County approves Wizards soccer deal
Wyandotte County officials have approved an agreement for a $414 million development that includes a soccer stadium for the Kansas City Wizards and an office complex for medical software maker Cerner Corp.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County approved the new agreement Tuesday night. The plan includes an 18,000-seat stadium to be completed by the 2012 soccer season and 4,000 new Cerner jobs.
The agreement ends more than four months of negotiations between the developer and the state of Kansas and Wyandotte County.
Gov. Mark Parkinson praised the agreement, which helps Kansas "get back on track."
"The proposal we offered was responsible and did not overreach; as a result, we were successful," Parkison said in a statement.
Cerner, based in Kansas City, Mo., will build a new 600,000 square-foot office campus, with the first building to be under construction by Dec. 1, 2011.
The project, which is being developed by OnGoal LLC, the owner of the Kansas City Wizards, and Lane4 Property Group, is being subsidized with $85 million in state tax credits and cash and $144.5 million in STAR Bond assistance.
County officials approved the development agreement and authorized issuing the STAR Bonds.
"This is a great day for soccer in Kansas City," said OnGoal CEO Robb Heineman. "After a lengthy process to keep the team in the metropolitan area, OnGoal and the Kansas City Wizards are thrilled to receive final approval for our stadium and fields complex."
Under the plan, the first 1,000 Cerner Corp. employees are to be working at the planned office development by the end of 2012, and if Cerner doesn't fulfill its job obligation, a $30.4 million penalty must be paid by Kansas Unified Development, the development entity formed by OnGoal and Lane4.
The developers announced in September they were moving the stadium and Cerner office project to the area near the Kansas Speedway. It had been slated for a property in south Kansas City, Mo., but that deal failed.