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Archive for Friday, August 3, 2012

Rec center will add $6M to economy, report says

August 3, 2012

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City leaders are now pointing to 6 million new reasons why they’re excited about a proposed northwest Lawrence recreation complex.

A city-hired consulting firm is estimating a new city-owned youth fieldhouse combined with a Kansas University track/field and soccer complex directly will inject about $6.3 million worth of spending into the Lawrence economy each year.

“As we continue to explore additional details about this project, I think we continue to be very encouraged,” said City Manager David Corliss. “The consultants can point to some pretty positive economic activity associated with the facility.”

The facility also is growing larger. The new documents detail the proposed facility has grown from about 172,000 square feet about a week ago to about 181,000 square feet currently.

Corliss said the new space is being devoted to additional indoor turf fields that can accommodate indoor soccer leagues.

“We think there will be quite a bit of demand for that,” Corliss said.

The new report was done by Convention Sports and Leisure International and attempts to estimate the economic impact if the city and KU proceed with plans to build a new sports complex at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.

The report makes several projections, including:

l More than $6.3 million would be spent each year by visitors of the sports complex, ranging from new hotel bookings to restaurant purchases and gasoline sales. Using a common “economic multiplier,” the consults project the spending from the recreation center will generate another $3 million of indirect spending in the community, bringing the total annual economic impact of the facility to about $9.2 million.

l The report projects the facility will host about 34 tournaments a year, and about 25 ticketed events, such as KU soccer and track and field events.

l Projections call for about 355,000 people a year to use both the fieldhouse and KU’s outdoor facilities. The report estimates about 20 percent of those visitors will need overnight lodging, creating about 9,500 new room nights annually for the city’s hotel industry.

l The report notes the project will not directly pay for itself. The report estimates that direct spending generated by the recreation center will add about $8 million in new hotel guest taxes and sales taxes to the city’s coffers over a 30 year period. As currently proposed, the city will pay $24 million for the facility over a 20 year period.

But Corliss said the city-commissioned study does not attempt to estimate new tax revenue that would be generated by additional retail development that is expected to occur on the property near the recreation complex.

City officials have released a new memo that estimates about 180,000 square feet of retail development could be housed on the approximately 130 acres that are adjacent to the complex.

The city memo envisions a mix of restaurants, convenience stores and at least two larger retailers of about 65,000 square feet apiece.

The new report also begins to shed some light on how much it may cost to operate the new facility. The hired consultants estimate the total complex — both the city and KU portions — would cost about $2.2 million a year to operate . The report projects the facility would generate roughly enough money through fees, concession sales, event advertising and other revenue to cover its costs.

Corliss, however, has developed his own estimate for operating the city-owned fieldhouse and is projecting fewer expenses but also less revenue.

Corliss and his staff estimate the fieldhouse will have about $960,000 in operating expenses. Those estimates include funding for nine full-time employees at the center and about 15 part-time employees. Corliss is estimating the fieldhouse will generate about $615,000 a year in revenue. Corliss is proposing to cover the approximately $350,000 a year shortfall through money that is generated by an already approved sales tax that funds several recreation projects.

City officials, though, said the operational expenses of the project may need more study. Johnson County Parks and Recreation, for instance, spends about $1 million a year to run its New Century Fieldhouse, which is less than half the size of the proposed Lawrence fieldhouse.

“We can’t be 100 percent certain on our operating expenses, but that is one area that can produce some variables, so we want to really look into that,” said City Commissioner Hugh Carter.

The proposed project, though, has good support on the City Commission. Mayor Bob Schumm and City Commissioner Mike Dever have both been deeply involved in negotiations with developers Duane and Steve Schwada, who are proposing to donate the 50 acres of ground the facility would sit upon, and with Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel, who is working with KU on the outdoor components.

On Friday, Carter said he also is very supportive of the project. He said the new economic estimates are another reason to support the project, but not the main reason the community should get behind the idea.

“The main reason we need to be doing this is to meet the recreation needs of our community,” Carter said. “That’s the main reason we are building this. The tournaments and visitors we can attract will be gravy for the community.”

City commissioners will receive a variety of briefings on the recreation center project at their Aug. 7 meeting, but they are not scheduled to take any formal votes related to zoning or financial commitments towards the project.

