t done so nothing else has happened on the $56 million project on 87 acres in the 19800 block of West Kellogg.

“We are closer than we were,” says Neviaser, who is managing partner of Milwaukee and Dallas-based Imagine Resorts & Hotels.

“It’s been a frustrating process,” he says. “It is a big project, and it’s a complicated project.”

Part of the complication is a combination of government loans, he says.

“There’s a process. There’s back and forth, and that’s what we’re navigating,” Neviaser says. “If it was a more conventional loan package it would be a different story.”

He says the financing terms and how things fit together have changed along the way, “which isn’t unusual.”

Neviaser says he’s already spent $4 million on design and managing the project, which includes a four-story, 141-unit Crowne Plaza Hotel; an almost 100,000-square-foot aquatic center with four pools and seating for about 1,200 spectators; a health club; a bowling alley; a laser tag facility; a video arcade; a sports bar and restaurant; at least four turf baseball fields; and a 3,200-square-foot concessions building.

The project includes $23 million in STAR bonds, or sales tax and revenue bonds, which will be used to pay for the aquatic facility.

In the spring, Goddard City Administrator Brian Silcott said he wasn’t concerned about the project’s delays.

“I’m working with the city and keeping them up to date,” Neviaser says. “At this point we’re close.”

He says he can’t be more specific on when the financing will be complete and work can start.

“I wouldn’t hazard a guess.”

Neviaser says he’s fielding questions from people who expected work to already be underway.

“We’ve got to get this thing started,” he says. “We’ve been on the edge here for a long time.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers