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February 4, 2013

Water park talks continue

GREENVILLE — Negotiations designed to bring a Splash Kingdom water park to Greenville, as part of the proposed Greenville Towne Center development, are still under way.

“The city, the shopping center developer and the water park developer are in the process of drafting a tri-party agreement,” said Greenville Board of Development Chairman/CEO Greg Sims. The agreement would include all of the requirements expected from each of the parties as part of a formal development agreement.

“It would have to go to the City Council for approval,” Sims said. “We hope to get everything lined up within the next 60 days, but that’s just estimated.”

The City Council voted in December to approve a letter of intent with Splash Kingdom for the establishment of a water park in Greenville.

Under the letter of agreement, the city agrees to provide an economic incentive, a tax abatement and water and sewer line improvements. In exchange, the Canton-based company agrees to build a water park costing at least $5 million.

The letter from Splash Kingdom Incorporated President Johnny I. Blevins indicated that the city would work with Steenson Development to acquire the approximately 14 acres of land inside the Towne Center project on which the water park would be located.

The City of Greenville would bring water, sewer and electrical service to the boundary of the water park, without cost to Splash Kingdom, with any improvements inside the water park property itself to be paid for by the company.

Under the letter of intent, the City of Greenville would provide a three-year property tax abatement for the water park.

For its part, Splash Kingdom would “promptly enter into negotiations” with Steenson Development for the acquisition of the water park location and would complete the water park improvements, “in an amount equal to or exceeding five million dollars.”

The letter indicated that the park is expected to begin operations during the 2014 season and would include not less than one major slide, a lazy river, a wave pool, a children’s area, administrative and ticket offices, food and beverage concessions, restroom and locker room facilities and parking.

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