@White=[C] $500 million in bonds approved for LakePoint
by By Jason Lowrey, jason.lowrey@daily-tribune.com
Nov 29, 2013 | 667 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
@White=[C]

With construction underway on its south campus, LakePoint Sporting Complex is now looking to access the $500 million available to it in the form of bonds.

According to Development Authority of Bartow County Attorney Boyd Pettit during a called meeting Friday morning, the amount was negotiated roughly two years ago and was included in the original memorandum of understanding.

“LakePoint has determined that prior to the end of the year they would like to get the property titled into the name of the authority and go ahead and issue, or potentially issue, a portion of the bonds,” Pettit said. “This authority approved a memorandum of understanding back — almost two years ago — that authorized $500 million in bonds to be issued. Of course, those bonds would solely be repayable [with] proceeds from the LakePoint connection with their investors. No obligation on the part of the city of Emerson, the Development Authority of Bartow County or Bartow County for repayment of those bonds.”

Under the approved bond resolution, the development authority will lease the property back to LakePoint, or one of its sub corporations, until the bond is payed off. Once the bonds are paid, LakePoint will receive the title. Pettit said he planned to file the bond validation Dec. 2, with the validation hearing set for Dec. 18.

County Administrator Peter Olson asked who would have the title on any land LakePoint parceled out to third-party developers, such as a restaurant or retailer.

“The documents also provide that during the course of the lease ... by the authority there will be outparcels that will be acquired by third parties. At such time we would quitclaim our interest in those outparcels at the request of the company to, again, those third parties,” Pettit said.

Pettit later added any tax abatements on the outparceled property would end, meaning a new business would have to reapply for an abatement.

The $500 million bond will be set up in such a way, Pettit said, that LakePoint will be able to draw from the total amount rather than drawing one section of the funds at a time. It is more cost-effective for the company, he said.

Olson asked how the county would keep track of what the bond funds were being spent on. Pettit said LakePoint will make yearly reports of what they have drawn against the bond and Bartow County will be able to audit those reports.