Edmond News: I-35 & Covell Conference Center and Sports Complex

Edmond officials are working on agreements for a full service hotel and conference center and a sports complex near Covell Road and Interstate 35. City officials are planning to spend $11 million on the projects.

EDMOND — Six agreements that will give Edmond a full-service hotel and conference
center and a sports complex are being drafted and negotiations finalized. City officials
hope to have the deals signed by the end of October.

 
Capital Projects and Financing Task Force members reviewed the terms of the
agreements this week during a special meeting.

 
City officials are proposing to spend $11 million on the deals for the developments at
Covell Road and Interstate 35. The money will come out of a sales tax passed in 2000
for capital improvements. The task force oversees the money.

 
Building a conference center in Edmond was discussed in Edmond Economic
Development Authority minutes in the 1970s, said Executive Director Janet Yowell.
Since 2005, there have been four studies about the feasibility of building a conference
center, what size is needed and a location.

 
The developments on the table will be private-public partnerships. City leaders say the
two projects will bring in economic development for Edmond and more sales tax
money.

 
Council members have purchased 7.13 acres of land on the northwest corner of the
interstate and Covell Road for $2.2 million using the real estate property fund, which
comes from interest money on the hospital trust fund designated to buy property.

 
Plans are for Covell Partners in Development LLC to build a 160-room Hilton Garden
Inn with a restaurant, lounge or bar, pool and fitness room. The projected cost of the
rooms is $142 a night. The conference center will be about 20,000 square feet with
banquet facilities for up to 800 people.

 
City officials are proposing to pay $4.8 million on the conference center, which the city
will own.

 
Covell Partners will manage the operations and pay all the utilities. In return, the city is
proposing to pay from $173,720 the first year up to a maximum of $256,350 in year 15
for management fees.

 

Those figures were calculated by the amount of hotel-motel tax that should be collected
from the hotel. The money would be turned over to the city and then returned as a
payment for management and operations, said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons.
The second development is with Summit Sport Complex, a 170,000-square-foot indoor
sports complex with two indoor soccer fields, 10 basketball courts and 18 volleyball
courts.

 
City officials are proposing to purchase 19.35 acres of undeveloped land at the
northeast corner of the interstate and Covell Road for $2 million for the sports
complex.

 
A sports complex ground lease calls for Summit Sports to rent the property for
$60,000 a year. The city has the option to sell the property at any time for $2 million
for up to 15 years.

 
Task force members want city staff to provide them with details on what the worse-case
scenario would be if the project fails.

 
“If the deal goes south, what will we end up with?” asked Tom Davies, task force
member.

 
City Manager Larry Stevens said the city intends to get back $9 million of Edmond’s $11
million investment.

 
The task force will vote on three of the agreements at their next meeting Oct. 16.
Council members will make a final decision Oct. 22.

 
The agreements are to purchase the land for the sports complex and spend $4.8 million
on the construction of the conference center, where the Edmond Convention and
Visitors Bureau would be housed.

 
The third agreement would be to repay the real estate property fund with money from
the capital improvement tax fund for the purchase of the land for the conference center.

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