Gainesville signs deal with entertainment company for Engine 209 lot


After a long rezoning process that began in April, the Town of Gainesville is finalizing the conditions to sell downtown land to an entertainment company for $ 800,000.

The city plans to sell 1.7 acres of land to Colorado-based B-Entertainment, which plans to build a restaurant and event center after receiving approval from Gainesville city council last month.

A 15,000 square foot concert hall and event center would give the city a place to host big events it doesn’t have today.

While plans have yet to be finalized, City Manager Bryan Lackey and B-Entertainment COO Robert Mudd have confirmed these details. Mudd wrote in an email on Thursday, September 2 that they are in the due diligence phase of the deal leading up to the close.

The city bought the plots that make up the property for around $ 2 million over a 14-year period, Lackey and Mudd have confirmed. The current assessed value of the five plots that make up the lot is $ 654,062, according to Steve Watson, the Hall County tax assessor.

“The city made it clear that $ 800,000 alone was not going to be enough to close the sale,” Lackey said. “With this, we started to explore other methods of compensation for the city.”

As part of the agreement, the city will be able to use the event center 12 times a year for 15 years. This deal would be worth a minimum value of $ 900,000 over that period, Mudd wrote, as the rental price for a venue similar to B-Entertainment’s in Colorado Springs is well over the $ 5,000 per event.

“We are excited to be able to partner with the city in a way that will increase Gainesville’s ability to meet the needs of community events such as college rowing championships and televised fishing tournaments, among other opportunities,” a- he writes. “The facility will have world-class simulcast, multimedia and catering capacity, offering many opportunities in the years to come. “

Currently, the city has a $ 5,000 incentive that it can use twice a year as part of its convention and visitor bureau budget to offer organizations that wish to rent a facility in Gainesville for an event or a conference, Lackey said. With the B-Entertainment agreement, the city will be able to attract big events much more often.

“I know people can laugh a bit when we talk about the fishing tournaments being a big deal for Gainesville, but it makes a lot of money for our community,” Lackey said. Currently, some tournaments are due to hold closing tournaments in Gwinnett County, he said, because there isn’t a space big enough and with the necessary technology in Gainesville.

The site off Jesse Jewell Parkway, West Academy Street, Broad Street and Maple Street was home to Engine 209 Park until the city moved the historic train to Midland Greenway on August 14. central venture to make way for the development of B-Entertainment, which includes a 9,000 square foot restaurant and patio in addition to the concert hall and event center.

The indoor concert hall will face Jesse Jewell Parkway and adjoin Maple Street on the south and east sides of the property respectively, and the restaurant, including its rooftop bar, will be at the corner of Broad and Maple streets. Forty parking spaces will be built on the west side of the property near West Academy Street.

In addition to the cash and rent deal, the city plans to use $ 250,000 from the project’s TAD increase to build 40 parking spaces at the nearby Poultry Park, Lackey said. The project is eligible to apply for up to $ 1.4 million over 15 years of TAD funding, Lackey said.

The District Tax Allocation Program, or TAD, allows developers and homeowners to use the property tax payments they make for property improvements over an agreed period of time. As the property is developed, its value increases, and therefore its property tax payments increase.

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