Talks have been ongoing with two to three developers about undeveloped property that sits close to Sam’s Club and Home Depot, Erie County Commissioner Pat Shenigo confirmed.
One developer has been consistently in talks for a year, he said. Shenigo declined to name any of the potential developers who are in talks, fearing it would negatively impact any possible deal. Confidentiality agreements have been signed, he said.
Developers expressing interest over the years have been from Florida, Cleveland and Columbus, he said. “Financing is tough to put together,” Shenigo said, talking in general about projects. No one has yet to put forward a package to fund the sports facility deal, he said.
The 2012 study concluded an indoor sports complex could reap a $54 million windfall each year for the local economy.
The area was targeted as a good location for a sports facility by the 2012 study because it sits on the highly travelled U.S. 250 and because of its proximity to area hotels.
The study said the area’s tourism industry could support the sports complex enough to fill 75,000 hotel rooms each year and attract some 300,000 new visitors in the off-season.
Shenigo said he supports the study’s assessment that a sports facility would fit into the area very well.
“I believe so” Shenigo said.
If any talks were to move forward, it would make a good project for the Erie County Port Authority, said Bill Monaghan, Erie County Commissioner.
“It would make sense for them to go through the Erie County Port Authority,” Monaghan said. “it would save them on taxes that they would have to pay for building costs”
The American Legends Park, a league baseball facility proposed to be developed across U.S. 250 from Kalahari Resorts by John Russell has yet to happen, seemingly due to funding that never materialized.