South Dakota– Rapid City Council members support the construction of a new, $130 million arena. The council will issue $110 million in sales tax revenue bonds and lease certificates of participation to fund the construction. The city currently has about $25 million in reserve for an initial payment. The council was asked to consider either building a new arena or renovating and remodeling the existing Barnett Arena, which has functional, life safety and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues.
An updated feasibility study shows that the operating income for the new 12,000- to 13,000-seat arena would increase by $2.8 million annually. Construction costs are estimated between $130 and $135 million, but with interest, that figure would be closer to $180 million.
The city lost about $700,000 on a design project during the last consideration of building a new arena in 2015. The city plans to hold off on a final decision to build a new arena because the community can petition for a public vote. Two-thousand signatures will be required for a public vote to be issued. The deadline for petition, is March 20. If enough signatures are gathered, a public vote will be set for June 5. If a public vote occurs and the project is voted down, the city plans to go with the Barnett Arena renovation.
Washington State– The Port of Kalama has issued a request for interest (RFI) from developers for a 5-acre parcel of land located near the old Kalama fairgrounds. The site, that is part of the Spencer Creek Business Park, could potentially feature a range of retail or commercial services, including a fuel station, hotel, restaurants and coffee shops. The parcel’s development is expected to set the tone for the business park’s remaining 65 acres. The RFI is expected to result in the selection of a development team for an exclusive negotiating period.
The port has considered developing its property east of Interstate 5 for more than a decade – slowly purchasing nearby land and conducting economic feasibility studies. The port will also seek bids in the spring for a $5 million road project that will add a new roundabout at the intersection of Kalama River Road and Highway 99. Street improvements for the area between Haydu Park and Meeker Drive are under design, as well. The port also plans to relocate and install utilities to support the site’s development. Responses for the RFI are due at the end of this month.
New Hampshire– Portions of the New Hampshire Turnpike system may soon be privatized. The state’s public-private partnership (P3) Infrastructure Oversight Committee have considered P3 plan for long-term concession agreements. The three highways chosen for the turnpike project were opened in the 1950s. The project includes developing and operating service plazas and rest areas with dining, fuel and retail concessions along the highways.
The P3 will allow for the sharing of resources to finance, design, build, operate and maintain transportation infrastructure projects. The plan was developed after Gov. Chris Sununu shared a proposal by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to raise tolls on the turnpikes to accelerate completion of improvements to the roads.
California– Redondo Beach is embracing the Olympic spirit and pitching a design for a new water front Olympic venue for the summer 2028 games. The city originally wanted to build a venue to host water polo, swimming or boating events but the Olympic committee already awarded that project to Long Beach. Instead the city may become the site of cultural events, festivities or a training facility.
A newly formed city subcommittee will work on a formal proposal while city officials work on a bid to acquire a 51-acre site for a public-private partnership. The city envisions a 6-mile course that would start at King Harbor, run south along the coast and loop at the Palos Verdes Peninsula, with spectators watching from the bluffs along The Esplanade