Eudora signs deal for company to bring mini-golf, bowling, regional entertainment complex to area
photo by: Submitted graphic
Eudora has found an anchor tenant for the Nottingham redevelopment project, which will attempt to transform the old elementary school site into a regional tourist destination.
On Jan. 11, the Eudora City Commission approved the sale of about 3.5 acres of the Nottingham property to the Austin, Texas,-based family entertainment company Anchor Sports & Entertainment LLC, which is doing business in Eudora as High 5 Entertainment. Under the agreement, High 5 will take title in April to property in the southeast corner of the Nottingham site. The property is fronted by Church Street and bounded by 15th Street to the north, the Eudora Community Center to the south and Elm Street to the west.
Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said High 5 is a growing company in the family arcade and entertainment industry. It plans a 30,000-square-foot indoor facility and a 25,000-square-foot outdoor activity area. Planned activities include such things as a bowling alley, a laser tag facility, an axe throwing range and a miniature golf course, as well as a dining area.
In 2015, the City Commission bought the now-razed Nottingham Elementary School and surrounding 15 acres from the Eudora school district for $850,000 with the intent of bringing retail development to the site on the city’s Kansas Highway 10 gateway. The stated goal was to retain more sales tax dollars in the community by providing residents local retail opportunities not currently available in Eudora.
The City Commission decided in late 2019 to take the lead in Nottingham’s development when previous attempts to have developers take the lead role failed because they could not get commitments from the anchor tenants needed to make redevelopment plans work.
The High 5 development flips the previous script by bringing people and tax dollars to Eudora with the addition of something not available in other communities. Matite said High 5’s market research shows the Nottingham facility will be a regional tourist attraction that draws people from the Kansas City metropolitan area on the east, Topeka on the west and as far north as Leavenworth.
Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said he hopes High 5 will make the remaining unsold Nottingham lots more attractive and still hopes to attract hardware and auto parts stores to the Nottingham site. The High 5 facility should greatly increase interest in the remaining lots set aside for restaurants, he said.
Crews started work in November to install the streets, sewers, water lines, storm drainage and other infrastructure needed before businesses can start building on Nottingham’s phase 1. Casey’s General Stores and the Wendy’s restaurant franchisee Legacy Group LLC have bought phase 1 lots with the intention of starting construction when infrastructure work is finished.
Matite said the infrastructure needs for the High 5 site will now be folded into phase 1 construction. The infrastructure work should be completed in May or June so that High 5, Casey’s and Legacy groups can start construction on their lots, he said.
With its location adjacent to the Eudora Community Center, the High 5 facility creates opportunities for programming partnerships with Eudora Parks and Recreation, Reazin said. The latest Nottingham site plan preserves green space northwest of the High 5 facilities to encourage such joint ventures, he said.
The Eudora City Commission has a goal of increasing tourism in the community, Matite said. With the High 5 development enhancing those prospects, community economic development discussions have expanded beyond Nottingham to other compatible opportunities, such as a motel, he said.
“The city’s goal has been tourism,” he said. “This (High 5) gets us there. We’re still looking to fill gaps in our local retail environment. This goes beyond Nottingham. We’re looking to how we can build on this momentum to see what other things are possible.”