New Market Tax Credits Help Make Facility Possible
Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium — which was created with the support of $25.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits allocated by Texas LIC Development Company (which is a subsidiary of Texas Certified Development Company), Texas Certified Development Company, Waveland Community Development and Wells Fargo — has boosted employment, increased tax revenues and received numerous accolades since it first broke ground in February 2011. The state-of-the-art stadium, which was completed in May 2012, serves as the home to the Houston Dynamos of Major League Soccer, the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League and the Texas Southern Tigers football team.
Providing A Significant Economic Impact
The BBVA Compass Stadium is a key catalyst in the development of Houston’s East Downtown District and adjacent areas. Although the East Downtown District has had a long history of commercial and industrial usage, the land and assets were largely underutilized or dilapidated prior to the stadium’s construction. The area also has been severely distressed economically with a 41.5% poverty rate, an 11.5% unemployment rate and incomes that were 43.6% of the 2011 average median income. The creation of BBVA Compass Stadium has made a big difference for the area. The new stadium resulted in the creation of 360 construction jobs, 84 operations jobs and 500 game-day part-time jobs. Furthermore, the total cumulative tax revenue generated from the construction and operations of the facility is projected to be $114.5 million over the next two decades.
Because of the construction of the stadium, city leaders also have made the redevelopment of the area into a priority. A new metro rail line is scheduled to open in 2014 and will stop directly in front of the stadium. This addition is expected to greatly increase the number of visitors to the area. The development sparked by the stadium’s construction also is expected to help transition the district from an industrial area into a more diverse neighborhood that offers housing, entertainment, culture, retail, food and services.
Garnering Top Honors in Many Categories
BBVA Compass Stadium’s role in the transformation of the East Downtown District has resulted in numerous honors. The 22,000-seat stadium was honored as a 2014 finalist for the Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute’s Development of Distinction Awards program. This awards program recognizes developments that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability, community health, marketing and management.
BBVA Compass Stadium previously received two awards in the Houston Business Journal’s 2013 Landmark Awards, which recognize real estate projects that have made a significant impression on the Houston landscape. The stadium was honored in in the award program’s Public Assembly and Public-Private Partnership categories. It also was a finalist in both the Community Impact and Hospitality/Entertainment categories.
The stadium also has been recognized as a model of sustainable development through receiving a 2012 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Participation in the voluntary LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The stadium features that were recognized included:
- Diverting 86.5% of the on-site generated construction waste from the landfill;
- Reducing water use by 41% through the installation of high-energy toilets and non-water;
- Reducing energy use by 20.41%;
- Sourcing 98.42% of the total wood-based building materials from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests;
- Providing numerous recycling receptacles around the facility to encourage recycling; and
- Providing preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.
The stadium project also spurred the development of the Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP), which is the Houston Dynamo’s training venue. The HASP, which was specifically created to address the dearth of quality community recreational facilities in the area, also serves as a community soccer park for youth and amateur events.
by Dorian Martin