Bettendorf is on the verge of approving a massive sports complex and commercial development plan that may bring millions of dollars, thousands of tourists and more jobs to the Quad Cities. The $32 million development plan, called the I-80 Urban Renewal Plan, would put sports fields, a three-story golf range, hotel and much more near […]
- Unparalleled business coverage of the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor.
- Immediate access to subscriber-only content on our website.
- 52 issues per year delivered digitally, in print or both.
- Support locally owned and operated journalism.
Bettendorf is on the verge of approving a massive sports complex and commercial development plan that may bring millions of dollars, thousands of tourists and more jobs to the Quad Cities.
The $32 million development plan, called the I-80 Urban Renewal Plan, would put sports fields, a three-story golf range, hotel and much more near the TBK Bank Sports Complex at 4850 Competition Drive.
“This really is an exciting development,” Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn said during Monday’s Bettendorf City Council Committee of the Whole meeting. “This will have a tremendous upside for the city and a tremendous upside for the community.”
City officials, along with its project partners – Middle & Forest Grove LLC and FG80 LLC – have scheduled a press conference for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the TBK Bank Sports Complex to formally announce the development plan.
Mr. Ploehn added that the plan has been in the works for about six months and praised city staff for doing a “phenomenal job” of helping assist the project’s progress.
Here are some of the highlights of the proposed I-80 Urban Renewal plan:
- Project will cover 109 acres of property east of Middle Road and north of Forest Grove Drive with about 75 acres to be developed in this phase.
- The plan includes at least $32 million in developments. City officials said the development could exceed that amount.
- The project will include two synthetic turf multi-use fields – sized to accommodate two collegiate/high school sized baseball fields, eight youth baseball/softball fields or four full-sized soccer fields with lighting for night activities and parking.
- A golf entertainment facility consisting of a three-story golf range with about 60 hitting bays.
- The project will create 180 full-time jobs.
- A restaurant, bar, meeting and entertainment areas, along with related parking.
- Construction will begin about April 1 and be completed about Dec. 31, 2023.
- Construction of a commercial strip center, convenience store and hotel with at least 80 rooms.
At the Committee of the Whole meeting, Bettendorf City Council voted to advance the plan to Tuesday night’s full council meeting for a public hearing and likely approval. The council meeting also will feature a public hearing on issuing up to $7 million in General Obligation Urban Renewal Bonds for the project.
According to council documents, the City of Bettendorf will provide incentives including a 75% tax increment financing (TIF) rebate for 20 years (rebates will be paid only from TIF money derived from the project), economic development grants and eight years of annual commitments and infrastructure improvements. The city will give the project developer $3 million in grants in two equal installments to be paid Jan. 3, 2023, and upon the completion of the golf facility. The city also will pay the developer $350,000 a year for eight years, starting on July 1.
“The new job creation and the volume of tourism visitors we will all benefit from is unparalleled by any other destination in the Quad Cities,” according to a letter from Jeff Reiter, Bettendorf’s economic development director, to the Scott County Board of Supervisors on the project.
“The TBK Bank Sports Complex has served as an incredible catalyst project, and this proposed expansion will be just as special,” he wrote.
During Monday’s meeting, Mr. Reiter outlined the project to the council including the city obligations to the project, finances and scheduled timeline.
Mr. Reiter said the project will bring in many more visitors and more money to the region.
“TBK Bank Sports Complex saw over 1.5 million visits in 2021 by individuals over age 18 alone. This expansion will grow this number exponentially, increasing sales tax, hotel/motel tax and property tax,” according to information presented.
Mr. Reiter said that the total revenue to the city over 20 years due to the project would be $14.4 million. The total incentives to developers will be $10.9 million with the total net gain to the city over 20 years being about $3.5 million.
He added, though, that these figures are “incredibly conservative estimates” and the city could see much higher financial gains from the project.
Some council members expressed hope that the sports complex/commercial development plan will do more than attract more tourists. They said one of the ultimate goals is to attract more residents to the community.
Bettendorf Mayor Robert Gallagher said he believes the project could accomplish that by giving future visitors an even more positive view of the city.
The I-80 Urban Renewal Plan might be just the beginning of expansions planned in the sports complex area. According to information presented Monday: “Additional commercial developments are already being contemplated, due to the nature and scope of the TBK Sports Complex.”