Comments

jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

It's not that I disagree with you about this whole issue of "he who spends the most, wins". What troubles me is the implication of that. It suggests things that I'd rather not believe. It suggests things like the electorate is so gullible, so uninformed, that I have trouble being troubled should that group not vote at all. Maybe reaching out to them and encouraging them to vote is the wrong thing to do, they being so uninformed. This is a whole area that I'm very uncomfortable going. The implications are bad and the solutions worse. Yet that's exactly what my intuition is telling me.

As I said above, maybe I ought to put my intuitions aside and accept that the advertising, the big bucks don't have the great influencing effect, even though studies suggest that they do. Basically, whichever direction this takes, I'm left with a troubling reality.

But back to the rec. center. Again, those numbers don't trouble me. As I've said before, when a dollar is spent, it's spent six times. And if a sporting goods store can be lured here, a couple of restaurants, a few more businesses, places for those out of towners to spend their money when they come to Lawrence for the volleyball tournament, basketball tournament, etc., and all that business activity produces jobs and produces sales tax revenue, then we see beyond just how much a rec. center costs and how much it produces.

Suppose I gave you this hypothetical. Look at every construction worker that will work on that rec. center. Every single carpenter, every plumber, etc. Now look at every single person that will work inside that rec. center. And add in all the people that might get hired at new businesses along with the construction of those new buildings. A hundred or more workers potentially earning millions of dollars. Now suppose I told you every single one of those people was currently on unemployment. Suppose I said they were receiving public benefits like health care, because of the status of being unemployed. Also food stamps. Suppose I told you every single one of them was underwater with their mortgages because they were unemployed. That's a large obligation, a large cost to government. And a continuing obligation should they remain unemployed. That would be the cost of doing nothing. Of course, I know that's an absurd hypothetical. Not all of those people are unemployed and on the public dole. Not all of them are underwater on their mortgages. But some of them are. i can't give you an exact number. But my intuition tells me they are out there.

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

It's been pretty well established that the candidate who spends the most money almost always wins, so the obvious power of spending money on ads is clear to me.

Advertising is extraordinarily effective at selling products, which is why advertising costs so much, and why businesses are willing to spend so much. If you think about it, they have to sell enough products at prices high enough to pay for all of their costs, including advertising, and still make a profit on top of that.

So, I'd say that the percentage of folks who aren't affected by advertising is pretty low - apparently, there are 3 of us on this forum, which is good, but doesn't represent the majority.

And, of course, the way that money corrupts means that Compton has more than his one vote - those with money influence in a variety of ways, including the "extortive" ways I've mentioned - if you don't give us a tax abatement, we'll just take our money somewhere else.

I'm horrified at turnouts, as you are - 12% is ridiculously low.

By the way, on another story about the rec center, we now have about $6.5 million in infrastructure costs for the city to add to the mix, resulting in about $37.5 million in tax dollars spent over 20 years or so, in order to reap $3.5-$8.6 million in tax revenue.

Why should we spend 10x as much to build this thing as we'll be getting over the next 20 years?

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Ill_Have_Another 1 year, 8 months ago

$24 million for 20 years plus $2.2 million per year. That equates to 68,000 very nice portable basketball goals. Whats wrong with playing in the driveway?

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 8 months ago

The city commission meets Tuesday evening. It's time to place our bets. If the commission decides to discuss this venture tomorrow, will the commission; A) move forward with this plan, B) back out of the plan, or C) go back to the original plan which was to build a recreation center on the west side?

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consumer1 1 year, 8 months ago

so? The taxpayers fund the 18 million dollar building, and the merchants get the money it generates? I don't get the math. How do I get some of my money back??

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beezee 1 year, 8 months ago

A lot of the reality involved here can be found at www.kansascity.com/2012/07/14/3721992... which apparently nobody in Larry-Land has bothered to peruse. Maybe someone send the link to Lawhorn and to county and city "leaders"? I've done the latter, but voices add up.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Do the pros outweigh the cons of the new proposed sports complex? The answer appears to be no. (Taxpayers are on the hook for the more than $20 million USD 497 sports project as we speak).

http://www.lawrencesmartgrowth.blogspot.com/

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 8 months ago

Closing neighborhood schools like Wakarusa and building mega-plexes to drive to, rather than local, neighborhood-specific projects. Nice.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

The project is so physically displaced in the community of Lawrence, however, it is a done deal.

Thus far no one, not even the Journal World has detailed how Fritzels are "giving" back to the community. We do know that the community is giving back 1.2 million a year to Fritzel's not for profit foundation and the community (most of whom will be dead in 20 years) will get a run down facility that needs millions more to upgrade.

