League City agreement will fund new sportsplex, developments

A conceptual drawing of what Epicenter League City could look like once developed.

A conceptual drawing of what Epicenter League City could look like once developed.

League City has struck an agreement that includes funding for building a new sportsplex and turning the current Chester L. Davis Sportsplex into a mixed-use development with spaces for live entertainment, hotels, shops, restaurants, professional sports, offices and more.

City Council unanimously approved a predevelopment agreement with private developer Epicenter of League City LLC during a special closed meeting Tuesday. As part of the partnership Epicenter will turn the sportsplex at 1251 Hwy. 96 into Epicenter League City, a hub for entertainment and recreation, said Sarah Green Osborne, League City's director of communications and media relations.

Epicenter will also fund the design and construction of a new, much larger sportsplex to replace the Davis Sportsplex, which is at capacity. The new sportsplex will be built on 106 acres of city-owned land on the west end of Ervin Avenue, west of I-45.



When asked why Epicenter wanted to develop on the site of the current sportsplex instead of elsewhere, city officials said the location is a great parcel for development because of its proximity to I-45 and how easily it is spotted by commuters.

“It’s about location, location, location,” Osborne said.

Mayor Pat Hallisey said the city has missed several golden opportunities in the past because it did not rise to the challenge. This time it did, and it paid off, he said.

“I think that this offers a wonderful opportunity within our community for a win-win-win situation,” he said.

The users of the sportsplex get a bigger and better facility, taxpayers do not have to pay for it, and the city will get more tax revenue to use to address the city’s drainage and traffic challenges, Hallisey said.

Council member Nick Long agreed, saying the sportsplex is at capacity, but the city cannot justify spending $35 million on new ball fields when it is facing a potential $230 million bond to fix more pressing issues in the city, he said.

“Without this it would be extremely difficult to redo those ball fields,” Long said.

The new sportsplex will be bigger than the current one.[/caption]

Hallisey said the city offered Epicenter no incentives for the agreement. The council views the deal as mutually beneficial to both parties, Hallisey said.

“We did not entice them with financial contributions, and, gosh, are we happy that’s not the case here,” he said.

The agreement is the first hurdle of many, but council members said they like what they have seen so far. It is too early to tell how much the work will cost or exact dates when work will be start or end, but the city’s goal is to get this project going sooner rather than later, Osborne said.

City Manager John Baumgartner said the city is working toward approving a development agreement by early 2019.

There will be no interruption of services to sportsplex users while the new sportsplex is constructed; the new sportsplex will be completely built before the current one is demolished, Greer said.

For more information on Epicenter, visit www.epicenterleaguecity.com, email info@epicenterleaguecity.com or call 833-374-2687.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

Judge Roberto Delagarza
Houston creates new system for low-income residents to address late court fees

The system was among the recommendations made by the mayor's police reform task force in their report.

(Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
Shogun Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court rules Harris County drive-thru, curbside voting can continue

More than 98,000 ballots cast at drive-thru polling sites across Harris County will be counted in the Nov. 3 election.

College of the Mainland in early 2020 converted a Methodist church at 1411 W. Main St. into an educational facility to replace the former League City location, which the college outgrew. (Courtesy College of the Mainland)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Floor & Decor coming soon to Webster and more

Here is a roundup of local business news in Clear Lake and League City

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drive-thru voting in Harris County becomes popular and more top Houston-area news

Read top stories from the past week from the Houston area.

Up to 40,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas members could be impacted if a contract agreement cannot be reached. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CHI St. Luke's Hospital faces potential contract termination with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at multiple Houston, Southeast Texas locations

If an agreement cannot be reached, up to 40,000 Houstonians could find their local hospital is out of network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

houston skyline from afar
State of the city: Mayor Sylvester Turner warns Houston’s recovery could be slow, inequitable

The mayor touted the city's resilience but said that recovery from the coronavirus recession is starting to leave vulnerable communities behind.

Lane Graham at Hall Elementary shows off the observer he made in engineering lab. (Courtesy Clear Creek ISD)
Clear Creek ISD ignites students’ STEM passions virtually, in person through enhanced science programs

Liaisons for the Science Magnet and Elementary-STEM programs said the experiences young learners gain through enriched STEM education are critical in maintaining their social and emotional health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks during BayTran's 21st Annual State of the Counties. (Courtesy BayTran)
Area county judges reflect on COVID-19 during BayTran State of the Counties

Though the event was held virtually this year, county leaders had a lot to say during the 21st Annual State of the Counties for the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Juergen's Hall Community Center in Cy-Fair. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County’s early-voting turnout up 23% over same time frame in 2016 general election

The five busiest polling locations in Harris County have averaged more than 1,700 in-person voters daily thus far during early voting.

Houston City Council passed a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s tax rate of $0.56792 per $100 valuation. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston approves lower tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21 amid calls for further reductions

The rate may still result in an increase for some taxpayers with the average homestead property value rising about 4%.