by Sam Hieb
A lot going on here between the City of Raleigh and Wake County regarding allocation of tourism dollars funded by hotel-motel taxes. More about that later, but the bottom line is the proposed soccer stadium south of downtown has to get in line with the Marbles Kids Museum and the N.C. Museum of Art to get its cut:
City and county leaders did both decide to study whether the area can can support a 20,000-seat, outdoor stadium and its impact on the surrounding community. The goal is to have that done by the end of the year.
Called the Downtown South project, the stadium would be surrounded by private development near Penmarc Drive and South Saunders Street.
The idea was pitched by North Carolina FC and NC Courage owner Steve Malik and Raleigh developer John Kane. They requested $330 million or about $11 million a year for the next 30 years.
The money, generated by taxes that hotel and motel guests pay, can only be used for projects that will increase tourism to the county.
The big winners are PNC Arena, which—as the N&O writes–“would get about $9 million per year until 2034 for improvements to the arena, which could include a rooftop bar, new restaurants and suites for “income-producing spaces”—and the Raleigh Convention Center. According to the N&O:
Here’s the breakdown of the tourism money the county-approved plan would give the convention center:
*About $3 million per year for maintenance.
*A one-time $5 million for convention center upgrades in 2021.
*A one-time $14 million to buy land near the convention center for an expansion in 2020.
*About $2.575 million a year starting in 2025 for a “Raleigh music venue relocation” This would likely be moving Red Hat Amphitheater to another location for a convention center expansion.
*About $15 million a year starting in 2028 for a convention center expansion.
*About $2.2 million a year for the parking and infrastructure negotiations.
That last item is leverage too attract a hotel. Greensboro has a similar issue —the city builds parking decks–ostensibly to serve taxpayers but really to serve downtown hotels. One deck–on Eugene Street—appears to be moving along while the deck on Elm Street—in the heart of downtown—is still mired in confusion.
The deal in Raleigh is being held up—for the time being–because Wake’s Board of Commissioners wants more say, but city leaders balked at that idea. As the N&O concludes, “both boards eventually will have to agree to the same terms.”