Plans for $40 million sports/entertainment complex in Greenwood called off

A $40 million-plus sports, entertainment and hospitality complex in Greenwood proposed by Indy Fuel owners Jim and Sean Hallett and Indianapolis-based developer Gershman Partners has been called off, Mayor Mark W. Myers announced Tuesday afternoon.

A statement from the mayor said the Hallett family had informed him of its decision not to proceed with the Greenwood Sportsplex, which was to be built at the southeast corner of the Interstate 65 and County Line Road interchange.

The $25 million, 175,000-square-foot Sportsplex was expected to anchor the overall sports, family entertainment and hospitality complex on 60 acres along Interstate 65. Without the Sportsplex, the rest of the development isn't viable, officials said.

“We have exhausted our efforts in an attempt to facilitate a successful project,” Myers said in the statement. “It is unfortunate that circumstances outside of our control have created an unworkable deal structure. As those in commercial development know, with many parties working together, one wrinkle has the ability to create significant ripple effects.”

The Halletts had originally planned to build a slightly smaller ice skating and hockey facility in Freedom Park, about five miles southwest of the current site, but dropped that proposal when nearby residents and members of the Greenwood Common Council expressed concerns about the location.

Jim Hallett said the latest proposal hinged on the developers’ ability to get a sizable, one-time rebate from Indianapolis Power & Light Co.

“After switching from the initial site to another site and then after months of negotiation, with the incentives that we were getting, at the end of the day, it wasn’t viable to make the financial commitment,” Jim Hallett told IBJ on Tuesday afternoon.

The Halletts said they sought a rebate from IPL of up to $2.7 million for a $5 million energy-saving system that would cut the facility’s annual power usage 40 percent. They said IPL offered just $150,000.

In January, Sean Hallett told IBJ the two sides had been at an impasse for more than three months and were still miles apart.

Asked if the failed attempt to get the rebate affected the decision to abandon the project, Jim Hallett said, “absolutely.”

The Halletts had planned to install an Eco Chill ice-making and chilling system for two full-size ice rinks at the proposed complex. Plans also called for five basketball courts, a fitness and training facility, pro shop, locker rooms and food service facilities. The turf fields would be convertible into two additional ice rinks and the basketball courts would be convertible into 10 volleyball courts.

The Halletts and co-developer Gershman Partners said in June 2017 that they had signed letters of intent with Greenwood to develop the project and were seeking an incentive package worth $8.5 million from the city.

Gershman said it planned to spend an additional $15 million on the initial phase of the overall development, which would have included another 125,000 square feet of entertainment, dining, retail and hospitality projects.

The developer said it had early agreements in place with Xscape Theatres and Main Event Entertainment to serve as anchors for that portion of the development. Xscape operates multi-screen movie theaters, and Main Event operates bowling-alley entertainment facilities that also offer laser tag, billiards, bars and dining.

Ten outlots at the development were planned to include a 200-room hotel, convenience store and restaurants. The site also could have included medical and office space.

Myers said the city would continue attempts to attract development to the site.

“Working closely with the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission, my staff and I have pursued each project at this location with rigor, diligence and the motivating spirit that drives us every day—pride and progress,” he said. “With that said, it is time to move forward, roll our sleeves up and get back to work.”

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