Play ball! Arlington council approves incentives for Globe Life development

🕐 3 min read

Following approval by the Arlington City Council on a set of incentives for development around Globe Life Park, the Texas Rangers quickly rounded the bases to fill in other aspects of the project.

The name chosen for the project is Texas Live! And the Rangers have brought The Cordish Companies, experienced in entertainment and sports-themed projects, as development partners.

The Council voted Dec. 15 to provide up to $50 million in incentives for the $200 million project, which includes 100,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and entertainment venues and a convention hotel at the corner of Randol Mill Road and Nolan Ryan Expressway.

“This project is another significant investment in an Arlington economy that already has tremendous momentum,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “This state-of-the-art development will expand the city’s ability to host even more major events and conventions. We greatly appreciate the Texas Rangers’ continued investment in our community and we applaud their selection of The Cordish Companies, the premiere mixed-use developer in the country, as their development partner.”

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The Texas Live! entertainment district is expected to create about 1,800 total jobs including 1,000 construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs. Texas Live! Is projected to generate about $100 million per year of economic output to the city of Arlington and Tarrant County and about $2 billion in direct and indirect salaries during its first 40 years, according to a Rangers news release.

The agreement also includes plans to develop an upscale, full-service convention hotel with a minimum of 300 rooms and 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. The development team intends to bring in a leading hotel operator and brand for the convention hotel.

The city will use some nontraditional funding that won’t add to the city debt or require voter approval by utilizing $50 million from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, which currently has about $100 million. The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation was created from revenues gathered from drilling activities on city properties. The funds will be paid back through Convention Event Services Fund, probably building the fund back in 15 years, according to City Manager Trey Yelverton.

“I want to clarify that there are no new taxes and there are no new increased taxes,” Yelverton told the council. “These are existing funds.”

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Should the hotel/convention facility proceed by the end of 2016, the city would give the Rangers performance-based incentives that include retaining income from these sources: hotel occupancy tax, property tax, sales tax and mixed beverage tax for 30 years from the city and hotel occupancy tax and sales tax from the state for 10 years. The hotel and convention facility is projected to generate about 1,225 jobs including 1,000 construction and 225 permanent jobs.

The Cordish Companies, based in Baltimore, has been involved in several mixed-use/entertainment developments around the country, many with sports themes. The family-owned company has partnered with brands such as NBC Sports, Fox Sports Midwest, St. Louis Cardinals, AEG, Professional Bull Riders, Philadelphia Flyers and Comcast Spectacor.

According to a news release from the Rangers, Texas Live! will be inspired by sports entertainment districts such as The Cordish Companies’ and St. Louis Cardinals’ Ballpark Village in St Louis, but it “will be uniquely authentic to Arlington and will set a new national standard for sports anchored districts.”

“Commercial development around Globe Life Park in Arlington has been a vision of the Rangers for a number of years,” Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis said in a statement. “This first-class entertainment complex will be a tremendous addition to the area.”

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Yelverton noted that this project is not the only one planned for the Entertainment District.

There is another project the city hopes to begin closer to the convention center, where the city is hoping to add hotel rooms and additional convention space.

For more on the project:

www.arlington-tx.gov/citycouncil/agendas/

For more on Arlington’s development plans:

www.fortworthbusiness.com/news/dreaming-big-arlington-s-ambitious-plans-for-economic-development/article_41cd5394-9b9f-11e5-b7b4-afac8232f44d.html

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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