Additions to south of downtown will include an antique mall, RV park and 3,000-seat amphitheater.
The city's core redevelopment project south of Wyatt Earp Boulevard will likely include an antique mall, a 3,000-seat amphitheater and a 6-acre to 8-acre recreational vehicle campground along with the previously reported restaurant, hotel and water park.
An expansion of the Lewis Ford-Lincoln dealership on Wyatt Earp Boulevard is also included in the list of proposed commercial enhancements that would benefit from the tax project district and in turn benefit the area's facelift with its sales.
The information emerged as part of the state's requirement for the city to commission a feasibility study to determine if the planned new business could reasonably cover the cost of the sales tax-funded bonds needed to update the area's aging infrastructure and other eligible civic projects.
The Orlando, Fla., based analysis firm Real Estate Research Consultants, will have a feasibility study ready for the city in approximately six to eight weeks. The company performed similar research for the Village West STAR bonds development in Kansas City, another project coordinated by Dodge City's real estate consultant Bill Crandall and his firm.
The state's STAR bonds program allows for the financing of projects based on increased sales tax revenues by diverting the state's and municipalities' share of the taxes to pay the bonds. Special sales taxes like the "Why Not Dodge?" tax, jail tax and Horsethief Reservoir tax totaling 1.65 percent in Dodge City will continue to be collected as usual.
The amount of sales taxes diverted to pay the bonds is based on the revenue added after redevelopment.
STAR bonds were designed to make it easier for municipalities to redevelopment sections with both public and private investment. Infrastructure improvements will be a major cost saving for the private investors, but a significant portion of the bonds revenue must go to assist a specific attraction.
The Boot Hill Museum has been long seen as the recipient for that portion of the STAR bonds money with an expansion of its museum space and a new building with south-facing commercial spaces. The water park could also be another recipient, especially considering recent desires to expand that project's budget beyond $10 million.
Infrastructure improvements, including new parking, walking paths and landscaping, are the top priority to make the area attractive to investors, City Manager Cherise Tieben said.
For the other portion, "Boot Hill was our priority from the beginning, but there is an opportunity here if we're really successful and can generate enough revenue to do something with phase two." As for the water park: "I don't want to rule it out. We're researching every aspect we can for opportunities for optional funding for the park."
The water park will be built on the northeast portion of Wright Park. The Leisure Group hopes to build its new hotel on the block between Fourth and Fifth avenues and Park and Trail streets.
At an earlier pitch meeting, representatives from the Leisure Group pitched an expansive vision for the area including outdoor entertainment, dining and shopping.
Other beneficiaries of the project would include the historical downtown district, specifically along Front Street and Gunsmoke Street, which are seen as having strong potential for boutique shopping, dining, entertainment and second-floor apartments.
The southern STAR bonds district is one of two in the city. The other is near the Boot Hill Casino and Resort, but the city and its real estate development consultants have signaled that it expects to ask the state to shift that incentive district to a property recently optioned on the northeast corner of town.