Development authority moves on LakePoint bonds
by Jason Lowrey
Jul 16, 2014 | 1453 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A second round of LakePoint Sporting Community bonds is in the near future.

During a meeting held early Monday morning before the Beaulieu International Group announcement, the Development Authority of Bartow County met to get the ball rolling on approximately $29 million of bonds that will go toward LakePoint’s next phase.

“You as an authority adopted a bond resolution back last winter, or late fall, in connection with LakePoint,” said authority attorney Boyd Pettit. “We’ve seen them out at the ground and under development with this particular first phase. ... What we’re asking for this morning would be a resolution authorizing the execution of a letter of intent with LakePoint land and with Bartow County to create a partnership for another phase of this sports complex.”

A term sheet also will be included with the letter of intent, Pettit added.

Earl Ehrhart, a co-CEO in the LakePoint project, was on hand at the meeting to speak about the progress at the site. He said the business LakePoint has seen in the first month of operation has exceeded all estimates.

“The great news is LakePoint is doing spectacularly well. It’s 40 percent over our fondest estimates,” he said. “The bad news is it’s 40 percent over our fondest estimates. That’s not really bad news, but we’ve now had to put on a fourth shift, add about another 60 employees — all local — to go from 12 midnight to 6 a.m. just to handle the success. It’s a great thing.”

Once the second phase is underway, Ehrhart continued, the construction workforce will expand.

“We’ve had almost 600 jobs out there during the construction. This next phase we’re talking about will be another 600 jobs or so jobs. We’re up around 1,000 jobs now. We’re looking at continuing that kind of economic engine. This is what we brought you in the very beginning. This is what we hope to continue to have as our success,” he said.

No date was mentioned during the meeting as a start date for the next phase. Pettit, however, indicated the formal bond resolution would occur in September, once the due diligence is finished.

The development authority also approved two expenditures. One, a check for $245, is for training new authority member Tracy Lewis will undergo, while the other, a $5,669 check, was for insurance payment.