STAR deal in Goddard crashed after developer asked for more incentives

A deal between STAR bond district master developer Goddard Destination Development and the Garden City-based S&O Investments fell apart after S&O asked for additional incentives from Goddard, according to the city.

S&O introduced the requests for new incentives in mid-January, city administrator Brian Silcott said – on the eve of a closing that would have finalized the deal and transferred ownership of the Goddard Destination parcel from Goddard Destination Development to S&O Investments.

S&O asked for property tax abatements from the city.

“The city has already provided STAR bond reimbursement and other infrastructure contributions, and adding property tax abatement on top of that was too large a request,” Silcott said. “It would not have been a prudent use of our neighbors’ tax dollars.”

S&O also asked to have some of its costs reimbursed “with revenues that were already pledged to pay STAR bond debt,” according to Silcott, who said the city would not have been contractually permitted to grant that request.

Neither the city nor S&O would attach numbers to those incentive requests.

Finally, S&O wanted to reduce the scope and cost of the aquatic component of its development, which was to have included an indoor water park, competitive lap and diving pools, baseball fields, a hotel, an Old Chicago restaurant and spots for additional retail and restaurant development.

Granting the request to remove components from the aquatic facility could have jeopardized the availability of financing through a sales tax revenue bond, because the state of Kansas gave approval for that financing based on a market study that might have been rendered inapplicable.

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