Reno City Council Approves Final Baseball Deal

by Mike Van Houten / Mar 29, 2009

COUNCIL APPROVES FINAL BASEBALL DEAL - I didn't get a chance to watch the city council meeting live, I was at the Montage all day shooting video. So here's the official release. If anyone has info or watched the vote or what happened, let me know or post in the comments area. Reno City Council members, acting as the Reno Redevelopment Agency's board of directors, gave final approval to revisions of certain agreements with the developers of Triple-A baseball that will ensure construction will continue on the entertainment district surrounding the ballpark.

Under the plan, two full service restaurants and three nightclubs are the first projects to be built. The architectural and engineering work is expected to begin immediately with up to 125 construction workers expected to begin their work by August of 2009. If all goes as planned, construction is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2010 baseball season creating more than 150 new jobs in the restaurants and clubs that will also serve as a new draw to the downtown core year round.

Under the revised agreement, the Agency agreed to provide the SK Baseball and Nevada Land LLC. at least one million dollars a year for debt service until the project becomes self-sustaining using Redevelopment funds generated through the increase in property taxes derived from Redevelopment projects. The agreement will also increase the maximum of $500,000 with money that will come from an increase in property taxes expected from project itself. This type of financing is called tax increment financing and by law, must be used to finance redevelopment projects and for no other purpose. It also does not put taxpayers' money at risk, it will not encumber taxpayers with debt or take money away from other governmental services. Once the project is self-sustaining, the tax increment will repay the Redevelopment Agency any funds it loans the project.

This revised agreement provides a $6.6 million savings to the City and reduces the City's entire investment to about half of what it was originally. It also requires development within two years and if for some reason the project is not finished, the developer agrees to repay any money received. The first payment is set for October 2010, which will allow the tax increment to accrue for a year before payment is due.

The $80 million stadium is financed partly with about $20 million of county-issued bonds backed by a car-rental tax set up in 2003. The developers, Jerry and Stuart Katzoff and Herb Simon are financing the majority of the project themselves.

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