Now that Major League Baseball has entered the off-season, speculation abounds as to what the Texas Rangers will do to get ready for opening day.
But there is no such conjecture about what will happen with new development around the place where they play.
Phases 1, 2 and 3 of billions of dollars in investment in Arlington’s premier entertainment and sports complex is a spectacular scene of hundreds of workers with their massive machines of construction building on the city’s future.
We’ve just passed the one-year mark when Arlington voters, by a 20-percentage-point margin, approved the city’s participation in a new, retractable domed ballpark.
With the work on Globe Life Field and Texas Live! noisily underway behind the crowd gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the spectacular 14-story, 302-room Loews Hotel and convention center, officials from the public-private collaboration marked the occasion.
Loews Hotel Vice President Alex Tisch said: “Live! By Loews will have the quality and experience of a four-star resort combined with the local flavor of Arlington, Texas.”
Loews Chairman and CEO Jonathan Tisch added, “To have the opportunity to combine our excellence in operating hotels, with the vast expertise of partners like The Cordish Companies and the Texas Rangers, allows us to bring a one-of-a-kind lodging experience to the destination.”
Cordish Companies Vice President Blake Cordish said, “The vision that ultimately covers $4 billion in development was to create the best-in-class tourism, hospitality and visitor destination.”
Said Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis: “With incredible partners like Loews and The Cordish Companies, the hotel will join Globe Life Field and Texas Live! in providing our fans with a first-class entertainment experience.”
Davis repeated his conclusion that all of this probably could not have been achieved anywhere else but Arlington.
“Our dream of bringing a luxury resort convention hotel to Arlington is becoming a reality,” said Mayor Jeff Williams. “Live! by Loews will become a first-class, one-of-a-kind hotel and event destination that will welcome millions of new visitors a year to Arlington. It is a significant step forward in fulfilling our vision of becoming one of the country’s top tourism destinations.”
The city’s news and events website describes it in terms that emphasize the economic benefit for all: “These projects are part of a greater … vision for the Entertainment District that also includes the preservation of Globe Life Park.
“Texas Live!, anchored by the hotel, is projected to significantly exceed $100 million per year in economic output … and over $2 billion in direct and indirect salaries during its first 40 years, as well as create approximately 3,025 new jobs for local and regional residents.”
All of this is being built by Manhattan Construction Co., one of the largest construction firms in the nation with expertise in mega-projects such as Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium, teamed with joint venture partner Con-Real, a local, minority-owned business.
If you are reading this and wondering if you’ve seen it before, realize that what we have experienced in the past 12 months since that election is the delivery of everything that was pledged to voters.
Sometimes we may feel we didn’t get what we were promised. When we do, it’s more than worth taking a little time marking the events.
Perhaps the best part is to appreciate that there’s more to come. When it does, we’ll talk of it some more — along with the Arlington can-do spirit that is the foundation of it all.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and was an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.