SBD/January 16, 2014/Facilities

Proposal For Las Vegas Downtown Arena Calls For $239M In City-Provided Funds

Las Vegas would use $187M from bonds backed by arena revenue to fund the project
The city of Las Vegas "plans to continue working with Cordish Companies to develop" a $390M downtown sports arena, with the city paying $239M raised "in part by a special tax on downtown businesses," according to Benjamin Spillman of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The terms are "attached to a proposal to extend by four months a three-year-old exclusive negotiating agreement with Baltimore-based Cordish," which would contribute $151M to the deal. It is scheduled to "go before the city council Jan. 22." If approved, Cordish and the city "would have until June 1 to finalize a development agreement based on the proposed terms." If the development agreement "isn’t finalized by then, Cordish would walk away" with about $2.4M based on the initial agreement from '10. If the council "rejects the extension, the city’s existing negotiating agreement with Cordish would expire by the end of the month." The proposed terms show the city would "fulfill its end" using $187M from "bonds backed by arena revenue, nearly $52 million from a special improvement district ... and $3 million from a tourism improvement district funded through sales tax." City Manager Betsy Fretwell said that "aspects favorable to the city include a provision that the city would be repaid for its contribution before the developer and that the city would own it." The downtown proposal is "one of several local arena projects in varying stages of development" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/15).
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