GODDARD, Kansas – The long-awaited groundbreaking of the Goddard Destination Development project took place Thursday at the construction site in town.
“I didn’t win the Powerball last night, but this is the next best thing,” said Goddard Mayor Marcey Gregory. “It’s awesome. I’m so glad.”
The project’s development on the western edge of Wichita, experts told KSN News, could bring “exponential economic growth” to the city of Goddard.
The Goddard City Council approved a STAR bond development agreement and project plan in April 2014.
Many residents told KSN News they were disappointed it’s taken this long to break ground on the project.
“A project of this size and this scope just takes a long time to get everybody in place and get everything financed,” said Mayor Gregory.
The $130 million project would change the western edge of Wichita, spanning 200 acres. The STAR bond district stretches from 183rd Street west to 199th Street in Goddard, located near the new Wal-Mart.
Officials with the city, investors, and developers believe the facility will promote businesses to build in Goddard.
“The potential for this project, with the jobs that it will bring and the revenue that it will add to our businesses that are currently here is just great,” said Gregory.
“This project could be the ‘spark plug’ for Goddard,” said Rick Worner, the Managing Director of National Realty Advisors, an Investment Banking Firm located and operated out of Leawood, Kansas.
“I’m hoping that we’ll build [and] spur retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, and spark this Western part of the Wichita metro area,” continued Worner.
Housing is also expected to develop in the immediate surrounding area, in response to the building project.
“We will probably see additional housing, whether apartments or single-family homes,” said Bruce D. Neviaser, a principal for Imagine Resorts and Hotels, a developer involved in the project.
Neviaser told KSN News the project is even larger than initially planned.
“We added the health club, we added another pool, we expanded the family entertainment center, we put in the sports bar,” he said. “You can go bowling, you can do the laser tag, you can go swimming, and then go and have a nice meal.”
Developers present at Thursday’s groundbreaking said, to date, the hotel and aquatic center is scheduled to open on or around April 1, 2017.
According to statements released in 2014, once built, the 88,000 square-foot, four-story, 141-room hotel will feature a restaurant and sports bar, a business center, an indoor pool and a fitness room. The Crowne Plaza brand recently introduced a new room concept called Biz Pro Rooms. Appointed with upscale amenities, including multiple USB ports, the hotel will feature 25 of these new room styles.
Expanding more than 100,000 square feet, the 1250-seat aquatic and wellness center will feature four pools, including a long course pool, a short course pool, a 25-meter training pool, a 25-meter dive pool and a therapy pool. The aquatic and wellness center will also have 4500 square feet of training rooms ideal for athlete training, meetings, corporate events, school and sports team functions, birthday parties, family reunions and more.
For more information about Goddard’s STAR bond and its district, click here.