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Road Show: City leaders prepare campaign to corral votes for $450 million arena

Fort Worth’s biggest backers of a new arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center are leaving little to the chance of a “no” vote in a citywide election Nov. 4 to decide on new fees that would fund 15 percent of the $450 million project.

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American Airlines seeking tax breaks from Fort Worth for center

By Scott Nishimura

snishimura@bizpress.net

 

Fort Worth is considering a one-year tax abatement and a 14-year economic development grant agreement - up to a total $6.t million - to help American Airlines build its planned Southern Reservations Center at 4700 American Blvd.

 

The City Council will vote on the proposed agreement Tuesday. As part of the agreement, it will also vote on waiving up to $32,000 in development fees. 

 

To get the maximum incentive, American is committing to $55 million in construction and $33 million in personal property improvements by Dec. 31, 2015.

 

“Failure to meet the real property investment is a condition of default and will result in immediate termination of the agreement,” the city staff told the City Council in a report.

 

The one-year tax abatement would potentially abate up to 85 percent of city property tax added by the real and personal property on the site.

 

Under the economic development agreement, the city would make annual grants to American for up to 85 percent of the city property tax added but the real and personal on the site.

 

To get the full incentive, American is committing to employ a minimum 1,300 full-time employees on the site by Dec. 31, 2015.

 

The company will fill the greater of 15 percent of all jobs, or 195, with Fort Worth residents, or the greater of 5 percent of all jobs, or 65, with Fort Worth central city residents.

 

To get the maximum incentive, American is also committing to spend the greater of $13.75 million, or 25 percent of construction costs, with Fort Worth contractors.

 

The company is committing to spend the greater of $13.75 million, or 25 percent of construction costs, with local contractors that are minority or women-owned.

 

The overall contracting and minority and women contracting figures can overlap.

 

American also committed to spend the greater of 30 percent or $150,000 of annual discretionary supply and service expenditures with Fort Worth contractors.

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What do you think of the new plans for a new Will Rogers arena and changes at the Convention Center?