AMESBURY — The city could see up to $1.3 million each year in new property tax revenue when the $70 million Maples Crossing ice hockey complex opens.
Global Property Developers Inc. of Bridgewater is expected to break ground on the 410,000-square-foot, six-rink facility on Sept. 26.
Mayor Ken Gray is expected to join Gov. Charlie Baker at the groundbreaking on South Hunt Road and said he is excited to get the project started.
“I’m grateful that it is at the stage it is at. I look forward to construction starting,” Gray said. “This is going to be an exciting project which promises to have an incredibly positive and significant and lasting impact upon our community.”
Last week, Maples Crossing project manager Michael Gorman said construction of the project, which includes an office building, restaurant and eventually a hotel, is expected to cost $70 million.
If the completed project is valued at that amount by the Amesbury assessor’s office, Gray said Maples Crossing will yield the city an estimated $1.3 million in annual property tax revenue.
Chief assessor Jason DiScipio said the 240-apartment complex, The Heights Amesbury on Haverhill Road, is the city’s largest property owner. The complex’s assessed value is $29.5 million.
DiScipio said New England Power is the city’s second-largest property owner with $25.2 million in assessed property value; Mass. Electric (National Grid) comes in third at $18.5 million; and Carriagetown Marketplace was most recently assessed at $16.4 million.
“There is nothing of the size (of Maples Crossing) here,” DiScipio said. “The Heights Amesbury is still under $30 million.”
The city has used an approximately $4.25 million tax increment financing plan, which lowers the project’s tax rate before raising it incrementally over 15 years.
The city also utilized a district improvement financing plan to make sure Maples Crossing becomes a reality. That plan ensures a portion of the tax revenue from the project goes toward improving the infrastructure of the South Hunt Road corridor.
Gray said the city is poised to tap into more than $10 million in state funding for additional infrastructure improvements along the corridor.
“We have been working on this diligently for 18 months, lining up grants and coming up with other funding sources to pay for it,” Gray said. “We are very well-positioned to be able to accommodate this growth.”
The project was called the Atlantic Sports Center but has been rebranded Maples Crossing in honor of the country’s first semipro hockey team, the Amesbury Maples.
“I’m beyond pleased with the rebranding of the Atlantic Center to Maples Crossing,” the mayor said. “I love that it pays homage to Amesbury history as it was home to America’s oldest amateur hockey team, our own Amesbury Maples.”
In a press release, Global Property Developers President Steve Callahan Sr. said his company is “excited to take the next step in developing this lifestyle entertainment complex.”
“Maples Crossing will be a trailblazer in multiuse concepts and we are eager to engage a diverse audience with innovative businesses and interactive experiences,” Callahan said.
Patriot Vending and Amusements owner Steve Belmonte recently bought Leo’s Super Bowl on Haverhill Road.
Belmonte said a project such as Maples Crossing offers a rare opportunity for the city and local businesses.
The $70 million complex is “going to be really great for the local economy,” he said. “The restaurants downtown and a lot of the stores are going to get quite a bit of business from this, especially on the weekends with tournaments coming in and that type of thing. We are all really, really excited about it. This has been about 2½ years in the making.”
Belmonte said he has already signed a contract with Global Property Developers to put an arcade at Maples Crossing.
“Mike Gorman approached a lot of the old local businesses early on, myself being one of them,” Belmonte said. “He asked me if I wanted to be a part of this and, of course, I said I would.”
To read an earlier story on this project: