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Game-changer: Sports center a kick-start for area?


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A hotel and sports complex planned for Greenwood could be the start of commercial development at an intersection that has stalled for years.

GoodSports Enterprises Global of Sarasota, Fla., has proposed building a $22 million hotel and field house with indoor basketball and volleyball courts at the southeast corner of County Line Road and Interstate 65, with the facilities opening in 2015.

The 85,000-square-foot field house could be used for sporting events, such as volleyball tournaments on weekends and basketball camps during the week. A 124-room, five-story hotel is geared toward athletes and their families. GoodSports plans to build 25 similar complexes across the country in the next four years due to demand for lodging and sports facilities for traveling sports teams and has made similar proposals in Ohio, Missouri and Kansas.

For Greenwood, which approved giving $2 million in incentives, the project would bring development to an intersection that has not developed as expected. The project could kick-start more businesses, such as a movie theater, bowling alley and stores, such as Costco.

GoodSports plans to use 12 acres, leaving about 75 acres near County Line and Graham roads for potential development that could complement the project, such as restaurants and a movie theater, said Scott Langdon, real estate broker for the property owner.

The city redevelopment commission approved offering $2 million from the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts for infrastructure in the area. That money would be used to hire contractors who would do road, sewer, stormwater, sidewalk and drainage work in the area. County Line 101 Partners is paying for water lines at the property and contributing $500,000 toward the road projects, including Innovation Parkway and a cul-de-sac for McColgin Drive.

The work also would make other land around the proposed complex ready for development.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

GoodSports Enterprises Global is a development and management company specializing in athlete-minded hotels and field houses. The company has built and operated more than 54 hotels, resorts, entertainment and sports properties.

Based out of

Sarasota, Fla.

Current project

Developing 25 sports villages during the next four years. Current sites: Greenwood; Huber Heights, Ohio; Wichita, Kan.; and Chesterfield, Mo.

The market

Traveling youth sports leagues need a place to stay and compete on the weekends, and fitness-minded travelers need a quality place to stay and work out during the week. The company predicts more than 135,000 annual visits per year.

Incentives

The company seeks tax incentives from each community where a village is built.

The cost

Each village costs about $22 million.

GoodSports began developing hotel and sports complexes in 2010 and is starting to build its first three locations this year. If the company builds it, the Greenwood hotel and field house would be its fourth. The company’s leaders have built and managed 54 hotels, resorts, entertainment and sports properties throughout the past 40 years, according to the GoodSports website.

The project is slated for the property where Cabela’s wanted to build in 2008. City officials touted the project as a future tourist attraction and said the destination outdoor retail giant would bring restaurants and other businesses to the area. The city spent $640,000 to widen Graham Road to accommodate expected Cabela’s store traffic and $130,000 to initiate an $18 million loan. But the retailer dropped the project and now plans to build in Noblesville.

Since then, the 100-acre property has sat empty, and last year the owners divided it into separate lots to make it easier to sell to be developed with restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. About a year ago, Langdon began talking with GoodSports about the potential sports complex and hotel for the property.

GoodSports is buying 12 acres and building GoodSports Road between Graham Road and Innovation Parkway, as well as building Innovation Parkway to McColgin Drive. The property seller is County Line 101 Partners LLC, which is managed by Allen Langdon and Clark Byrum of Indianapolis. Scott Langdon, broker for the deal, is Allen Langdon’s son.

The location at County Line and Graham Roads is a good one because it’s accessible to all of the traffic passing by on I-65, GoodSports spokesman David Lindberg said.

Local household incomes and how many traveling sports teams the area has also were considerations when GoodSports chose Greenwood as a location, he said.

“We know that Indiana is a great sports market, and Indianapolis is really a hub for that,” he said. “The Midwest is a hotbed for indoor sports.”

The GoodSports facility’s day-to-day business during the week would primarily be hosting camps and league sporting events for children ages 7 to 18, with basketball, volleyball and wrestling tournaments on weekends. During events, families and sports teams can stay in the hotel, which offers rooms that include bunk beds for teammates. A Candlewood Suites hotel is located nearby on Graham Road. Officials said they expect the GoodSports facility would get about 18 percent of the restaurant and hotel business brought to the area by the athletic center.

The complex would have an 8,000-square-foot fitness center, which residents can buy memberships to and visitors can use, Lindberg said.

GoodSports builds two types of hotel and sports complexes, one version of which has the field house with the basketball and volleyball courts in a separate building from the hotel. The model proposed for Greenwood would include the hotel and field house as separate buildings, Lindberg said.

The hotel would include a cafe, conference rooms, arcade and youth lounge. The field house also could be used for indoor soccer, cheerleading, dance and conferences and weddings.

“It’s going to be huge. It’s going to be an economic boon for the area,” said Langdon, president of Langdon Real Estate Services in Indianapolis.

The concept is exciting to Thom Hord, a city council member and member of the redevelopment commission, whose family is involved in travel sports.

“I think the concept is awesome,” he said.

HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY

Here is a look at what has happened with the land where GoodSports Enterprises Global has proposed a hotel and field house:

2008: Cabela’s announces plans to build a destination retail store on the site. City officials touted the project as a tourist attraction.

2009: The city spent $640,000 to widen Graham Road to accommodate expected Cabela’s store traffic and $130,000 to come up with an $18 million loan.

The retailer canceled plans to build the Greenwood store.

2011: Cabela’s sold the land it bought to County Line 101 Partners, the group of real estate investors who originally sold Cabela’s the property.

2012: Cabela’s announced plans to open stores in Kentucky and Ohio, which would be smaller than the 125,000-square-foot store proposed for Greenwood.

2013: The property sat empty, and the owners divided it into separate lots to make it easier to sell and be developed with restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. Scott Langdon, real estate broker for the property owner, began talking with GoodSports about the potential sports complex and hotel for the property.

2014: Cabela’s announced plans to locate in Noblesville, north of Indianapolis.

GoodSports proposed using about 12 acres of the property for a hotel and field house facility.

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