Noblesville City Council OKs final agreement for $15M youth sports facility

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The Noblesville City Council approved the final agreement for a proposed $15 million youth sports complex Tuesday night.

The Noblesville Fieldhouse, which is being developed by Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities LLC, is expected to contain five hardwood courts for volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, pickleball and futsal; plus 75,000 square feet of turf for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse; and concession stands and medical training space.noblesville fieldhouse 1000px

The 130,000-square-foot fieldhouse will be developed on a 10-acre property in the 200-acre Finch Creek Park on Boden Road.

Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities, led by Andy Card and Mike Klipsch, is set to buy the property for $500,000, or $50,000 per acre, from the city.

Initially, the city had said it would contribute up to $800,000 annually for the fieldhouse operations and would have the ability to rent the facility to the public during weekday hours. Instead, the city has agreed to pay up to $550,000 per year for 20 years toward operations. In return, the fieldhouse is required to offer local not-for-profits and community groups a 25 percent discount off standard court rental rates.

According to the agreement, the fieldhouse plans to schedule events and court time at least 90 to 120 days in advance, so local organizations will need to provide as much notice as possible when requesting courts or fields. If the requested time isn’t available, the agreement says the fieldhouse “will use its best efforts to identify other times that might work.”

Klipsch-Card will pay all of the operating costs and $300,000 in annual property taxes. The city will use the $300,000 in property tax revenue and $250,000 in tax-increment financing dollars to pay for its yearly contribution.

The developer also has an option to purchase up to an additional 10 acres for seven years. Any land purchased before Jan. 1, 2019, would be sold for $70,000 per acre.

In additional to the annual financial contribution, the city will pay for $4 million in infrastructure improvements, including extending water, sewer and electrical services to the Finch Creek Park boundary, making improvements to Boden Road and building a detention pond and stormwater infrastructure.

Finch Creek Park is expected to eventually include multi-purpose athletic fields, baseball/softball fields, outdoor courts, trails, playgrounds, shelters, an outdoor events area, a nature center, dog park, open space for disc golf and a skating area, in addition to the fieldhouse.

Phase one for the park, which received council approval in December, is estimated to cost up to $9.7 million and would include a playground, splash pad, three shelters, restrooms, basketball and pickleball courts, parking lots and utilities.

The city plans to pay for for the first phase with $2.5 million in impact fees, $500,000 from the sale of the fieldhouse property and $6.7 million in bond proceeds. The $9.7 million budget includes the $4 million in infrastructure work the city agreed to complete as part of its contract with Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities.

The City Council voted 6-1 to approve the final agreement with Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities on Tuesday. Council member Mark Boice voted against it, and council members Rick Taylor and Brian Ayer were absent.

Boice also voted against the preliminary agreement in December, saying city’s tax dollars needed to be allocated to more pressing needs such as road infrastructure.

Construction on the fieldhouse is expected to start in July and should be complete in 2018.

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