Mayor Padgett cites project as “catalyst to Downtown’s resurgence and transformation.”
(October 13, 2011) – Cabarrus, NC – Carolina Courts announced today that it will develop a facility in Historic Downtown Concord that is expected to draw thousands of visitors, and generate 52 direct jobs and many other indirect jobs for the restaurants, hotels, and retailers that serve its visitors. The company, which currently operates a facility in Indian Trail, North Carolina, will build a second facility on land to be acquired from the City of Concord at 24 Spring Street SW, adjacent to Concord’s Memorial Gardens. The site was home to the City’s former public works operations base. The Concord City Council authorized the acquisition and approved a related agreement.
Carolina Courts specializes in basketball, volleyball, and fitness, and will serve the community with ongoing leagues, camps, training, and open play. On weekends, Carolina Courts will host basketball and volleyball tournaments that will draw upwards of 1,000 people to Downtown Concord. Based on current operations in Indian Trail, Carolina Courts expects to generate 20,000 annual hotel room nights in Concord from the tournaments in the new facility.
The building will be 47,120 square feet and contain multi-use courts that will accommodate four high school size basketball courts, eight middle school size basketball courts, and eight volleyball courts. The facility will include a 3,200 square foot fitness center and training lab that will be operated by Rhymer Fitness.
The site is being prepared for new construction using a federal Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) grant secured by the City of Concord from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). City of Concord staff members were greatly assisted by Congressman Larry Kissell’s office while coordinating the project with several federal offices. BEDI grants are meant to encourage economic development projects on brownfields sites that will result in new business or job creation, increase the local tax base, and create other economic benefits. “This project is exactly what we have been waiting and working for in Downtown Concord for a long time”, said Scott Padgett, Mayor of Concord. “It will be a catalyst to Historic Downtown Concord’s resurgence and transformation into a top visitor destination.”
The City also successfully applied for a HUD loan to generate part of the financing that a private developer could use to invest in the site. Carolina Courts will use the HUD loan and financing provided by F&M Bank to construct the facility. “F&M Bank is committed to improving the quality of life within the communities that we are privileged to serve,” explained Steve Fisher, president of F&M Bank. “In order for communities to be strong, we at F&M know first hand that you must invest and support the local business community and invest in the lives and futures
of our young people. The Carolina Courts facility is a rare opportunity to do both. It will give our young people the opportunity to improve their physical and inter-personal skills and allow families to share quality time in a safe environment. Carolina Courts will also bring new energy and new business to the heart of Downtown Concord.”
Since the new facility will be a major tourism asset for the county, the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is also a partner in the development of the facility. “This project demonstrates the mutual commitment of all involved parties in generating additional economic impact in Cabarrus County and increasing visitor density in Downtown Concord,” added Donna Carpenter, CVB president and chief executive officer. “Our goal is to bring more visitors to Cabarrus County, in this case, through a contribution to the development of a much needed facility. Carolina Courts will be a vibrant addition to Downtown Concord and we anticipate significant impact on nearby businesses.”
The Convention and Visitors Bureau will play a substantial role in promoting the facility as a venue for tournaments and events. “Currently, no other facility in Cabarrus County has this many courts under one roof. It’s no secret that we have a need for more indoor competition space and the Carolina Courts complex will help serve the needs of our local sports community,” said Lauren Carpenter, CVB sports and recreation sales manager. “Additionally, a facility of this caliber will allow our community to pursue regional and national youth basketball and volleyball events, bringing more visitors to the county. This will put Concord on the map as a potential venue for a variety of amateur sports and recreation events.”
Finally, the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) played an extremely important role in advocating for the project and coordinating with Downtown business interests. “Historic Downtown Concord is thrilled to welcome Carolina Courts to our Downtown community,” remarked Diane Young, CDDC executive director. “We are poised to offer a variety of eateries and entertainment options to the many visitors who will be traveling to this destination, and see this announcement as a catalyst for our ongoing business recruitment and retention efforts.”
Site work currently underway includes relocating existing sewer and storm water lines. Carolina Courts has selected Concord Engineering and Surveying (CESI) for design services, Richard Burrage Inc. for site improvements, and SC Hondros & Associates, Inc. for building design and construction. The total development will cost approximately 3.9 million dollars.
“I speak for the entire Carolina Courts staff when I say we are incredibly excited to expand our business and to be part of Downtown Concord,” said Scott Chitwood, Vice President and Co-founder of Carolina Courts. “This is perfect fit for Carolina Courts, where our goal was to expand to the north side of the Charlotte market and provide the same great level of instruction and programs for our customers. We feel Downtown Concord’s vision aligns extremely well with Carolina Courts mission statement and values, which makes for a great partnership!”
The facility is expected to open in fall 2012.
Scott Chitwood, Vice President and Co-founder
Steve Osborne, Deputy Director – Planning and Neighborhood Development
Diane Young, Executive Director
Will Swink, Senior Commercial Development Officer