Note: Here is a link to the consultant's report, as requested by one of our readers: Here.
Imagine investing as a community $26 million for construction plus another $7.6 million for cumulative operational expenses and then getting back almost $200 million and the creation of 252 jobs. Who wouldn’t jump on the chance for a money machine like that?
That is the conclusion of a feasibility study conducted by the Chicago-based real estate consulting and development firm Hunden Strategic Partners after the city of Newnan paid it to examine whether to built a multi-sports complex.
And that six-to-one payback ratio is just for the first phase, a building housing eight basketball courts that can be configured for 16 simultaneous volleyball games. Adding more indoor game space and outdoor fields for soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball tournaments will just sweeten the deal, according to the consultants, and team parents from hundreds of miles away will flock to tournaments hosted here – sleeping in our hotels, eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores.
These are not slouches making these estimates, either. They’ve worked for tens of dozens of cities larger than Newnan across the country and even Athens, Greece on its Olympic plans. So, it has the experience and accumulated data to assemble a well-researched study.
Another factor, according to Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips, is integrity. He said when the city was picking who to do the study, it asked for examples from each consulting firm of when it had recommended against going forward with a client community’s proposed project. Most of the firms dropped out at that point because too many consultants merely tell whoever is paying them what they want to hear, but not Hunden.
Nevertheless, there are still questions for the average taxpayer to ponder before agreeing to a 10-year sales tax to fund the complex. While the vote would not be for months, it is still important for all Newnan citizens to begin learning about the proposal and raising their concerns now.