SBD/Issue 49/Facilities & Venues

Tax Break Clears Way For MLS Wizards Stadium Construction

New Home For MLS Wizards Set To Be Built
The Missouri Development Finance Board Thursday approved $30M in tax credits toward The Trails development in southeast K.C., clearing the way for LANE4 Property Group and MLS Wizards ownership group OnGoal LLC to "begin demolition of the old Bannister Mall site and start construction" of a $1B mixed-use project, according to Randy Covitz of the K.C. STAR. The "centerpiece of the project" will be a $100M, 18,500-seat soccer stadium, which is scheduled to open late in the 2010 MLS season or for the start of the 2011 season. OnGoal is investing about 71% of the capital required for the project, which will include the stadium, 12 soccer fields, 590 hotel rooms, 1.13 million square feet of mixed-use retail, 1.7 million square feet of office space and 18,249 parking spaces. Public taxing districts will "provide the additional 29[%], mostly through" tax-increment financing. OnGoal is also spending $60M on what OnGoal LLC CEO and Wizards President Robb Heineman "called 'eligible costs' such as  demolition, site preparation, land acquisition, road and parking lots in return for the $30[M] in tax credits that provide cash value to be reinvested in the project." Heineman conceded the current economic climate "may impact us a little bit." Heineman: "If you look at the broad credit markets right now, they're not great. So far for our group, that hasn't been an issue. ... The retail piece may lag behind just based on everything that is going on, but hopefully the stars align" (K.C. STAR, 11/21).

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