Greenwood announces plans for large sports and entertainment complex

GREENWOOD, Ind. – Greenwood officials laid out their plans Monday for what they envision as a regional hub for youth sports south of Indianapolis.

Mayor Mark W. Myers and Indy Fuel owners Jim and Sean Hallett announced construction of a massive youth sports complex along I-65 and County Line Road in Greenwood.

The $40 million project would include two phases, with the first being a 175,000-square-foot facility that would house two ice rinks, two turf fields, five basketball courts that can also be used for volleyball, a fitness/training facility, pro shop, locker rooms and food service facilities.

Indiana Ice Arenas, owned by the Halletts, estimates an investment of $25 million to construct the Greenwood Sportsplex.

The second phase would include several businesses aimed at dining, retail and entertainment. Plans call for Xscape Theatres and Main Event Entertainment to serve as anchors for the retail space. Future phases will include a convenience store and 200-room hotel.

Ryan Gershman with Gershman Properties said the company is in negotiations for some of the retail space.

The area near I-65 and County Line Road has been the site for previous projects that didn’t pan out, including a proposed Cabela’s store in 2009 and another proposal for a sports and hotel complex in 2014. The site was also announced as the location of Greenwood Town Center, a retail space similar to Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville.

"Many questions as to the direction and what was going to happen with projects and I think you will all be excited to leave here today knowing we’re heading in a great direction," said Brent Tilson, president of the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission.

Earlier this year, Greenwood unveiled plans for an “iceplex” at Freedom Park. That plan was scrapped after a public outcry over a litany of concerns about the project, including the potential effect on local traffic. It now lives on as part of the Greenwood Sportsplex proposal.

“The initial phase of this development would bring nearly 300,000 square feet of sports and entertainment facilities to Greenwood,” said Myers. “The project creates a focus for youth sports in the Midwest and positions our city to host a variety of regional and national events. It also provides a unique recreational opportunity for residents of Greenwood and surrounding areas.”

“From day one, our mission has been to create and sustain a future for hockey in Indiana,” said Sean Hallett. “With the Greenwood Sportsplex, we’re able to move closer to that goal while offering a number of opportunities in other youth sports as well. This is going to be a first-class facility.”

The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission (RDC) will hold a special meeting Monday night to hear a presentation about the plan and proposed incentives, which include up to $8.5 million for construction of site improvements, off-site infrastructure improvements on County Line and Graham roads, and reimbursement of up to $3 million for capital improvements at Greenwood Sportsplex.

The city hopes to have definitive agreements in place by the end of August. The RDC will vote on the proposed incentives on July 11. The project must also get approvals from the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Advisory Plan Commission.

City leaders said they hope to have project agreements by August and the Sportsplex complete by 2019. City leaders said it's too early to tell is traffic could become an issue, but that a traffic study might be necessary later down the road.