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Showbiz Cinemas offered incentive to come to Edmond

The arcade of a ShowBiz Cinema, which could be built in Edmond if an incentive package with the city is approved. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

The arcade of a ShowBiz Cinema, which could be built in Edmond if an incentive package with the city is approved. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

EDMOND — City council members approved this week the terms for a development agreement with Showbiz Cinemas and Covell-35 Development LLC to pay $4.8 million over 20 years as an incentive for developers to build a $23 million family entertainment center with a 12-screen theater and 18 bowling lanes.

The Edmond City Council also agreed to spend $268,905 upfront for infrastructure improvements at Covell Road and Interstate 35 to make way for the 82,500-square-foot center to be constructed on 11.04 acres on the northwest corner of the intersection.

Council members are expected to sign the final agreement during their Feb. 27 meeting.

The movie and entertainment complex, with an arcade, food and meeting spaces, is expected to bring in $12 million a year in annual sales, Assistant City Manager Steve Commons said.

The $4.8 million would be paid annually based on an amount equal to 2 cents of the city's sales tax generated directly from the movie and entertainment complex operations during the previous year, Commons said.

"The incentive would not exceed $4.8 million and is expected to be paid off in 15 to 16 years," Commons said.

"The money will go for land acquisitions, site development costs and clearing, leveling and raising the land and paving. It will be used to get the land ready for construction. We are not going to spend any money until everything out there is locked into place."

Kevin Mitchell, president and CEO of Showbiz Cinemas, said they want to start construction as soon as possible. The business will create 150 new jobs, Mitchell said.

The Edmond Economic Development Authority board recommended the city council offer an incentive package.

Roddy Bates, a Covell-35 Development partner, said he is satisfied with the incentive agreement.

Economic impact resulting from the construction of Showbiz is estimated at nearly $28.4 million, including the land, construction costs and square footage, said Janet Yowell, Edmond Economic Development Authority director.

The family entertainment center, with theaters with oversize leather seating and 70-foot curved screens, will be built to the east of the Hilton Garden Inn and conference center now under construction.

Retail business are expected to be built between the hotel/conference center and entertainment complex, Bates said. He would not say what retail businesses are looking at locating there.

Developers and city officials have said for years that once the hotel and conference center starts to come out the ground, other businesses and restaurants will follow.

City leaders put up $12 million to help develop the hotel and conference center and a sports complex, on the northeast side, as part of a 300-acre development on three corners of the Covell and I-35 intersection.

Construction on the public/private $37 million hotel and conference center got underway in June. The last piece of the roof of the six-story hotel was put into place on Monday. Those projects are expected to be completed by November or December.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›