Hotels

By Sarah Bahari

1:43 PM on Oct 21, 2021 CDT — Updated at 3:11 PM on Oct 21, 2021 CDT

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Construction on a sprawling city-owned investment in Grand Prairie with two new hotels, a convention center and restaurant space is underway.

City leaders and private partners celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday for the expansion at Epic Central, a 172-acre park nestled along George W. Bush Tollway and Arkansas Lane.

These will be the newest pieces of the development, which already includes five manmade lakes, a water park and a recreation center. Plans have been in the works for years, and were made possible by $75 million in bonds approved by voters earlier this year.

Here’s what’s included, why and how much everything will cost:

Hotels

Grand Prairie will spend about $50 million to build two hotels connected by a conference center, which will open in 2023. The city will lease management and operation to Concord Hospitality.

One hotel will be a Hilton Garden Inn, with 129 luxury rooms, executive lounge, restaurant, pool, fitness room and business services. The other, a Homewood Suites, will offer 147 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens.

Both hotels will draw business visitors from nearby Lockheed Martin and Airbus Helicopters, city leaders have said, as well as families visiting Epic Central.

Why is the city building the hotels?

Texas is providing Grand Prairie an incentive to build the hotels by returning all sales tax generated at the hotels and conference center, as well as anything located within 1,000 feet, to the city.

Conservative estimates have the deal returning $25 million back to Grand Prairie over the next 10 years, according to the city. The revenue generated will exceed the cost of bond payments and boost the city’s tax base.

Few industries were rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic like the leisure and hospitality sector. After an almost-complete halt in travel, the industry likely won’t recover to pre-pandemic performance until 2025 at the earliest, according to recent analysis by Dallas-based ThinkWhy.

That hasn’t stopped new hotels from popping up.

Loews Hotels & Co. recently announced it will build a $550 million hotel in Arlington that will house the city’s new convention center. The Loews Arlington Hotel, which is set to open in early 2024, will feature 888 rooms, 266,000 square feet of meeting space and the 150,000-square-foot Arlington Convention Center.

Restaurant spaces

The city is building six restaurant shell spaces that will open in late 2022.

Restaurants will include Vidorra Cocina de Mexico; an unnamed modern American concept; Serious Pizza, Sliders and Shakes; and a new breakfast and brunch spot called Poach’d. A fourth space will become Loop 9 BBQ, an upscale barbecue restaurant by Larry Levine, the founder of Chili’s. The city said it is entertaining options for the sixth restaurant space.

These restaurants will be just north of Chicken N Pickle, a rotisserie chicken restaurant and pickle ball venue, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open this December.

Entertainment zone

The city is working with the State Legislature to establish an entertainment zone at Epic Central that would allow patrons to carry alcoholic beverages within the area. That’s especially important because an outdoor lawn area would host events.

Both Sundance Square in Fort Worth and Texas Live in Arlington have this legislative approval.

And there’s more

Surrounding the hotels and restaurants is a large outdoor open space with a covered stage for events, concerts and programs.

Grand Prairie is working with outside firms to develop light shows on the lakes and interactive technology and public art installations on land.

Also being built is Bolder Adventure Park, an indoor entertainment center with rock climbing structures, zip lines and ropes courses. The venue is scheduled to open in summer 2022.

Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2021/10/21/construction-of-new-hotels-restaurants-begins-at-grand-prairies-epic-central/

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