Osceola Commits $20M Of Tourist Tax Funding For New W192 Sports Complex

Osceola County is teaming up with a private developer to build a $20 million sports complex on one of the largest undeveloped sites along the W192 tourism corridor.

Osceola County and LifeSports USA are teaming up to develop a sports complex with at least 16 athletic fields. The county will pay $20 million from Tourist Development Tax funds for the sports fields. (Osceola County Property Appraiser)

Osceola County and LifeSports USA are teaming up to develop a sports complex with at least 16 athletic fields. The county will pay $20 million from Tourist Development Tax funds for the sports fields. (Osceola County Property Appraiser)

Commissioners are scheduled to vote Monday on a Development Agreement with LifeSports USA to build and operate a 60-acre sports complex at the southwest quadrant of W192 and the S.R. 429 interchange. The complex would anchor a 23-acre town center on W192 with up to 81,000 square feet of commercial space, including a 128-room hotel, and a 300-unit apartment complex.

The sports complex would be constructed in two phases on 60 acres south of the town center. Phase 1 would include at least eight multipurpose long fields which could be converted to regulation-size softball fields, along with parking and maintenance facilities. 

When it's complete, the county will buy the facility for $10 million -- using Tourist Development Tax funds -- and lease it back to LifeSports for 20 years. The rent would equal 20 percent of parking revenues for the complex.

Community Development Director Dave Tomek told GrowthSpotter the first phase is slated to open Oct. 1, 2019.  "They’re doing a softball complex of at least eight fields – we’re pushing to get 10," Tomek said on Friday. "One of the fields will have to be a championship field with permanent seating for 750 spectators."

The second phase includes another eight long fields, suitable for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey and football. All of the fields will have LED lighting, and can be natural or artificial turf. 

LifeSports also will build an entry plaza and  30,000- to 60,000-square-foot clubhouse with an attached outdoor dining area and athletes village. Phase 2 would open in June 2020, and the entire project, including the retail element, would be completed by 2022.

The 23 acres on the northern end of the parcel, fronting on U.S. 192, are already permitted to allow retail development, including a hotel site (in blue.) (Osceola County - color added)

The 23 acres on the northern end of the parcel, fronting on U.S. 192, are already permitted to allow retail development, including a hotel site (in blue.) (Osceola County - color added)

The only condition is that teams participating in sporting events at the complex must stay in Osceola County, Tomek said. They could stay in hotels or vacation homes, he said. "They're right next to Margaritaville, so I could see that being really attractive," Tomek said. 

"It's the perfect location because it's so close to Disney," W192 Development Authority Executive Director David Buchheit said. "I'm so excited to see something going on that site, especially after what happened with the Motorsports Park."

The demand for new retail space and apartments on the W192 corridor is at an all-time high, he said. "Their retail should fill up pretty fast," Buchheit said.

LifeSports has hired LandQwest Commercial to market the town center. The conceptual plan shows a 300-unit apartment complex on the southeast corner of the parcel, along Funie Steed Road, consisting of six four-story buildings.

Source: GrowthSpotter