Carrie Rengers

New Goddard aquatic deal, possibly without a water park, is imminent

It’s been several years since Goddard administrator Brian Silcott was photographed in this field where the city hopes to build an aquatic center, but he says a deal to move forward is now imminent.
It’s been several years since Goddard administrator Brian Silcott was photographed in this field where the city hopes to build an aquatic center, but he says a deal to move forward is now imminent. The Wichita Eagle

Another development deal is imminent for the planned $50 million to $60 million Goddard aquatic complex, which hit a stumbling block last week when a deal fell apart with subdeveloper S&O Investments.

So says city administrator Brian Silcott, who wasn’t immediately available to comment when news first broke about S&O.

Silcott says the bottom line is S&O wanted a better incentive package and a decrease in the scope of the project, which was to have included a water park, a Holiday Inn and an Old Chicago restaurant.

When plans fell through with the project’s first subdeveloper last fall, Goddard officials and master developer Goddard Destination Developers were in talks with a number of potential subdevelopers before selecting S&O in December.

Silcott says some of those earlier talks have now resumed, and the city will soon vote on another deal.

“We hope to have an announcement here in the coming weeks.”

It’s not clear what the new deal may include.

“I don’t know,” Silcott says. “The primary focus at this point is ensuring that we build a luxury hotel.”

The public portion of the deal will go toward an aquatic center and baseball fields. A water park would not necessarily be part of the deal.

“At this point, it’s premature to say if there would be one in play,” Silcott says.

He says it’s obvious that the city didn’t expect the latest deal to fall apart, “especially on the eve of closing.”

Silcott says he’s confident the project will move forward, though, and is “going to be fiscally responsible with our neighbors’ tax dollars while at the same time improving the quality of life … in and around Goddard.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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