So, again, $100 for the answer to" How is Fritzel giving to the community" And the next question: Is Duane donating 50 acres of land and plans no tax deduction? Is it really free?

The other $100 is still waiting to be claimed for the names of those who got the tickets acquired through either Sarna or Monroe or thus far other unnamed sources who provided the tickets to the KU games. Even the Journal World hasn't figured this one out and it is really simple. "

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blindrabbit 1 year, 8 months ago

Cant: Perhaps a little cultural depravity in the genes! Too much sports emphasis in this community anyway, but no complaints!

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 8 months ago

I would much rather have this rec center than all that other crap like the Community Theatre, Train Depot, Library, Lawrence Arts Center, Hendersons paycheck drunk shelter. At least this project has the potential to put some money into the town rather than just take from it.

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Sharon Nottingham 1 year, 8 months ago

Quit shoving this propaganda down our throats. This town cannot sustain this complex. 6 million you say? What a load of smelly socks.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

It is time in my estimation to revisit this 1994 sales tax and ask voters how elected officials should be spending this money. For any group of politicians to believe that voters blindly trust politicians with their tax dollars is not real and hasn't been for at least 50 years.

Bring the voting taxpayers back into the process after all we are the largest group of stakeholders in Lawrence,Kansas.

This money could build this community a nice Vo-Tech center. College grads could improve their opportunities for employment. High school grads could improve their opportunities for employment. Laid off employees could improve their opportunities for employment. Anyone seeking to broaden their horizons could improve their opportunities.

Providing a nice Vo-Tech would be expanding the higher education industry. Investing further into the industry of higher education would be a solid investment. Students are good for economic growth and they love Lawrence,Kansas.

Committing tax dollars to the "field house project" is likely on the upcoming city commission agenda which I believe is rushing it considering the amount of concern being voiced from just about every corner in Lawrence,Kansas.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

"Can the city approve this without a public vote?" Yes they can....

However there is nothing stopping them from putting this matter on the upcoming ballot which I believe is the ethical approach.

Politicians believe because they have the authority to spend tax dollars anyway they desire no questions should be asked and voters should simply trust their motivations. I know very few taxpayers who accept this position.

This 1994 sales tax is not dedicated to the park department in spite of the fact a large chunk has been funding park department projects. This money could be spent to rehab our elementary schools and remove the portable class rooms that has been talked about for years thereby avoiding a tax increase or a bond issue.

This money could be spent to rehab the library thereby eliminating a tax increase as I introduced to the city commission perhaps a year ago and the LJW more or less supported this proposal in an editorial. In fact 5%-10% of this sales tax could be dedicated to the library for operations still leaving 90% for other uses that benefit the all taxpayers.

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Biker 1 year, 8 months ago

Shouldn't the commissioners focus on their core mission of providing infrastructure and services (police, fire, roads) to the community? Quite honestly, I am not interested in what they have to say about anything else until our communities needs are completely addressed. Shouldn't we demand more out of leaders than this?

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

It's a done deal. But not one person has explained what Fritzel is "giving" to the community! Is Duane's land donation a charitable donation valued at how much? $100 for the answers and $100 for the names of those who got the tickets?

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 8 months ago

If this venture is all that profitable, then why do the developers need the city. Let them speculate on their own.

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James Minor 1 year, 8 months ago

Let's think this out, this is Kansas, pigs fly, we snap our heels together and $6M dollars profit just comes out of the sky!!! I would believe a $3M profit if an indoor track was built instead of an outdoor one for high school track events. Kansas high schools don't have an indoor high school track season. Bringing in high schools around the state and maybe the surrounding states would bring revenue to the area. Oh well, let me get the ole 12 gauge out, at least i'll have ribs tonight!!!!

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swan_diver 1 year, 8 months ago

Stop this give-away for a recreation center for the upper-middle-class, on the outskirts of Topeka, with a crafted ordinance that prohibits city funding without approval of taxpayers -- with a Kansas statute 12-3012 Initiative Referendum, requiring the signatures of 25% of the number of voters in the last city general election (April, 2011), in which almost no one voted. A petition must be circulated with an ordinance on it, to garner the signatures of the ascribed number of registered voters, in the coming couple of months, to force the city's hand, ahead of the November general election...

