Construction is expected to start this summer on the Hickory Junction Fieldhouse in Lebanon. Submitted rendering
Construction is expected to start this summer on the Hickory Junction Fieldhouse in Lebanon. Submitted rendering
Lebanon will contribute nearly $24 million to build the Hickory Junction Fieldhouse on Lebanon’s south side.

The city council on Monday approved $25 million in bonds for fieldhouse construction as part of an economic development agreement between the city and developer Card and Associates.

“The city is essentially offering $25 million in incentives, but it comes from property taxes the development is creating, so that money will be given back to the project,” Mayor Matthew Gentry said.

Lebanon landowners will not see a property tax hike, because property taxes used to pay the debt will be new and generated by the fieldhouse, Gentry said. The city will begin selling bonds next week, and Card and Associates will pay debt service on the bonds by paying nearly twice what is owed in property taxes and another $600,000 per year in sporting proceeds until the debt is retired, according to an economic development agreement between the company and the city.

“And, if they ever default, the city takes ownership of the fieldhouse,” Gentry said Tuesday.

The 190,000-square-foot indoor sports facility is to be built on 95 acres that include a former motel site south of Interstate 65 on the east side of Ind. 39. It will house eight sports courts for basketball and volleyball, plus two football-sized fields which will support soccer, lacrosse and Little League, city attorney Rob Schein told the council. There will be pitching and hitting tunnels and a 20,000 foot mezzanine with restaurants and retail amenities.

Bond sales are scheduled to close in August and the project may begin then, pending approval of Card and Associates’ plan filed with the state. The developer already filed site plans with the city, Lebanon Planning Director Ben Bontrager said.

A bond is a loan from an investor to a borrower such as a company or government. The borrower uses the money to fund its operations, and the investor receives interest on the investment.
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