The following is a message from Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner about the "Game On" sports bubble proposal for Dobbs Ferry Road. The second part of the letter was written by Game On 365's leadership team:
A draft revised lease for Game On 365 should be posted on the town website (www.greenburghny.com) on Tuesday afternoon. The property covers approximately 6.9 acres and is currently developed with one building (the former Franks Nursery grounds) and two paved parking lots.
The property was undeveloped until 1967, when a portion of the property was filled in and a store and barn were built. The property was further developed in the 1970s to accommodate an approximately 50,000 square foot commercial building and parking lot.
Game On 365 plans to transform the property by building and operating a bubble facility to be known as The Westchester Field House. This facility will be designed to be a premier indoor sports facility, serve a diverse user group and include sports fields. The proposed facility would provide local residents with four season access to world class training and instruction in multiple sport activities, while generating over a quarter of a million dollars on an annual basis for 15 years. Senior Citizens above the age of 60 will receive membership discounts.
Greenburgh seniors will receive free membership. Currently the property generates zero revenue and requires taxpayers to absorb significant school taxes and special district (sewer/refuse) assessments but not County and Town taxes. The Town obtained the property through foreclosure in 2011 and, pursuant to state law, has until 2014 to either use the property for a public purpose or sell it or the Town will be required to pay County and Town taxes in addition to school taxes and special district.
The Town advertised the property for lease nationally in 2011 and received three responses in response to advertisements and Requests for Proposals (RFPs), two responses were to buy the property outright and the third response was from Game On 365, LLC to lease the property for a Recreation/Sports Bubble. The Town does not want to sell the property in the current depressed economic climate and not receive the property’s real value.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. The term of the Lease is for fifteen (15) years.
2. The annual rent for Year 1 is $260,000 per year (or $21,667.67 paid monthly), $280,000 per year for Year 2 (or $23,333.33 paid monthly), $300,000 per year for Year 3 (or $25,000.00 paid monthly) and $325,000 per year for Year 4.
3. Game On will be paying the full amount of taxes assessed on the property which will be included in the rent payment.
4. In Year 5 the rent after taxes will increase by 1% over the prior years’ rent after taxes every year for the remainder of the15 year lease. In Year 5 property taxes paid by Game On will also increase by the percentage that all Town property taxes increase for the remainder of the15 year lease.
5. Game On will only pay rent if it receives a building permit from the Building Inspector after completion of the SEQR environmental review process
6. Game On will pay all electric, water, gas, telephone and other public utility charges in connection with its occupancy of the property.
7. Game On will pay the Town $125,000 for an environmental study and remediation of the property upon execution of the Lease. Remediation of Old Frank’s Nursery is expected to cost approximately $100,000. Game On will pay an additional $125,000 if further remediation of the property is necessary but would receive rent credits in exchange for this payment.
8. If remediation of the property exceeds $250,000 Game On can terminate the Agreement. If remediation of the property exceeds $400,000 the Town can terminate the Agreement.
9. Game On agrees that it shall, at its own expense, maintain in force policies of insurance of $1,000,000.00 for bodily injury or death to any one person, $3,000,000.00 for any one accident and $1,000,000.00 for property damage. Game On will also provide a $5 million umbrella insurance policy.
10. Senior citizens over the age of 60 will receive a membership discount and Greenburgh seniors will be admitted free.
11. No tennis will be permitted at the Game On facility.
12. The Town has conducted an environmental review of the proposed Lease Agreement and determined that there are no adverse environmental impacts. A more thorough environmental review of the bubble itself will be conducted and studied when a plan for the site is submitted.
13. Game On will continue to pay rent during the Lease term even if the property is destroyed by fire or other casualty.
I received the following information from Game On—answering some specific questions you may have about the proposal....They invite residents who have concerns to visit their existing sports bubble which is located in NJ. Let me know if you're interested in attending.
Below is information residents requested [from Game On's leadership team]
Traffic - The majority of the traffic to the bubble will be after school and evenings as well as weekends. Based on the staggered start and stop times of the programs, we don't anticipate more than 40 cars to be in the parking lot on average at any one time. Most of the programs offered are training classes and clinics. Children are either dropped off or their parents stay and watch, depending on their age. We will not have stadium seating in the bubble, so there are no large areas for crowds to sit.
Our busiest hours of operation will be between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays. We anticipate being open as late as 10pm on some days depending on any adult activities going on. These are indoor activities and no noise comes from the dome. The clubhouse will be open in the morning for a few sports related retail businesses. We anticipate a minimal amount of traffic at that time. The dome is not designed to be open 24 hours a day.
The bubble is designed around programs and clinics, primarily for children. This is not a hang out destination. If you are not involved in a program, you will not come here. There will not be an arcade available to the general public at the bubble. At the sister facility in NJ, there have been (Tom - fill in -) few if any security issues that have resulted in requiring police attention.
Our sister facility in New Jersey shared the following:
SECURITY: Teaneck is an active Military facility with unlocked doors leading to the offices. The unlocked basement also houses Military vehicles and sensitive equipment and supplies that include ammunition. We have had not issues with our guests because they are connected to teams and parents. We do not offer programs to someone walking in off the street. There is nothing for them. Waldwick programs mirror Teaneck and also have zero security issues. Over the years, there have not been any security issues at these locations. All players are accountable to a team coach, trainer or parent.
HOURS: Programs are either 60 minutes or 90-minutes long, beginning around 4:00 p.m. with after school sessions that usually end around 8:30-9:00 p.m. with the oldest children entering last on a “school night”. Adults play in leagues from 9:00-11:00 p.m. Pre-school children have classes in the morning and early afternoon. We place zero complications for morning rush hour traffic and very little in the evening given our staggering of programs in the afternoon and evening. Remember, that even seasonally our busiest winter season is the off-season for our neighbors. Rumbrook Park, Elmwood Country Club, the Westchster Golf Range and Elmwood Day Camp are all busiest in the summer months. Hours of operation are expected to be 10 AM to 11 PM.
NUMBERS: We have between 30-80 players at any one time depending on the class or league. Daytime Pre-school classes are small with about 8-15 children to a class. After school classes rotate every 60-90 minutes as per the above with one group leaving and one group arriving throughout the afternoon and evening in a sequential manner. We won’t have stadium seating and, in fact, have only a few benches in our Waldwick facility because the field is for instruction and games and not lounging. Teams usually have parents car-pooling and this makes the volume of spectators relatively small given the numbers above. There is an industry statistic of one car per 2 people (probably includes some spectators, although we have few). But using Ken’s number below (80+ players) it comes to about 50 cars per hour max during busy times.
FIELDS: We will have four fields where players will play 7 V 7/ Field for a total of 56 (14x4) players on the field and a few reserves on the sidelines waiting to get into games if and when filled to capacity. These four fields can be further divided into eight smaller fields for practices with but a few additional players added from the numbers above leading to a maximum number around 80 (8x10) at any given time. The smaller fields are used for 5 V 5, so only 10 kids per field.
CLUB HOUSE: We do not cater to outside customers. Our cafe and services are meant to enhance the experience of our customer base and not to attract outside visitors. The Club house is not a destination for outsiders. Additionally, most of the rented spaces are small studios, roughly 1000 sf and perhaps 3500 sf for a physical therapy office, too small to attract large crowds. There will not be a video arcade for outsiders. There will be a birthday party room with games, and only party guests have access to this room. No children will come into the facility without a purpose for being there.
I’d invite anybody from the board to Waldwick if need be and we’ll give them a tour.