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

Answer the parts about what is free? Wilbur has offered $100 for the names of those who got the tickets. And now will offer $100. To the first person that can prove the 50 acres is free and not a charitable donation and likewise how much $$$ Fritzel's are "giving" back to the community. Has anyone seen this info in these articles? Carter cannot get retirees. To move here so now must get some soccer moms to come.

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LJ Whirled 1 year, 8 months ago

A special playground for the special people. You won't ever get to use it, but you do get to pay for it, and to build utilities for the special developers.

It's all very special.

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El_Mysterioso 1 year, 8 months ago

Convention Sports and Leisure Internaitonal are the same consultants who said Frisco, Texas would be a money-maker and Frisco's complex lost over a million just two years after opening. This company has had similar failutures in their predictions all over the country: Boston, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia Frisco, etc.

Mr. Corliss may wish to to find something more reliable to hang his hat on before asking Lawrence taxpayers to invest in this pie in the sky.

Are our commissioners really so gullible? Well, Cromwell is married to a Fritzel, so go figure.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

Why isn't Holcomb expanded? Why isn't a. Rec. center built around Prairie Park? What I want to know is exactly what Fritzel is "giving". to the community. Duane is donating. 50 acres. Of land for FREE. Is that correct or is it a charitable donation to the not for profit Fritzel group.So the question : What is really FREE?

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

I recently read this, though I cannot remember where, that every new dollar that is spent in a community is spent six times. Example, I go out to dinner while vacationing in Las Vegas. The cook gets some of that money as does the owner, the waitstaff, etc. They then spend that money on other restaurants, clothing, housing, etc. They then spend it at bars, grocery stores, etc. and then the next person in line spends it. Each time it's spent, it's taxed. So whenever these projections come in saying "X" number of dollars, we should remember that it's a lot more than "X" simply being taxed. It's 6X.

As to Merrill's idea of it going to a ballot. That sounds fine, until we look at the most recent election here. Sixteen percent of the voters actually took the time to vote. If a Rec. Center ballot was approved or disapproved with 8% +1, I'm not so sure that the will of the people have spoken with any more authority than allowing our elected officials to decide.

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CHEEZIT 1 year, 8 months ago

At least the rec center will be full of people several times a year. I have never seen a T-bus full, EVER, and we will be paying for that the rest of our lives!!!

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NotMeAgain 1 year, 8 months ago

Sure build the damn thing outskirts of Lawrence. Just so they can use the SLT and turnpike so no one will come into town to spend any Money. Smart move Lawrence. Then the people that live in Lawrence have to pay for the up keep on both projects that will hardly be used by the people that live in Lawrence. See the future with more taxes rising up and up and up and up.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 8 months ago

jayhawkFan1985: You're right Lawrence Downtown could do much better, but some observations from having a business down there!

Improvements to downtown are hobbled by an ineffective Downtown Lawrence Association, a self-serving Chamber, greedy real estate, and a poorly run City Business Development group!

Many businesses are operated by ex-hippie fat cats that made their move in the 1960-70's (if you get my drift). No incentive to make improvements if your from that background

Likewise, many Eastside and Old West Lawrence residents harken back to the 1960-70's when the "livin was easy". Many see any development downtown to be a further erosion of that!

Others: No public restroom facilities, too many homeless and unpleseant interactions, dirty streets and sidewalks, visitor center too remote, needs to be downtown, very poor Watkins museum, and most importantly, a antiquated form of City Government!

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 months ago

Can the city approve this without a public vote?

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 8 months ago

I say put the self-fritzel play palace up for referendum. If the commission refuses, it's time for a big time recall of all city commissioner who voted for this damn thing.

We have serious infrastructure needs in the city and our commission can't throw away money fast enough for the voodoo economics of this white elephant.

If it's such a wondrous thing let those who will reap the profits take the risks. It certainly is not us the average taxpayer.

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OonlyBonly 1 year, 8 months ago

Let's see "done by Convention Sports and Leisure International..." Now they wouldn't have anything to gain by this construction would they? Nah. "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" Attributed to many but actual first usage unknown

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 months ago

Consultants are paid to lie. Even the spokesperson from Johnson County Parks and Rec said we should be cautious in not oversaturating the area with mega complexes.

