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Bonds may fund Goddard project

Friday, November 16 2012 12:00 AM

Bonds may fund Goddard project

By Jerry Siebenmark

The Wichita Eagle

The developers behind the STAR bond district at K-96 and Greenwich in northeast Wichita are considering another STAR bond project to the west of the city, in Goddard.

The project in Goddard could include as its centerpiece some kind of youth sports outdoor venue, including an Olympic training venue, said Korb Maxwell, a Kansas City attorney who represents Rick Worner, part of the development team leading the GoodSports Enterprises project at K-96 and Webb. Worner was also involved in the development of the Village West complex in Wyandotte County, which includes the Kansas Speedway, Cabela’s and Nebraska Furniture Mart.

“We continue to see opportunity in the $7 billion youth sports market, where there is a potential to create a unique attraction and destination development,” Maxwell said in an interview Monday. “We think Goddard has tons of potential and good highway infrastructure,” he said, referring to U.S. 54.

Last week the Goddard City Council approved a resolution to hold a Dec. 17 public hearing about establishing a STAR bond district. The 260-acre district would include developer John Dugan’s Goddard Galleria development as well as about 105 acres to the west of it in an area roughly bounded by U.S. 54 to the north, an abandoned rail line and now a bicycle path to the south, 199th Street to the west and 183rd Street to the east, according to Goddard city documents.

Maxwell cautioned that the project is in the early stages, and that the passing of the resolution in Goddard is really just an acknowledgement that the city has an interest in the developers pursuing a destination development.

“While we’re extremely excited about this I want to temper it by staying it’s the first step of a many-step process,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell said developers are still far from identifying the Goddard STAR bond project’s centerpiece, though an Olympic training venue is among the possibilities.

The GoodSports project is a $270 million, 370-acre project that would include a 53,000-square-foot indoor sports field house, part of a tourism and shopping destination district that also includes the nearby Cabela’s store that opened in March.

Goddard Mayor Marcey Gregory said she is realistic but enthusiastic about the proposed project.

“We’re just trying to do our due diligence right now,” Gregory said. “I’m excited about the possibilities.”

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