FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A $70 million indoor sports complex picked up another round of green lights from the Fishers City Council Monday night.
This is the same project that had dozens of neighbors speaking out against it in 2015.
This round of approval votes centered around an updated complex proposal, featuring a change of location, funding model, and facility design.
“I think it’s actually a better project for the City of Fishers,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “It’s just really focused on an indoor recreation facility.”
The proposed Fishers Sports Complex will cover more than 504,000 square feet on 23 acres. The facility will no longer include an arena/ice rink and 600 space parking garage, but will instead maintain a 600 space parking lot and a 125 room hotel. Property owner Republic Development will also manage 11 new commercial lots on the north and west side of the property. Still included in the project: 12 hard courts, six multi-configuration turf fields, a training center, and a fitness center.
In all, the complex will enable 31 sports: archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, fencing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, judo, karate, lacrosse, indoor rowing, rugby, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, taekwondo, team handball, track and field, volleyball, wrestling, futsol, dance, cheerleading, ultimate, and pickle ball.
The complex will sit at the southeast corner of Olio Road and Southeastern Parkway, just south of St. Vincent Hospital in Fishers and less than 3 miles north of Hamilton Southeastern High School.
That move, says Mayor Fadness, was in part a response to negative public comment from residents of the Avalon neighborhood.
“There’s a large group of trees that separates Avalon from the actual development,” said Mayor Fadness, “Whereas before it was literally incorporated into a mixed-use development on the west side of the road.”
Brian Allison, an Avalon Homeowners Association board member, was an attendee at the public hearings in 2015. He agreed that Fishers is in need of an indoor facility, given the crowded YMCA and school facilities, but would like to see the sports complex set up shop elsewhere.
“We lack the necessary facilities for indoor sporting venues especially in the wintertime so I understand that,” said Allison. “It’s just that, is that the best location for this particular event?”
Allison said he was encouraged by the change in location from Olio and 136th to Olio and Southeastern, but noted some of his concerns haven’t changed.
“Increased traffic, noise levels,” Allison listed. “We wonder about crime. We’re going to have more people that aren’t familiar with the area or people that may find this an opportunistic neighborhood.”
But Mayor Fadness says he sees it as not only a benefit to area youth, but also to the Fishers economy.
“On paper when you really write it down it’s an amazing opportunity for the City of Fishers to provide this type of amenity at very little cost to the taxpayers,” said Mayor Fadness. “Every year we pay a lease so that our residents can use [facilities]. That’s about $800,000 a year. Well, they pay $600,000 to the City of Fishers in taxes, plus a $1 ticket tax. So when you add that up, we’re basically getting he same amount of money back to the City of Fishers that we can then turn around and pay our lease.”
The complex is dependent on the developer, GK Sports Development, selling $70 million in bonds. Andy Gerdom says that goal is September, and if all goes to plan, groundbreaking will occur this October, with completion set for October of 2018.