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puddleglum 1 year, 8 months ago

it seems clear that the majority of posters do not want this rec center, or at least the community is not in favor of the means by which it is coming together. only the city commission and fritzels seem in favor, with KU's tacit approval. so land is donated, but the city has to buy it back? that is not a donation, that is a loan. sounds like once it is in operation, KU will have large areas restricted to themselves...dont they have plenty of land on their west campus? and finally, the $6 million "boost" to the local economy....whoa! trickle down economics all over again! no one from a track and field tournament is going to be spending any money here, except for gas hotel and maybe mcdonalds. these tourneys bring in BUS loads of kids, not by car. they will be hangin out west of lawrence and any notion of them visiting downtown is a pipedream. imagine a tour bus trying to parallel park on mass! c'mon chad, give ' em both barrels. library, police center, new rec center that citizens can't use but we pay for it.....how much is enough? city commission, are you listening?

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

This is not a rec center that the general population will ever use. As far as Fritzel's go. If they are wanting to "give" back to the community then do just that. Build it and donate it. Their actions do not correlate with Oldfather's giving and/or Cerf. Sorry if you don't agree but bite me! This is a plan for the public to pay for infrastructure aka water , sewer, etc to the site just as it was with Free State. And the jail. Amd then development. Build public facilities and then develop. I cannot believe how dumb and gullible this town is.Now, bite me!

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true_patriot 1 year, 8 months ago

Absurd. There is no way they will be able to afford the annual cost and then the city will be out even more than the massive capital outlay required. Even now this same commission is considering whether to screw the taxpayer on a deal made on funding the downtown parking garage in order to hand out more developer welfare for yet another boondoggle across the street from it - taxes from any development there was supposed to flow into the parking garage funding which has been notoriously more expensive to maintain than the projections and now they are talking about reneging on that deal and using tax revenues to for handouts to those that don't need them.

As soon as the city is saddled with even more debt and unmanageable operating expenses from this new project, the pressure will be on to shut down or further gut other programs and services.

I do think Lawrence needs another athletic complex but when so many go to bed hungry and without adequate dental or medical care, now is not the time to be acting on absurd expense estimates and grandiose projects sold through biased reporters wearing rose-colored glasses. Seems like lately every story Lawhorn does is framed from the local developer perspective.

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 8 months ago

This is a great project, but it is in the worst possible location.

1) It needs to be very close to Free State High School. There is plenty of vacant land in that area. That way there can be a synergy between this project and commercial and residential developments in town. Think of it more as a small scale Kansas speedway in KCK with the legends, casino, NFM, etc. and less as an arrowhead or royals stadium with nothing around it.

2) People should be a able to walk, bike or take transit to it. West of K10 will require everyone to drive to it. that is a very transportation inefficient location. We will regret the west of K10 site for decades to come.

Couldn't indoor soccer be built in north Lawrence behind Johnnys to help downtown like the new sprint center in downtown kcmo? That would add a major Rec use downtown.

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Enlightenment 1 year, 8 months ago

So the new rec center would prompt more retail/commercial to be built in a town that is already retail heavy. What about the additional retail/commercial from the proposed North Lawrence Boardwalk development? Instead of building the rec center in west Lawrence, far from the city center, how about building it in North Lawrence so it would compliment the N. Lawrence Boardwalk project.

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kusp8 1 year, 8 months ago

I too find it dirty to agree with Merrill, but I am.

But...... Has anybody added this in with the improvement of Memorial Stadium? The current holdup is the track. Well they can't get rid of the track until there's another one built. THIS is why KU is involved. Just another thing to throw out there.

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Pete_Schweti 1 year, 8 months ago

Why not just use all the millions and millions of dollars all our other rec centers are raking in to pay for this, then? Oh, wait.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 8 months ago

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus ……Railroading of the program continues. Just who will really benefit financially from this project??

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Keith Richards 1 year, 8 months ago

And it is still as ugly as it has always been. Change the design you worthless architects.

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Gotland 1 year, 8 months ago

At least the city is wasting money on the westsdie for a change.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 months ago

“The main reason we need to be doing this is to meet the recreation needs of our community,” Carter said. “That’s the main reason we are building this. The tournaments and visitors we can attract will be gravy for the community.”

Baloney!

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Weather_Watcher 1 year, 8 months ago

I've read a number of major reports & studies over the years that there is not a single major sports complex baseball/football..etc., in a major city where the taxpayer does not come out on the short end of the equation. Yeah I know Lawrence is a minor city so it for sure will work here.

