Friday, July 31, 2015

Dueling developments score points with communities

Last May, developers announced plans for Gateway Village in Grandview, a $300 million all-turf soccer complex to call south Grandview home between Byars and Kelley roads. According to Shane Hackett, executive director of Heartland Soccer, the country’s largest soccer league, Heartland Soccer will be the main tenant of the complex and the development will consist of 240 acres of residential, commercial and retail.

"This is slated to be fifteen all-turf soccer fields," said Hackett. "This is the synthetic turf that you can currently see at the Overland Park Complex and Swope Soccer Village."

Within the last few weeks, a similar announcement came for our neighbors to the east. Paragon Star sports village and complex, a $200 million project, will be located at the intersection of View High Drive and I-470 in Lee’s Summit. This development will feature ten synthetically-turfed fields, including a championship field that will hold up to 5,000 spectators as well as office, hotel, housing, food and entertainment features. The initial phase of the project is estimated at $154 million, but total development costs are expected to exceed the $200 million price tag upon completion.

Paragon Star’s anchor tenant will be the KC Select Soccer Club. Developer Phillip "Flip" Short said the 100-plus acre project is intended for visitors to have an experience unlike any other in the United States.

"We’ve indicated from the on-set of this project that we were going to make it the country’s number-one amateur field sports facility and it truly will serve as a model of excellence," said Short.

A bold statement, considering six miles to the southwest will be Grandview’s Gateway Village. However, continuing with the spirit of the game, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Bring on the families, the fans and visitors to both locations. Visitors to our area will help the communities as a whole.

A mere 10 minutes apart, the projects are quite similar in their plans to bring more soccer options to southern Jackson County. Just this week, WalletHub ranked Kansas City seventh on their list of the best cities for soccer fans. Surely two new massive developments catering to soccer families won’t hurt that ranking.

Both projects have the potential to bring massive amounts of people to the area: people that will shop here, eat here and stay here. The goal should be, now, to find ways to get these visitors to venture out of the complexes and into our respective downtowns to visit local merchants and boost our economies even further.

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