The Wichita City Council last week designated a 400-acre site in east Wichita as a STAR bond district that can issue debt supported by revenues from the state’s 6.3% sales tax.

The $270 million development could be financed by proceeds of the sales tax revenue bonds if the project is approved by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Incremental revenues from the state’s 6.3% sales tax on activity within the district, which is currently undeveloped, would support the bonds.

The Commerce Department will determine the amount of city-issued STAR bonds the project can receive. The maximum amount is 50% of the development costs.

Wichita, which does not levy a municipal sales tax, would pledge its share of the incremental revenue from Sedgwick County’s 1% sales tax generated within the district.

Developers must guarantee $50 million in annual sales upon completion, and a private investment of $50 million.

GoodSports Enterprises wants to build a 53,000-square-foot indoor sports field house as part of a retail, dining, and entertainment district that includes a large outdoor sporting goods store currently under construction.

Plans also include a 115-room luxury hotel.

The developer’s preliminary financial impact study estimates the athletic complex would attract 300,000 visitors and spectators in the initial phase.

State law mostly limits the use of proceeds from STAR bonds to land acquisition and infrastructure, but it does allow the use of proceeds to finance construction of a major multi-sport athletic complex.

Bond proceeds would also finance completion of a highway interchange at the district, land acquisition, and street construction.

Upon completion, the district is expected to bring in one million out-of-state visitors a year, generating demand for 458,000 hotel rooms.

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