The approval "clears the way for the LANE4 Property Group and the Wizards' ownership group, OnGoal LLC, to begin demolition of the old Bannister Mall site and start construction," writes Covitz. The project's centerpiece will be the $100 million, 18,500-seater soccer stadium, scheduled to open either late in the 2010 MLS season or for the start of 2011.
"It's a really big day for us," said Robb Heineman, Wizards' President and Chief Executive Officer of OnGoal, which is investing around 71 percent of the project's capital. "It's huge for us to have this out of the way to make sure the project comes together. We're appreciative of the action the board took, and we think it's a positive thing for the state of Missouri and for Kansas City, and we're ready to move forward."
The project includes the stadium, 12 soccer fields, 590 hotel rooms, 1.13 million square feet of mixed-use retail, 1.7 million square feet of office space, and 18,249 parking spaces. Public taxing districts will provide the additional 29 percent of the financing. There are still a few details to be worked out before demolition work can begin, and Heineman conceded that the recession "may impact us a little bit ... if you look at the broad credit markets right now, they're not great. So far for our group, that hasn't been an issue. We hope it continues to not be an issue."
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