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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

3 companies submit ambitious bids for domed FAU stadium

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted September 15 2005


Boca Raton ? A 40,000-seat domed stadium ringed by a $130 million cancer research center, two hotels and multiple dormitories that would house nearly 2,500 students was among three bids from companies interested in developing an athletic village at Florida Atlantic University.

FAU sought the bids as part of its effort to get a domed stadium built on campus for its football and basketball teams, as well as a place for other campus events, such as commencements.

FAU is also considering raising the money for construction of the stadium on its own.

The Athletic Innovation Village plan calls for private developers to pay for construction and operate the stadium, dormitories and retail space, and then recoup the cost through leases, rents and parking fees.

"The advantage to this option is that it enables you to build faster and get where you want to go quicker," FAU President Frank Brogan said.

Brogan said he had not had time to give the bids more than a cursory look.

"I was pleased that the general idea was adhered to," Brogan said, noting the bids were supposed to include the stadium and student housing.

The bid submitted by Global Development Partners included the centerpiece stadium and added 2 million square feet of student housing along with retail, medical and office space, two hotels and 7,318 parking spaces, including a 5,250-space parking garage.

The bid included a museum dedicated to the Boca Raton Army Airfield to recognize what was on the site before FAU was established.

GDP said it had a commitment for a 100,000-square-foot cancer research center and said that would be an anchor for other medical uses and allow "rapid financing of the commercial real estate component."

GDP estimated the cost of the domed stadium at $107 million, with $130 million for the cancer center, but did not detail costs of the other parts of the development.

The other two bids were less detailed.

Innovation Development Partners estimated the cost of the stadium at $117 million, and the cost of 694 housing units with 1,486 beds for students at $53 million.

IDP also said FAU should explore getting an indoor soccer or arena football team to use the stadium to generate more income.

A proposal by another firm, KUD, had an estimated cost of $145 million but did not include specifics beyond the stadium.

KUD states in its bid it will work with FAU and the city of Boca Raton to evaluate potential commercial business that may use the site.

Boca Raton is keeping close tabs on FAU's plans. The city has no legal control over the state institution. But school and city officials hashed out a financial agreement five years ago to address campus development. FAU agreed to pay the city to offset impacts on roads or services that expansion brings.

The city put together a two-page analysis on the request for bids on the Athletic Innovation Village.

"The city expects to have the university work cooperatively with us to ensure that any project's impact can be adequately handled," said Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams.

The city is aware that FAU wants to put up a stadium, dorms and retail, but the proposed hotel and cancer center are something new, he said, adding that city officials have to understand the scope of the proposal.

The analysis said the stadium developer would need to renegotiate elements of the agreement, including a direct connection from Interstate 95 to the campus, the number of seats allowed and the number of tickets sold annually.

"The university still has to have discussions with the proposers to come up with a project that everyone can live with," Abrams said.

Brogan said he is forming a committee that will review the three bids and bring him recommendations.

"We have to see if any of these are reasonable and doable," Brogan said.

Brogan said there is a possibility FAU could take pieces from each bid and come up with a different proposal that could be viable.

Any proposal would have to be approved by Board of Regents.

"But we are still a long way from that," Brogan said.

Ted Hutton can be reached at [email protected]

Staff writer Luis F. Perez contributed to this report.

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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

Interesting article. I am not quite sure how we go from a proposed $90 million stadium and issues of funding and space to a $107+ million stadium along with a $130 million cancer research facility, two hotels, dorms, retail, and parking garage. What happened to the issue of not having much space??? This sounds a bit odd. Would it mean that FAU would have to pay rent on the stadium if the development company technically owns it??? I have never heard anything of this sort. I am interested to hear other thought on this. GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

Good eyes owlfan1. You're paying attention.. :) It's apparently also news to the Boca folks!

My thoughts are all over the place with this one. I have seen instances where it's been done but on the professional scale. The Steelers and Pitt Panthers and the Bucs and USF come to mind. They share facilities which were built for that purpose. Community Investment Taxes are what it's called in Hillsborough County. The Glazers/Owners of the Bucs have authority over the stadium ALTHOUGH taxes were paid by the community for USF's usage.

FAU may eventually come to an agreement where they allow the developer to build with the understanding that FAU "rent" the place and have advertising rights as part of the package. FAU's previous sticking point of "event scheduling" may have to give ground sooner or later. In this case there are no NFL teams involved. But there are hotels,dorms and a research center. INCOME. I'm guessing that's why they threw it out to the public in the first place. I could be wrong.

Otherwise we need a very rich uncle who want to help out the school and fund this stadium. Like the Pitt Panthers and USF benefited from owners, Heinz and Glazers.
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

Space might not be an issue with the cancer center…knowing how much some of the research equipment costs……$130 million might not take up that much room. :)
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

Owlfan1, the University will advise the management of the stadium which dates it will require for athletic events, graduation ceremonies, etc.. Other dates will be available for "revenue producing events". Sounds like we get a free ride. The Developer is totally responsible for debt service, not a dime from the state or university. Upon retirement of the debt ownership is to revert to the school. An early buy-out option is also on the table.
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

If that's the case it looks pretty good. What are we "potentially" looking at for debt retiement? 30 years?
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

Question.

I haven'nt seen the FAU campus since the summer of 2000. I didn't have too much time to look at it. I only stopped by because I had an hour or so to kill before my flight.

The question is, how much land is available on the campus anymore? One of the posts said room was an issue for the Stadium. I know a lot of building has taken place since I graduated. Just curious how much of all that land is left. Is any land available adjacent to the university should more be needed.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

The land available is in between the main campus and the PBCC campus. A lot of the building was renovating the old buildings.
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

Doesn't FAU own the land that PBCC is on? I had heard a rumor that FAU might be pushing PBCC out of the way on this one (i.e. tearing it down) so that we could have room for all of our stuff. Is there any truth to that?
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STADIUM BIDS. 3 Firms Identified

It seems strange that there would be a need for community college facilities on the FAU campus now that it has freshmen and sophmores students. Unless it is a source of revenue for the university leasing the space to PBCC.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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