The GoodSports Enterprises construction trailer was removed Tuesday from the site and a portion of the fencing also is gone, but city and company officials say it is not an indication that the $22 million fieldhouse/hotel project is in jeopardy.
GoodSports vice president of development Anthony Homer said the trailer was removed because “we haven’t been able to secure financing. We don’t have a schedule yet.”
Although the construction trailer was installed in April, there has been no activity at the GoodSports site, and recent City Council discussions have focused on the company’s commitment to Huber Heights.
The city has asked GoodSports for a $150,000 payment as an act of good faith since construction has not started, but it is unclear if the company will comply with the request.
Councilman Mark Campbell, chair of the Administration Committee, said last week that GoodSports should wire $150,000 to the city’s account by Monday to “reconcile the relationship.”
“It’d go a long way in convincing me they’re still on board,” Campbell said. “They need to put up. They’ve put up nothing.”
That transaction has not occurred yet, according to Homer, who said Tuesday he was not aware of a deadline. He said the request is beyond the scope of the development agreement between the city and GoodSports.
Homer said it is “not unreasonable,” but it’s “tough to make decisions about $150,000 that quickly.”
“I don’t know what the decision will be,” Homer said. “We understand where they’re coming from. They want to make sure there’s some additional skin in the game, so to speak.”
In January, Homer said the company finalized its financing around the first of the year. But he said Tuesday the financing for $130-plus million for six complexes fell through in the spring, and GoodSports is now focused on the two cities it has developments agreements with — Huber Heights and Wichita.
According to the second amended agreement with Huber Heights, GoodSports must complete construction by Sept. 1, 2015, or the land will be turned back over to the city.
“I believe that is still achievable,” Homer said. “We’ll be pushing it right up to the wire.”
GoodSports — a Florida company aiming to specialize in athlete-centric villages — announced in March 2013 its intentions to build a fieldhouse/hotel complex along Executive Boulevard, west of Meijer near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 interchange.
Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer also said the trailer was removed to prepare that area for the new TJ Chumps restaurant that plans to open by the end of the year.
“It’s a concern that they’re not ready to close (on the financing),” Schommer said. “But they’ve been really open with us that that’s the step they’re in. Their timeline has changed; ours has not. We are moving forward, and that included reaching out and getting the trailer moved.”
Music center construction crews extended utility lines to the site and prepared the building pad last fall, a cost of about $300,000.
According to the development agreement, Huber Heights will contribute about $2 million in incentives to GoodSports, including giving the company approximately six acres of land; building a shared parking lot with the music center of 400 spaces; constructing and extending water and sewer lines to the site; and providing public sidewalks and landscaping.
Assistant city attorney Gerald McDonald said GoodSports has not contributed any money to help cover the city’s expenses.
“I will be very concerned if GoodSports does not step up and make a financial commitment of at least $150,000 in good faith demonstrating their commitment to Huber Heights,” Campbell said.
Council voted Monday night to amend the property sale agreement with TJ Chumps. The city will receive $450,000 for the land, with the remaining $150,000 deferred if an athletic facility — such as GoodSports — is built next to the restaurant within two years.
If construction does not begin within two years, the $150,000 payment will be waived. Council originally agreed June 9 to sell the 3.013-acre lot to TJ Chumps for $600,000.
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