PENDLETON — Pendleton unanimously approved a $3.2 million incentive package for a new athletic center to be built at Falls Pointe Business Park.
Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities is planning a $14 million, more than 115,000-square-foot complex that will house a large workout facility, eight indoor tennis courts, a gymnastics center and a wellness center operated by Community Hospital Anderson, among other amenities.
“I promise you this will be a one-of-a-kind in the United States, and it will put Pendleton on the map,” Andy Card, co-president and co-CEO, told the council during the July 12 meeting.
The Pendleton Redevelopment Commission gave a favorable recommendation to the incentive package during its meeting in late June. The package includes 25 acres of land in the business park, $1 million in cash for construction costs, and another $1.45 million paid in 180 monthly installments of about $8,000.
Chad Wolfe, council vice president and redevelopment commission president, said the incentive package he and town manager Tim McClintick developed with Klipsch-Card helped land a great new business in town that will contribute to growth, infrastructure and historic preservation.
“We’ve got some skin in the game,” Wolfe said during the meeting, noting that Klipsch-Card has “a lot of skin in the game.”
Council members, a former town council member and at least one local business owner expressed excitement with the project, which will be called Community Sports and Wellness.
“I think this is really going to set the tone for the industrial park,” Councilwoman Jessica Smith said.
“This could be a game-changer,” Council President Bob Jones said.
Mike Klipsch, the other co-president and co-CEO, previously said the company wants to start construction on the facility in September and be open by spring.
On July 12, Card said this what’s been proposed so far is just Phase 1. That outdoor outdoor facilities would be added, and talks with other businesses are in the works.
Not everyone at the meeting wholeheartedly embraced the development.
Longtime resident Helen Reske expressed concern about the facility’s impact on existing businesses, wondering how businesses such as coffee shop or clothing store might be impacted if similar products are available at the center.
She also expressed concern about not knowing everything Klipsch-Card will do in the future.
“I just don’t want to lose what we’ve got,” she said.
Card responded that it’s the company’s goal — as it is with its other facilites, Pacers Athletic Center at Grand Park in Westfield and Finch Creek Fieldhouse in Noblesville — to build a quality building that draws people to town and benefits everyone.
He said he doubts the business will take from existing businesses; he said the greater challenge likely will be keeping up with increased demand for goods and services.
Town council members said the property tax from the 25 acres on the tax rolls will more than pay for the incentives, stimulate local business and pave the way for more development on the west side of town near Interstate 69.
Council members said there is still work to be done with Klipsch-Card, and that the town will have a say in what goes on at the site, and the developer won’t be able to turn around and sell off unused parts of the property to others.
Wolfe said the town will be able to funnel tax revenues from new development near the interstate to protect and enhance the historic parts of the downtown area, which is a priority of town leadership.