- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - Officials in a city in eastern Iowa have approved a financing plan for the $45 million first phase of a regional sports and entertainment complex that includes soccer and softball fields and basketball and volleyball courts on a 79-acre site.

A development agreement is in place to establish a 20-year tax increment financing district for the project, the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/2pO6lA0 ) reported. The city of Bettendorf provided economic incentives to move the project forward, including a $4.9 million TIF-supported grant.

Under most circumstances, TIF districts give a rebate on increased tax revenue that results from property value increasing during the specific duration. But this agreement allows BettPlex to receive some of the money upfront.

“We’re agreeing to provide a front grant to BettPlex that’s going to be a TIF-supported grant,” said Jeff Reiter, economic development director. “What we would be doing is forwarding that to the developer based upon the valuation instead of the rebate style of TIF.”

Bettendorf also will provide over $3.8 million in infrastructure improvements and a $1.9 million economic development grant.

The BettPlex will include both indoor and outdoor fields as well as batting cages, a family entertainment center, personal training, physical therapy, food, beverage and retail space.

Reiter said phase one of the project will begin around June 1 with the goal of being operational by Aug. 1, 2018.

Construction on the commercial development, which will include hotel, restaurant and retail space, is scheduled to begin by July 1, 2018, to the east of the BettPlex. The commercial development is intended to support BettPlex’s activities, Reiter said.

“It will have to meet zoning and commercial, amenity style uses that fit the BettPlex,” he said.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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