I can hardly wait to now support an overbuilt library, golf course, bus system along with a host of other feel good projects. Just another retiree thinking it may be time to pull up stakes.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 months ago

Someone commented eairler that they had heard that only KU could use the track and soccer facilities. So my question is why is KU even involved? I mean KU brings nothing to the table except their own interests. Economic impact? Have you ever seen the crowd for KU women's soccer? A couple hundred maybe.

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lunatic 1 year, 8 months ago

http://www.ci.lawrence.ks.us/assets/agendas/cc/2012/08-07-12/lsv_draft_report.pdf

Here is the full report. There is a lot of good things about this project. I say build it!

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KU79 1 year, 8 months ago

It's always entertaining to read the comments from the CAVE people. You folks are hilarious.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 8 months ago

Build the rec center beside the SLT.

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geekin_topekan 1 year, 8 months ago

Who can afford NOT to build this thing?

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softsun 1 year, 8 months ago

Do Not Let This Be A NO BID project!! You will kill it. KU athletics may have its own rules and with their Empress Bank on the West side be able to insist on KU portion of the construction be done by their "golden child" St. Thomas and his partners and relatives. A glance at the corporate records at the Secretary of State Office what Thomas Fritzell, agent for Fort Development, LLC and roughly the same partners at the Oread Hotel (Olivia Collection) did in Junction City coupled with the BKD Report http://www.junctioncity-ks.gov/UltimateEditorInclude/UserFiles/Common/Document/BKD_City_Housing_Report_08-03-2010_094158.pdf signals DFC received much of the profit from the scheme and other partners were left out. They are still mad about it. In spite of all, BKD report page 24, Olivia Farms development in Junction City has street names of Penny LN, Wilma Way, Sutter Woods Rd. where until recently much of the property tax have been unpaid and the City has had to take over the operation of sewer lift stations. It stinks. As the BKD report clearly points out is being developed by Fort Development, LLC "based out of Lawrence, Ks. " They are losing tons of money on the project and also the LOCAL Hotel is a financial disaster they all feed every month, where many Fort Development investors are also Oread investors and and condo owners. They are all pretty mad at St. Thomas for huge losses who now seems to have no choice but to try to redeam himself by getting all of them to play again here in Lawrence<:) BTW Construction costs of the rec center are $75.00 per sq foot for building and about 15 for equipment. Everyone says all should be well under $100 per sq ft. They are getting the figures blessed by a City person CW all work is actually being done by PW justifying charging $125.00 sq ft. They are going to get caught sure as the world. KU can chose their builder but that does not stop The City of Lawrence from selecting someone who has actually built one of these projects. We do not want City of Lawrence begging for a bail out from bankruptcy as happened in Junction City http://www.junctioncity-ks.gov/UltimateEditorInclude/UserFiles/Common/Document/BKD_City_Housing_Report_08-03-2010_094158.pdf The Self's Foundation is a great part of this mix, but the "Lawrence businessman" who was building the home where Coach Self now lives went to jail along with the Mayor. The U. S. District Court of Kansas Criminal Docket for Case #: 5:09-cr-40052-RDR-1 is public record of former Mayor and a former Lawrence businessman who led the U. S. Attorney to the KU Ticket scandal. You do not need a NO BID secret deal. ### You are a great City Commission and capable of doing this right. ####

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Use the 1994 sales tax dollars to further expand on the educational industry thus allowing college grads and high school grads to broaden their horizons thus making themselves a more marketable item.

Bring to Lawrence a nice VoTech Campus to further expand on the industry of higher education. Education made Lawrence what it is. Furthermore jobs for college grads are not in abundance which is to say why provide the tools to learn a skilled trade.

1

rtwngr 1 year, 8 months ago

These words taste nasty coming out of my mouth but I agree with Merrill about putting this on the ballot. I love these "consultants" projections about how much revenue things like this produce. The report is always full of, "if this, then that." There is no crystal ball that tells the future and projections are made on assumptions of future activities. I can't buy that.

For the last time, the high school athletic fields were worth every penny and they're great!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Other thinking ...

The City is in the process of developing a sports complex involving approving a shopping center on adjacent land that may not be needed and may not be good for the community. More low wage jobs in addition to the new low wage jobs attached to the hotel project.

Also allowing the KU Athletic Association to build structures on the site that may not be open to the public and for which no lease payment may be made to the City.

Additionally a big public investment in new infrastructure.

Where is the market analysis that indicates the capacity of this complex to attract sufficient external new tournaments to make the taxpayers' investment worthwhile?

