What is the proposed development arrangement among REV Entertainment, Brunswick County, the Town of Leland, and the property owner (Jackey’s Creek LLC)?
These parties are currently involved in preliminary discussions about a proposed major mixed-use development on 1,400 acres of raw land located between Highway 17 and Highway 133 (River Road). This parcel is north of the Brunswick Forest and Mallory Creek subdivisions and south of the West Gate commercial area.
The proposal would include a County-owned professional sports stadium with approximately 3,500 fixed seats and a flexible capacity to hold around 6,000 seats. Investments by REV Entertainment would include a full-service hotel and entertainment district surrounding the stadium. The property owner, Jackey’s Creek LLC, also has additional plans within the development that would include medical and office facilities, retail, and multi- and single-family housing.
Why would Brunswick County and the Town of Leland be interested in this type of development?
The interest and proposal from REV Entertainment provides each entity the opportunity to research how a professional sports stadium—with surrounding commercial, medical, and retail investments—could benefit the public and provide a one-of-a-kind development in our region. Regardless of whether a resident is a fan of baseball, the amenities and services that could be available to the public outside of the stadium, potential employment opportunities, and other benefits to our local economy are worthy of consideration.
It is the intention of the property owner to develop the vacant 1,400-acre tract of land with or without a stadium. The property owner’s intention to develop the parcel in some capacity is an important factor each local government will consider when looking at the REV Entertainment proposal.
Brunswick County and the Town of Leland are researching the following questions before making a commitment to the development of the stadium:
- Is traditional development on the parcel the best use for the property?
- Can the local governments enter into a public-private partnership to bring additional investment to the site (including professional baseball, full-service hotel, medical services, restaurants, bars, public space, land donation for public need/use, etc.)?
Who will construct the stadium?
Brunswick County is expected to construct and own the stadium, including responsibility for any debt issuance associated with the stadium construction. The stadium would then be leased to and maintained by REV Entertainment.
How will the stadium project be funded, and how will it affect me?
At this time, Brunswick County does not anticipate using a General Obligation Bond via voter referendum to fund the stadium. This means the public will not be asked to fund the stadium with new tax funding. Brunswick County also does not intend to increase the County’s property (ad valorem) tax rate to fund the project, nor use existing public funds.
The Town of Leland and Brunswick County have engaged with a third-party financial advisor to determine if the economic impact and new revenues generated by the mixed-use development surrounding the stadium would be sufficient to offset debt payments for its construction. This means the investments, land donations, lease arrangements, and other new or off-set revenue sources generated by REV Entertainment and the property owner would pay the debt for Brunswick County. (or “…property owner would satisfy the debt associated with the stadium for Brunswick County.”)
How was the location determined for this type of development?
The proposed location in the Leland area meets certain key factors when determining an ideal place for this type of public-private development:
- Available land and a willing landowner must be present. The property owner would make land donations to accommodate the stadium and entertainment district, along with land needed for other public infrastructure and use. Details of land donations for public use and the stadium are still being discussed.
- Urbanization. Private investments like this one often look for more urbanized areas where established populations and commercial development already exists. Walkability and minimum drive time are needed to support the stadium and increase the success of the entertainment elements and retail uses surrounding the stadium.
How will traffic be mitigated for this type of development?
As with any development approval, the developers must complete a traffic impact analysis (TIA) to identify any road improvements needed to support the development. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) would be the ultimate authority on necessary road improvements for this project since it maintains Highway 17 and Highway 133 (River Road).
Conversations about traffic impacts have already begun with NCDOT, however additional traffic analyses are still needed to determine what final improvements will be necessary. Some anticipated enhancements include roadway improvements and signals on Highway 17, a new four-lane roadway bisecting the property that connected Highways 17 and 133, and arterial roads connecting the commercial portions of Brunswick Forest and the West Gate shopping area.
What are the next steps and when should the public expect additional information?
The Town of Leland and Brunswick County have engaged with a third-party vendor to conduct an economic feasibility study and economic impact analysis, including public financing options available to Brunswick County. Until additional data is known, there is no action for either Brunswick County or the Town of Leland to take at this time.
In addition to the feasibility and economic impact analysis, additional information is still needed regarding the site plan and stadium design. The property owner and REV Entertainment have engaged architects and land planners to provide more detailed plans that will be available as the process continues. When both local government entities have sufficient information, that information will be shared with the public.
Who is REV Entertainment?
REV Entertainment is a full-service events and entertainment company. Based in Arlington, Texas, REV Entertainment features an events, entertainment, sports management, food service and development division.
The REV Sports Management division oversees two MiLB teams in North Carolina – The Down East Wood Ducks and Hickory Crawdads. REV Entertainment also includes a development team, who is currently working with multiple municipalities across the country to develop similar projects.
How much will the ballpark cost?
The cost of the ballpark won’t be determined until the design team has the full scope of the project (i.e. seats, capacity, square footage, and priority accommodation areas). Similar projects of this size range between $70-$100 million.
What is going to be done to ensure the people in the surrounding communities have access to the new multi-sports complex?
REV Entertainment is committing to giving back to the community and youth living in the surrounding neighborhoods through several initiatives. This is a standard that they have set in other communities where they have a footprint. This opportunity is about more than baseball, but also is about giving our youth access to new activities and giving citizens in Brunswick County more to do.
Where are you in the process?
Following the initial conversation with Brunswick County and the Town of Leland, REV Entertainment began hosting stakeholder meetings. The meetings, which began in December, included various members of the community who will be directly impacted by this project – community partners and neighbors. The goal of these meetings was to make sure this development would complement the county, the city, and the region.
Right now, we are in the process of developing phase one. We are working with the County, city, and our community partners to determine what will be in phase 1.
The final design, as well as construction, will start as soon as financing is approved and the proper contracts have been signed. Once completed, design and construction are estimated to take 24 months.
What baseball team will be here?
REV Entertainment is developing a plan that would include bringing an independent baseball team to Brunswick County. The sports management division of REV Entertainment is currently overseeing and managing two minor league baseball teams – both of which are located in North Carolina.