WHAT IS DESTINATION O’FALLON?
Destination O’Fallon is a new economic development initiative that is an investment in the O’Fallon community. It will benefit our businesses, spur economic growth, support the youth and families of our community in a truly positive way, and help us realize the vision we all share for a successful and prosperous O’Fallon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is all included in Destination O’Fallon?
Destination O’Fallon includes a number of projects and community-wide investments that make O’Fallon a national destination for families, businesses and visitors. Two of the largest projects will include a state-of-the-art multi-sports complex in the O’Fallon Family Sports Park and a new multi-purpose community plaza in the heart of the historic O’Fallon Downtown.
Destination O’Fallon also includes a comprehensive economic development campaign to recruit new jobs and businesses to O’Fallon. The campaign is a new approach to encouraging opportunities for economic growth in retail, health care, recreation, and residential.
Following the success of Old City Hall (200 North Lincoln), which is currently being remodeled after a local developer agreed to purchase and redevelop the property, the City of O’Fallon is working to attract developers to redevelop thirteen City-owned properties into private developments that will enhance the community.
Why is a multi-sports complex at the Family Sports Park included in Destination O’Fallon?
Destination O’Fallon will result in a multi-sports complex in the O’Fallon Family Sports Park that will become a magnet for soccer and other youth sports programs and will provide an added boost to the local economy. The complex will include all-weather fields that will attract regional and national tournaments.
This complex will be the only of its type in the St. Louis market and will rival the nationally awarded Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2016, soccer tournaments held at the Overland Park Soccer Complex generated 28,673 hotel room nights. The complex’s largest tournament, the 2016 KC Champions Cup, generated over 3,250 room nights in one weekend, April 8 – April 10, 2016. The proposed multi-sports complex in O’Fallon will be able to host multiple events of this type and size throughout the year.
Additionally, O’Fallon’s residents will have a world-class facility in which to play in and call their own. The recent O’Fallon Citizen Survey concluded that residents enjoy the quality of life and appreciate recreational opportunities.
How many all-weather fields at the Family Sports Park will be built?
It is proposed to build 8-11 additional all-weather turf fields with lights. In addition, other support facilities and additional parking would be incorporated into the final design. The fields will be used for O’Fallon Parks & Recreation Programming, O’Fallon sports teams, and will be available for rent by area clubs. The fields will also from time-to-time be utilized for rent by private parties for training and hosting of tournaments and would have to be scheduled through the O’Fallon Parks and Recreation Department. In addition to the increased usability for organized games, there will be frequent opportunities for anyone to simply walk on to the fields and kick the ball around or practice, which is the benefit of having more than one all-weather field.
Why do we need all-weather fields?
Studies have shown that major regional and national tournaments demand all-weather surfaces so they can ensure playability. A recent feasibility study concluded that the St. Louis metro area has a shortage of all-weather fields and has the potential for much larger tournaments if enough all-weather fields were available.
While the current grass fields were highly used when the Family Sports Park was built 10 years ago, they are currently under-utilized for games as leagues and tournaments prefer all weather surfaces. The Family Sports Park’s one all-weather field receives heavy usage for both league games and tournaments.
How does investing in O’Fallon’s parks help impact the O’Fallon economy?
In 2016, it was determined that on an average of 128,000 times per year, a player, spectator or coach who does not reside in O’Fallon comes to O’Fallon to participate or play in a game or visit O’Fallon parks. When these out-of-town visitors come to O’Fallon, they spend money on food, drinks, gas, retail goods and hotel rooms. In total, these visitors result in an additional $1.6 million being spent in O’Fallon by non-residents that would have most likely not existed otherwise. Investing in our parks will increase the number of visitors and amount they choose to spend in O’Fallon.
What is the proposed plaza in Downtown O’Fallon?
Destination O’Fallon will transform an underutilized parking lot at the corner of First Street and Vine Street into a beautiful, multi-purpose gathering space and overflow parking area. It will create an iconic plaza in the heart of the historic O’Fallon Downtown that can host farmers’ markets, parades, seasonal festivals, and much more.
How does investing in Downtown O’Fallon help O’Fallon?
Downtown O’Fallon remains the heart of the Community. The O’Fallon Downtown Plan concluded that a top priority is a community space for festivals, fairs, and a farmer’s market. Investments through Destination O’Fallon will improve infrastructure and parking, and will provide a place to hold unique community events. Increased activity at the new public plaza will continue the momentum in Downtown O’Fallon that we have seen with the recent addition of Peel Pizza, Shooter’s, Fezziwig’s Market Place, Sweet Katie Bee’s and more.
How will Destination O’Fallon help O’Fallon?
Destination O’Fallon will make this community a national destination for families, businesses and visitors. An increase in the number of visitors and businesses will provide a boost to the O’Fallon economy. O’Fallon will become an even more desirable community in which to live, which in turn will help to increase O’Fallon homeowners’ property values.
Additionally, Destination O’Fallon will encourage opportunities for economic development in all areas of O’Fallon, including the Green Mount Road Corridor, Central Park Drive, Southview Plaza, and the Downtown Area.
