The Dublin community can likely expect continued dialogue about a proposed field house project in Crawford Hoying's Bridge Park development.

Bob Hoying, principal of Crawford Hoying, said the company is looking forward to collaborating with Dublin City Council and city staff members on the proposed project and plans to engage the community to share project details and gain feedback.

"We want the community to be informed and excited about it," he said.

As Crawford Hoying builds out its Bridge Park development, the developers knew they wanted other offerings besides restaurants and retail, Hoying said.

Newer additions such as 16-Bit Bar+Arcade and Pins Mechanical Co. have been an important part of filling that need, he said.

"We want to have a wide variety of offerings here at Bridge Park," he said.

The proposed field house would be a 2-story, 150,000-square-foot multipurpose athletic-events facility that would have the ability to play host to events for up to 5,000 people, according to a presentation from Crawford Hoying to Dublin City Council members during a meeting Feb. 25.

The space would include eight basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts with the option to host multiple events, according to the presentation.

The field house would be in block J of the Bridge Park development, a block also planned to include a 5-story, 125,000-square-foot office building, a 6-story parking garage and a 5-story, 70-unit residential or office building, Hoying said. Adjacent to the area would be the headquarters for the Wendy's Co.

Crawford Hoying officials estimate a development budget for the project of a little more than $35 million, said Matt Starr, Crawford Hoying development director.

The funding Crawford Hoying is pursuing would be necessary to service debt from a bond that would be used to finance the project, Starr said.

Crawford Hoying officials have projected about $850,000 per year would be needed for the life of that bond -- a 30-year term, he said.

Alternatively, that funding could be generated prior to the start of the project so the amount of money required up front to be borrowed could be reduced, Starr said.

If funding were to be committed, design and construction for the project would take two years, Starr said. The field house ultimately would be managed by a third party, which hasn't been identified yet.

One of the ways to address the funding gap could be exploring ways to reduce the cost based on modifying the building design to make it more efficient, Hoying said, or "value engineering" the design.

One of the outcomes of that value engineering could be that the size of the building shrinks, he said.

While the company will scrutinize the building's design, Hoying said staff will explore whether adding sound systems necessary to hold concerts and shows would be feasible.

Another focus will be the proposed facility's effect on traffic.

Hoying said his firm has already had preliminary conversations with a traffic engineer and expects to develop traffic plans.

"It's one of the things we'll definitely have to address," he said.

Crawford Hoying has also received positive feedback talking to corporations about potential sponsorships involved in naming the facility, he said.

The project has also received a $1 million grant from the state's Ohio Capital Fund.

Scott Dring, executive director of the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he believes the bureau would invest some money toward the project because of its positive impact on the city and the bureau. He said he could not cite a specific dollar amount because bureau board members had not yet discussed it.

A field house in the Bridge Park development would tremendously increase visitors to the city, create jobs and help the city economically, Dring said.

"We've been looking for years and years at a way to get visitors to come to Dublin during the weekend in the fall and wintertime," he said.

That weekend time during fall and winter is the greatest need in terms of hotel stays for the entire year, Dring said.

Should the field house be built, visitors would come to events, spend money in the city's shops and restaurants and stay for a weekend in the city's hotels, Dring said.

An economic impact study that Crawford Hoying and the Convention and Visitors Bureau had the University of Cincinnati complete showed the field house would generate more than 22,000 hotel room nights per year, Dring said.

In addition to sports events, the field house would be able to bring in trade shows and conferences, to attract new business in the city during the week in addition to attracting people for youth sports events, Dring said.

The field house's capacity to hold youth sports games is something Dring said would be a great amenity for residents.

Dring, a member of the Dublin Youth Association Board of Directors, said one of the city's greatest needs has been gym space.

A total of 2,000 Dublin kids are in the DYA basketball and volleyball programs, he said.

Finding places to play during the winter has been a "major struggle" for basketball and volleyball teams, he said.

One sixth-grade boys recreational basketball team, for example, has to practice and play games at a warehouse in Plain City, Dring said, because of the lack of space in Dublin.

Dublin City Schools Superintendent Todd Hoadley said he could see regional and district tournaments for basketball, volleyball and wrestling being held in the field house.

The event space could also serve as a place for the district's high school commencements, Hoadley said.

Right now, the district rents the Schottenstein Center, which is a bigger space than required.

"It would be wonderful if graduates from Dublin City Schools could graduate in Dublin, Ohio," Hoadley said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah