A 300-bed hotel and 35,000 feet of convention space highlight a $200 million development collaboration that the city of Arlington and the Texas Rangers are considering, according to city officials.
Details are sparse, but Mayor Jeff Williams said Saturday that the public-private project would be thoroughly evaluated at the City Council’s Tuesday afternoon work session. The council could vote on the proposal at its Tuesday evening regular meeting if the agreement is ready.
“It’s a Rangers-led project,” Williams said, “but the city is participating, too, and we’re very excited.”
The project would include about 100,000 square feet of restaurants, retail businesses and entertainment venues, according to a news release sent late Friday night. Construction on the hotel and convention space would begin by the end of 2016.
The city would provide “performance-based incentives” to the Rangers, funded with hotel-occupancy taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and mixed beverage taxes for 30 years, as well as hotel-occupancy taxes and sales taxes from the state for 10 years.
The press release said the city will be “investing $50 million,” but Williams said it’s not clear whether that figure represents the incentives or some other contribution. Those are among the details to be fleshed out Tuesday, Williams said. The council can approve or reject the project with one vote.
He urged residents to attend the Tuesday council meetings at City Hall, or watch live online.
The glamorous artist rendering sent with the news release could be presuming a bit, Williams hinted. “It’s kind of interesting, because in today’s world it’s not hard to generate those.”
He declined to elaborate and again pointed to the upcoming discussions.
Asked how long the project has been in the works, Williams said: “Since 1994. This has been a vision since then to try to get development started there near the ballpark.”
He declined to comment on the potential benefits the development might generate for the Rangers, including revenue and increased attendance, and whether the incentives might keep the Rangers in Arlington beyond the end of their 40-year-lease of Globe Life Park in 2024.
“The Texas Rangers are pleased that this matter will be considered by the Arlington City Council on Tuesday,” the Rangers said in a brief statement released Saturday. “Out of respect for the process, the club does not have any further comment at this time.”