How will the multi-sports complex and downtown community event space be funded?
A 4% increase in the O’Fallon Hotel/Motel Tax will help fund Destination O’Fallon. Visitors traveling to O’Fallon and staying in O’Fallon’s hotels will pay for the construction of the projects. The City will issue bonds to pay for the construction.
Why use an increase in Hotel/Motel Tax to fund Destination O’Fallon?
An increase in O’Fallon’s Hotel/Motel Tax is being used so that O’Fallon’s visitors, not O’Fallon residents, will pay for the community investments. O’Fallon families and homeowners will experience the benefits of additional amenities and increased home values, without having to pay for it through property taxes.
The local economy will benefit in two ways:
- Additional visitors will spend money in O’Fallon businesses and will provide increased tax revenues for City services.
- New businesses from the economic development campaign will bring new shopping and eating opportunities for O’Fallon residents and new tax revenues for City services.
Would increasing the Hotel/Motel Tax rate by 4% make O’Fallon hotels uncompetitive for potential visitors?
No, O’Fallon’s Hotel/Motel tax rate (5.00%) is currently lower than the rates of our surrounding communities. Increasing O’Fallon’s Hotel/Motel tax rate by 4% would make O’Fallon’s hotel/motel tax within 2% of O’Fallon’s neighboring communities:
- Belleville: 8.00%
- Fairview Heights: 7.00%
- Collinsville: 7.00%
- St. Louis City: 7.25%
In addition, Destination O’Fallon will attract additional visitors to O’Fallon and to O’Fallon’s hotels, resulting in higher usage of O’Fallon hotel rooms.
What will the money from the increased Hotel/Motel tax rate build?
For the multi-sports complex, there is not a final design and cost estimate but it is estimated we will be able to build between 8 – 11 all-weather fields. For the downtown plaza, the concept plan is to build central plaza that incorporates a large event pavilion along with parking and landscaping. The City of O’Fallon will work with O’Fallon’s residents and Downtown businesses for the final design of the plaza.
Will my property taxes be going up to fund Destination O’Fallon?
No, your property tax will not increase in order to pay for the multi-sports complex and Downtown Plaza. In fact, because Hotel/Motel Tax will be paying for the projects, no O’Fallon resident (unless staying in a hotel or motel) will have to pay any more in any tax because of the 4% increase in O’Fallon’s Hotel/Motel Tax.
Will money be taken away from other City services in order to fund Destination O’Fallon?
No money will be diverted away from existing City services to pay for the projects associated with Destination O’Fallon. A 4% increase in the Hotel/Motel tax will be a separate funding source used for Destination O’Fallon. Destination O’Fallon will not affect the funding of any other City Services like police, fire protection, streets, water, sewers or storm water management.
Why is the City asking for proposals to convert City-owned property into private developments?
In 2016, O’Fallon’s Old City Hall was purchased and is in the process of being redeveloped by a local O’Fallon developer and converted into a use that benefited Downtown O’Fallon and the community. Following that success, the City identified thirteen other City-owned properties that could possibly be redeveloped into more productive uses by private developers.
Why is it important for Destination O’Fallon to happen now?
O’Fallon is already a premier community in the St. Louis region, but the O’Fallon City Council continues to work hard to make it even better. Soon, two new hospitals will be operational and in the next 15 years, O’Fallon is projected to have over 40,000 residents. We are going through the most transformative growth period in O’Fallon’s history since its founding in 1854. Because of that, the City has the opportunity to positively shape O’Fallon’s future and make investments in the community that will benefit O’Fallon businesses, spur future economic growth, support youth and families in a truly powerful way, and help realize the vision we all share for a successful and prosperous O’Fallon.
If Destination O’Fallon is approved, will the O’Fallon Community be involved in designing the projects?
Yes, especially in regards to the Downtown O’Fallon Plaza, the picture presented in the presentation is only a concept plan and NOT a final design. It is merely an artist’s rendering of what could possibly be put in that space. On the concept plan, one of the reasons the pavilion is pushed to the front of the property near Vine is to provide some separation from the houses on 1st Street. If the City Council approves the project, the residents and businesses in downtown, in addition to the O’Fallon City Council (and the O’Fallon community) will have an opportunity to give input on what should be there, how it will look, and policies on what it can be used for. The concerns of the neighbors will certainly be taken into account.
What is the timeline for the Destination O’Fallon projects?
Initial Presentation to Community Development Committee – October 24, 2016
Follow up questions and answer session with Community Development Committee – November 1, 2016.
Projected First Reading by the City Council to increase Hotel/Motel Tax to fund Destination O’Fallon – November 7, 2016
Projected Second Reading by the City Council to increase Hotel/Motel Tax to fund Destination O’Fallon – November 21, 2016
Design and public input on Destination O’Fallon projects – (tentatively) December 2016 – March 2017
Completion of the multi-sports complex: TBD
Completion of the Downtown Community Plaza: TBD