A $200-million mixed-use development near Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, has been pitched by the team and the city of Arlington.
The project, announced by the city, would include 100,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and entertainment venues. The proposed agreement also includes plans to develop a hotel with a minimum of 300 rooms and 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. The goal for the hotel/convention facility to proceed by the end of 2016. It would be located on Rangers parking lots at the southwest corner of Nolan Ryan Expressway and East Randol Mill Road.
If the development proceeds, the city would provide the Texas Rangers performance-based incentives that include retaining income from the following 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 city would kick in $50 million; the development corps — Arlington Ballpark District Entertainment Block, LLC and Arlington Ballpark District Entertainment Block, Inc. — would pick up the rest.
The Arlington City Council will begin debate on the proposal on Dec. 15. From the Dallas News:
“Arlington’s partnership with the Rangers spans more than four decades,” council member Robert Rivera said on his Facebook page. “This project is the next chapter in our long partnership.”
Former Mayor Richard Greene, who was in office from 1987 to 1997, called the proposal “exciting news for our city” and said it is the latest example of the city “seizing the opportunity to improve the community not only for the people who live here but for the 10 million visitors who come to Arlington every year.”
Development next to Globe Life Park has always been an agenda item for Rangers owners past and present. Former owner Tom Hicks envisioned a half-billion Glorypark development between the ballpark and AT&T Stadium, encompassing residential, hotel, retail and commercial space, before he sold the team.
The move is also seen as a way to keep the Rangers in Arlington. The team’s lease for Globe Life Park ends in April 2024, and there has been talk about Dallas pitching a new downtown ballpark as a replacement. From the Dallas News:
John Crawford, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., said it’s not too early to discuss the Rangers future. He said construction — including site preparation and infrastructure — for a downtown stadium would probably take five years. Internal discussion among Texas officials, scouting sites, negotiating financing and getting voters on board could take years more.
“Asking these questions isn’t premature,” said Crawford, who is happy to make the case that the Rangers should move to Dallas.
And, of course, there’s the chance for a new Rangers ballpark in the vicinity of Globe Life Park, which opened in 1994. Bonds on AT&T Stadium are expected to be paid off early, in 2021, which would free up revenue to pay down a new or renovated Rangers ballpark.