Also the City is acting as if this is the only development possibility. It is not. The City could build a sports complex adjacent to Free State High School with many fewer problems. I believe the city owns the land.

Where is the comparative costs-benefit analysis showing that the City is better off with the large sports complex at the SLT rather than a sports complex at the Free State High School?

I say allow KU Athletics Inc, the self family,the Fritzel family finance the entire project if this is such a hot money maker. Leaving the taxpayers without risk.

Use the 1994 sales tax dollars to further expand on the educational industry thus allowing college grads and high school grads to broaden their horizons thus making themselves a more marketable item.

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CountyResident 1 year, 8 months ago

The headline says "Rec center will add $6M to the economy. But that money goes to the businesses that will benefit from the expenditures made by the city taxpayers. What is it that Obama said? If you have a successful business you didn't get there on your own. You had help along the way. Governments built you roads, etc.

Well, here is what I see the taxpayers of Lawrence will be putting into this project. The article says that over a 30 year period the city will spend $24 million for the facility, Pluse $10,500,000 in operating costs. (Arrived at by taking the annual shortfall of $350,000 over the estimated revenue generated by the center.) In return, the city taxpayers will receive $8 million in added new hotel guest taxes and sales tax. So, expenditures of $34 million create $8 million new tax dollars. So, why is this a good deal for Lawrence taxpayers?

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

The projection is that the city will make about $8 million in taxes over 30 years, but spend $24 million over 20 years.

Hmm.

And, pay at least another $350K/yr. to cover operating expenses.

Are they not teaching math any more in school?

3

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Put this project before the taxpayers to secure there is support for using the sales tax dollars for this project.

These 1994 sales tax dollars could be spent in other ways to improve our city. Such as a VoTech campus to further expand on an industry that works aka education. Students have proven their long term annual economic impact on Lawrence,Kansas.

What the city is hoping for is that this project MIGHT attract jobs and home buyers to Lawrence,Kansas. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by single-family housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.

Taxpayers could be providing $30-$40 million tax dollars to make this real estate project profitable. Which begs the question "Is this fiscally responsible use of tax dollars?"

Taxpayers are currently on the hook for the more than $20 million athletic project brought to the school district by the previous school board. That spending has yet to cease. This too was about economic growth. Is it working? Will it work?

Are taxpayers being strong armed?

2

irvan moore 1 year, 8 months ago

has mr corliss ever not been encouraged by a project the commissioners want

0

Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 8 months ago

All these new businesses are going to be supported by a rec center and 25 events a year? Good luck with that. When there is no event, this strip mall should close. I live west of Lawrence and there is no way any business will survive that far from town. The businesses at 6th & Wak are barely scratching by as it is. I dont mind the rec center except the part where Fritzel is milking the city but the idea of a bunch of restaurants and businesses making it out there is about 20 years away. If this project goes through, plus widen hwy 40 to 4 lanes to Stull Rd turn off please.

1

Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 8 months ago

"The report projects the facility will host about 34 tournaments a year, and about 25 ticketed events, such as KU soccer and track and field events." Are these new events or just moving current events already held in Lawrence to a different site?

0

FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 8 months ago

$6,000,000. WOW! "Rec Centers" sound like real 'money makers'.

Larryville should open a few more.

0

JackMcKee 1 year, 8 months ago

good it might offset some of the handouts being sprinkled all over downtown.,

1

biggunz 1 year, 8 months ago

The city should just hire some of the know-it-alls on the LJW forums, it would be much cheaper.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

Does the 2,2 million a year to operate include the 1,2 million a Year. To Fritzel's who want to "give back" to the community? Who is giving to whom? In my opinion. I am shocked that Duane would partner with this scheme. , I really am. The public is being duped .

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 8 months ago

If. Carter wants to meet recreation needs of the community then put rec centers throughout the community. Just as with the library, branches would make more sense. This rec center will prove to be a $$$$$$$$$ drain on the taxpayers. At what point will Schumm and Carter and Dever realize that i Lawrence is becoming too expensive to live in? or do they even care? Their egos. Are bigger than any rec center they could build.

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alcoholbliss 1 year, 8 months ago

put bum meters in front of it and send out coupon discount mailers like schumm BBQ it just might.

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Number_1_Grandma 1 year, 8 months ago

"Rec center will add $6M to economy, report says"

Just like all other projections the city makes, always comes up short. Just like golf course .

1

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