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Springfield City Council is poised to vote Nov. 15 on the creation of a community improvement district that would enact a 1-cent sales tax at the Betty & Bobby Allison Sports Town project, now under construction south of the Springfield-Branson National Airport and just west of Deer Lake Golf Course.
The tax will apply to any business located within Sports Town, which will comprise 115 acres when completed.
Council agreed to invest $2 million in Sports Town, which is estimated to cost $22 million. The proposed tax would reimburse the city for its investment. Developers SGF Sports LLC, through a partnership with Philcrest Properties and L5 Management & Consulting, also have submitted an application requesting $4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the city, as ARPA funds may be invested in tourism projects, as well as water and sewer infrastructure.
The city’s director of economic development, Sarah Kerner, told council at its Nov. 1 meeting that the proposed tax could generate $50,000 to $80,000 per year once Sports Town is open.
She told council the $2 million investment will take the form of reimbursement for public improvements once the facility is completed, and the tax would pay that money back over time. More development at the site, including possible hotels and restaurants, would lead to a quicker recouping of the funds.
The public hearing for the establishment of the CID was held at the council meeting on Nov. 1. If approved by council, Nov. 15, the city would execute a cooperative agreement with the CID, to be called the SGF Sports Community Improvement District, and with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based SGF Sports, registered to developer Rob Phillips of Philcrest Properties.
If the CID is approved, the Missouri Department of Economic Development would be notified of its creation.
Council passed an infrastructure reimbursement agreement with SGF Sports for development of the private athletic complex that has come to be known as Betty & Bobby Allison Sports Town, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. The agreement commits the city to provide up to $2 million in public improvements and an additional $100,000 in financing costs.
The CID would have an initial term of 20 years, renewable until the city’s investment in the development is repaid, according to the explanation to council submitted by the city’s senior planner, Matt Schaefer. The CID will be governed by a five-member board to initially include Martin Gugel, John Haik, Rob Haik, Kerner and Bill Weaver. The mayor will appoint successor board members as needed.
The tax would be subject to approval of qualified voters within the district.
The city’s investment is earmarked to fund sanitary sewer, water and natural gas; regional detention basins; road and sidewalk improvements; design and permit fees; and contingency costs.
The Sports Town website states the complex will offer 12 outdoor sports fields, including four turf fields to allow for all-weather play. A 90,000-square-foot indoor facility would house four basketball courts that can be converted for use as volleyball courts, as well as two indoor soccer fields. Concessions and meeting or party areas are also part of the plan.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.