Bond issue approved for Landers Center expansion
Initial rendering of what the new expansion of the Landers Center will look like when completed. County officials have approved a bond issue for the center and theater portion of the project. Private funding would cover the cost of the planned hotel.
The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors took another step forward in the planned expansion of the Landers Center on Monday, March 20, when it approved a $38.5 million bond issue.
Before the vote, Supervisors held a public hearing on the bond issue that had no public comment, and also noted there had been no comments in a protest period that closed when the meeting started at 9 a.m. that morning.
The board also held an executive session to finalize the details before returning to open session and casting the final vote to issue the bond.
“The Board and the CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) have deliberated this thing to death to make sure that they were very secure in the funding strategy,” said County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard.
The funding generated by the bond issue will cover the expansion of the facility and the theater only. Plans to build a five-star hotel with connected with the center must come from private sources, Lynchard pointed out.
The DeSoto County Convention and Visitors Bureau has the oversight of the Landers Center but does not have the power to issue bonds. The Board of Supervisors has the ability to issue bonds on the CVB’s behalf but no property taxes will be involved, Lynchard said.
“The CVB or the Landers Center will pay for this from the two-percent tourism tax and their revenue,” Lynchard said. “However, the county has to issue it. Long before this was done, the financial people looked at the revenues and that sort of thing and said that the financials are strong enough to make this step. It is very important to the Board that this does not fall back on the property tax.”
Board members also said it was important the Theater be included in the expansion plans.
Expansion of the Landers Center was first presented in November 2021. At the time it was estimated the expansion would bring more than $25 million in direct spending, $9.5 million in indirect or induced spending, and an estimated $45 million in economic impact output by year four. A total of 340 new jobs was estimated for the facility in its first year.
First estimates had the needed bond issue to be $35 million but with rising costs, the final amount of the bond was needed to be at $38.5 million.
“They looked at what the CVB came up with from the architect they have working for them for the cost estimate and they came up with the $38.5 million,” Lynchard said.
“Once the bond money is actually issued there are some more steps before they issue the notice to issue the money,” Lynchard added. “It’ll be a couple years before anything is completed.”
One thought on “Bond issue approved for Landers Center expansion”
How about building a off ramp specifically for the civic center instead of wasting police resources and blocking church road off everytime there is an event. It will literally pay for itself.