With the STAR Bonds officially approved and placed, the Sports of the World Complex could begin early construction phases as soon as this summer.
Building the massive, multibuilding complex will take about a year and a half to two years, said Amro Samy, owner of the Clarion Inn and a developer of the project. If further design and planning stages move along as scheduled, contractors should begin moving dirt and installing basic infrastructure for phase one of the development by this summer, he said.
Samy and American Warrior CEO Cecil O’Brate represented developer GC Investments and representatives from SMH Consultants in Dodge City and Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture in Wichita presented development plans for phase one, including a 160,000-square-feet main indoor complex, roughly 90-room hotel, new, two-story restaurant, outdoor courtyard and parking lots.
“We’re trying to capture everybody. The families, from young kids to older people, to come and congregate here and hang out. We're not catering to just one type of crowd ...“ said David Wells, a partner at SPT Architecture. “We’re trying to draw people in from all over this region.”
As of now, the main indoor complex will face north and include indoor basketball and volleyball courts, soccer fields and possibly little league baseball fields, a concession and lobby area and trampoline park, Wellls said.
Fans and onlookers will be able to watch games at the indoor courts and fields on pull-out stands on the ground floor and from an upstairs open mezzanine seating area, said Luke Dolechek of SPT Architecture.
Plans for the courtyard sitting before the Sports of the World’s north entrance show indoor and outdoor pickleball and sand volleyball courts, a long, turf field for lawn games, shuffleboard lanes, a small, open-air stage and concert area, picnic tables, a small mini-golf course and a building for concessions and bathrooms.
Current plans put the restaurant on the west end of the courtyard closer to Parrot Cove and the hotel across a new road: Sports of the World Drive.
“We really tried to get everything integrated … You can not just come out for an hour — you can spend a day, spend a weekend here pretty easily, especially if you’re in here for tournaments,” Wells said.
Before beginning construction, the city will need to address a hiccup in a state statute and local code, said City Manager Matt Allen and City Attorney Randy Grisell. State prohibits the sale of alcohol, which the complex intends to sell at its restaurant, within 200 feet of churches, schools and college campuses.
Under some interpretations of the law, Sports of the World, to be located directly behind the development holding Parrot Cove Water Park and Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom, would violate the law since its restaurant is within 200 feet of the property lines of church near Shulman Avenue.
The problem should be avoidable, Grisell said, by Garden City adopting the Kansas Attorney General’s interpretation of the law: that the 200 feet be measured from school and college property lines and church buildings. If that was the interpretation, the property would no longer violate the statute, he said.
Grisell said he would bring an ordinance addressing the new interpretation before the commission by its next meeting.
Most details of phase two of the project, which Evan Fitts of Polisnelli Law, the law firm representing GCI, said in July 2018 would include an ice rink, are still up in the air, including, Samy and Allen said, the location. The second phase of the development could be near the phase one complex, or it could be elsewhere in the STAR Bond district, including behind Menards or across the highway next to Garden City Community College.
“There was just a conversation of where they’re going to go with it, but nothing’s concrete yet…” Samy said. “Depending on a future developer, which way they want to go. We’re not going to be part of phase two.”
H.J. Swender of American Warrior, who also attended the meeting to represent GCI, said later in an email that GCI's "full focus is on completing and ensuring the success of phase 1 at this time" and that the company will further evaluate phase two in the future.
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