In Town and Country, Maryville University has cancelled its plans for an esports arena. This initiative was intended to boost Maryville’s standing in the lucrative video gaming industry and generate higher revenue for both the university and the city.
In conjunction with local developer Keat Properties, the private university had plans to transform an old retail plaza located south-west of Interstate 64 and Highway 141 into an arena seating over 2,000.
The arena was supposed to feature a parking garage, retail stores and a student dormitory. However, following local residents’ objections, the plans were revised to exclude the student dorms.
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This Friday, City Administrator Bob Shelton informed that the developer had pulled the plans completely after the city raised potential concerns about traffic congestion. Maryville refused to comment and suggested contacting Keat, who has yet to reply a comment request.
Maryville University, situated northeast of Interstate 64 and 141, has approximately 10,000 enrolled students. The esports team, having won four national championships, is nationally recognized as a top competitor. Revitalizing the shopping plaza, Woods Mill Center located at 14304 South Outer Forty Road, would have benefited the team and the university. It was stated earlier that this facility would have attracted more students and boosted the team’s reputation.
The proposed esports arena could have generated substantial tax revenue for the city.
However, the quiet lifestyle in Town and Country has always been cherished by the residents who often resist development initiatives.
Local residents submitted dozens of letters to the city to complain about project-related issues such as traffic congestion, inadequate parking facilities, noisy HVAC systems, crowdedness, a complex series of traffic roundabouts, the university’s lack of financial accountability, and a hotel that would attract an incompatible crowd.
Shelton stated that the city of Town and Country would collaborate with the shopping center’s owner on redevelopment ideas for the property.
Shelton added that the city has a solid institute relationship with Maryville and is eager to work with them in the future.