Developers behind Omaha’s planned Topgolf entertainment complex are hoping to collect a new occupation tax to help pay for the project.
If approved, the 14-acre area southwest of 102nd and Nicholas Streets near Westroads Mall would become Omaha’s second “enhanced employment district.”
The Omaha City Council will hear the request for the first time today. A public hearing and vote are set for next month.
The tax is an incentive to bring Topgolf to Omaha, said Drew Snyder, co-manager of Westroads Investors LLC. Snyder’s company will lease the site to the golf and entertainment venue.
“We’re very excited to bring in what is one of the most popular concepts in the country right now,” he said.
Topgolf is comparable to bowling or darts, though it involves hitting golf balls with microchips into a net-wrapped area.
The game, which will have 72 climate-controlled hitting bays and 11 targets, mixes golf play with food, drinks and socializing.
The council in July made the downtown Capitol District the city’s first enhanced employment district.
The mechanism allows special taxes to be collected from customers in order to help finance public improvements.
The proposed district at the Topgolf site is bounded by Interstate 680 on the west and 102nd Street on the east. Topgolf plans to take up 10 acres. The rest will be home to other development or restaurants.
Developers have been in talks with a couple of restaurants, but no deals have been finalized, Snyder said.
The proposed ordinance calls for a 1.75 percent tax on food and retail items in the area. That would be on top of city and state sales tax.
Developers hope to collect up to $5 million in revenue from the occupation tax, city documents show.
The $54 million project is scheduled to break ground in late 2018 and open in late 2019 or early 2020.
Snyder said the Baxter car dealerships, which are currently on the site, plan to move to 168th Street and West Dodge Road when Topgolf breaks ground.
“We’re just very excited to have them and have the opportunity to bring them into Omaha,” he said.
The city’s Planning Board voted in April to approve a request by Topgolf for rezoning and a special use permit. Those requests are also set to go before the council for a public hearing and vote next month.
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