A $13 million package for one aspect of the Epic Adventures Sports Complex was approved by the Camden County Joint Development Authority at a called meeting in June.
James Coughlin, executive director of the Camden County Joint Development Authority, stated, “What they (JDA) approved included the CID (Community Improvement District) and the TAD (Tax Allocation District). The Joint Development Authority will provide financing for the Expo, a festival plaza, in the proposed sports park.
Coughlin said, “We’re just the bond issuer, and the bonds are sold on the private market,” Coughlin stated that the taxpayers are not on the hook for anything. “Once the authority approves the bond, it becomes the responsibility of the private developer to repay those bonds,” Coughlin said. “In this case, not only will they be paying taxes, but they also will be paying higher taxes than other property owners,” he said.
He said that the mechanism is known as “bonds for title,” and he said it is the preferred method for financing new industries. The Joint Development Authority approved the project on a motion by Stan Fowler with a second by Joel Hanner. It was noted that the project’s proposed site, West of I-95, Exit 3, has a 20% poverty rate and is economically distressed. This would enable the project to receive grants from the federal government.
Gross stressed that it is “no longer an amusement park but sports tourism”. The city of Kingsland will partner with Epic Adventures on the conference center and sports fields, which they earlier approved. A press release from the JDA is below outlining the project.
Copy of press release from the Camden County Joint Development Authority:
On June 22, the Camden County Joint Development Authority agreed to participate in a project that will launch a new entertainment and sports complex in Kingsland, Georgia.
The Authority board voted unanimously to approve the master development agreement with EPIC Destinations, LLC, setting the stage to move forward with the overall 480-acre multi-use sports & entertainment destination.
“This project has been under development for quite some time but it has been done right.” said the Authority’s Executive Director James Coughlin. “A project of this magnitude requires the cooperation of city, county, state and private entities working together to each do their part. That is exactly what we have reflected in this Epic Adventures development agreement. This project will transform Kingsland from a stop for transient travelers to a true destination.”
The Authority will be involved by providing bond financing for elements of the project that will be privately owned. The bonds will be purchased by private developers and paid using funds generated on site, leaving no obligation for the local taxpayers or the Authority to repay this bond.
The master plan calls for a total of five phases:
- Phase I: EPIC RV Resort – Class A RV Resort, Cabins & Amenities
- Phase II: The Mainland – Main Hotel, Conference Center, EXPO & Indoor Sports Center, and Amphitheater & Festival Plaza
- Phase III: Sports Fields Complex – Outdoor Sports Complex, Waterpark, Family Entertainment Center, Retail Restaurants & Hotels
- Phase IV: The Georgia Isles – Specialty Retail, Restaurants & Entertainment
- Phase V: Georgia Grown – Market Featuring Products Grown In Georgia Facts about the EPIC Adventures Resort: Size: 480 Acres Location: Fronting I-95 Between Exit #1 & Exit #3 Capital Investment: In Excess of $220 Million Employment: More than 1,200 New Jobs Development Schedule: Phase I Construction Begins Summer 2017 / Opening Spring 2018 Phases II & III Construction Begins End 2017 / Opening Spring 2019 Phase IV Construction Begins Summer 2018 / Opening 2019 Phase V Construction Begins 2019 / Opening 2020
The following bonding information below was obtained by AllOnGeorgia – Camden provided by the Camden JDA. Each phase of the project is financed by different bond holders.
|Funding Sources and Uses|
|Revenue Bonds Issued by:||Est. Amount||Funding||Pledged Revenues for Repayment||Notes|
|Georgia Gateway Community Improvement District||$22M||Outdoor Sports Fields, Related Horizontal Infrastructure||CID Taxes, Senior TAD Increment, SSD Taxes||Gateway CID will impose higher millage on itself and monetize that revenue to service bond debt. SSD = Special Service District which allows the City to also increase millage just on the site if ever necessary.|
|Kingsland Development Authority||$4M||Convention Center||Incremental H/M Tax, Senior TAD Increment, SSD Taxes||Incremental hotel/motel tax above current revenues.|
|Camden County Joint Development Authority||$13M||Expo & Indoor Sports, Amphitheater||Junior TAD Increment, Resort Fees, TDA rebates, Lease Payments||TAD revenue is divided to 2 different funding streams (senior and junior). TDA = Tourism Development Act which rebates a % of GA Sales tax back to the project.|
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