By Travis Mounts
GODDARD – The long-awaited Goddard STAR bond project has seen a lot of progress in 2019, and the end of the year has brought another big announcement.
Hampton Inn will be coming to Goddard as part of the city’s newest development. The Goddard Hampton Inn is expected to open in late summer or early autumn 2019.
The hotel will be the right mix for the project and for Goddard, according to Jake McCabe, vice president of marketing for Genesis Health Clubs and spokesperson for developer Rodney Steven.
“It’s a brand that people know, that people trust,” he said, adding that Hampton Inn is both nice and affordable. “Families can stay and use the water park and ball fields.”
The hotel will have 133 rooms, which includes six suites. The hotel will be its own facility and is just one piece of the larger project.
“It’s a separate, fully-functioning facility,” McCabe said.
The hotel will connect to the larger facility. It will sit north of the ball fields and be visible from the highway.
Baseball and softball fields are nearly complete. There will be a new Genesis Health Club with a child care center and a pool. There also will be an 82,000-square-foot natatorium that will host regional competitions, and a preschool.
The ball fields will be the first part of the project to open. The main facility, including the natatorium and waterpark, are expected to open next. Footings have already been poured for the water park.
“We’re moving quickly. Footings are going in, and walls will be visible soon,” McCabe said.
An announcement on the branding for the water park is expected in January. All parts of the project should be open by the end of 2020.
“More details are coming soon,” McCabe said, teasing the water park announcement. “It will be different and exciting and unique.”
City officials are excited to see the project come to fruition, especially after some false starts early in the process.
“We’re ready for the weather to cooperate so we can continue with meaningful construction progress,” said Goddard city administrator Brian Silcott. Bad weather has caused some delays already.
An original groundbreaking was held in January 2016, and the project was expected to be open by summer 2017. But financing issues delayed the project. Eventually, S&O Investments too kover the project, but when S&O asked for additional concessions from Goddard, the company and the city of Goddard found themselves at an impasse in 2018. Steven then took over as developer, and a second groundbreaking took place in November 2018.
The $50 million project will receive $23 million is sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds. STAR bonds provide Kansas cities a chance to fund developments, using sales tax revenue to pay off the bonds. The STAR bond in Goddard covers this development but not development to the east.
The Goddard Galleria is situated between the STAR bond development and Walmart. It includes Murphy’s Oil and Dairy Queen. Old Chicago is expected to break ground in the spring, and Braum’s is expected to bring in a restaurant within the next couple of years.