Arlington Citizen-Journal

Champions Park development ‘will be something Arlington will really be proud of’

An artist’s rendering of the planned Champions Park mixed-use development at I-30 and Collins Street in Arlington.
An artist’s rendering of the planned Champions Park mixed-use development at I-30 and Collins Street in Arlington. Star-Telegram archives

The $30 million Champions Park project, an 80,000-square-foot mixed development of restaurants and shopping, is set to break ground in mid- to late October at the most visible intersection in the city’s entertainment district.

Greenway Investment Co., a Dallas commercial real estate developer, plans to have four retail buildings constructed and to lease pad sites for four restaurants — two with rooftop patios — on 14 acres at the northeast corner of Interstate 30 and Collins Street, company Vice President Christy Hammons said.

The structures will be arrayed around a grassy festival area for concerts and community events, she said.

But she has no hints yet on tenants for the retail buildings, which total about 54,000 square feet.

“I’m not going to name names,” Hammons said, adding that the public will learn of the tenants as they sign their contracts. “We have a stack of letters of intent — a huge stack — more than we can fit in the planned development. Our task now is picking the right mix of retail and restaurants to ensure a successful development.”

We have a stack of letters of intent — a huge stack — more than we can fit in the planned development. Our task now is picking the right mix of retail and restaurants to ensure a successful development.

Christy Hammons, Greenway Investment Co.

Hammons projects that the development will be “up and running by the end of next year.”

Vacant land on the north side of the interstate around Collins is going fast, as two prominent future neighbors recently have staked their claims.

To Champions’ east, D.R. Horton, the nation’s largest home builder, has broken ground on a $20 million, 150,000-square-foot building to move its headquarters and 500 employees back to Arlington after 10 years in downtown Fort Worth.

The complex is being built on a 6-acre square of property, the last undeveloped property of its size on the westbound frontage road between Collins Street and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

To Champions’ east, D.R. Horton, the nation’s largest home builder, has broken ground on a $20 million, 150,000-square-foot building to relocate its headquarters.

On the northwest corner is 81 acres owned by the city that Dallas-based Trammell Crow, in partnership with the city, is marketing for a corporate headquarters.

The City Council approved the Champions Park development plan in January. It includes a future second phase that Hammons said could be larger and worth more than the $30 million first phase, which includes the cost of the land for both phases.

Greenway hasn’t worked out the plans yet, but Hammons said they could include a movie theater, a hotel with a parking garage, entertainment venues or more offices. They would be on the east side of the festival area.

Councilman Charlie Parker cast the only vote against the project. He said the vagueness of the plans in January hasn’t cleared much over the past seven months.

“They couldn’t say what businesses were going to be on those eight pad sites, and they had no plans for phase 2, which is the largest of the two,” Parker said. “They didn’t have anything concrete. It was all speculation.”

Councilman Charlie Parker says the vagueness of the plans in January hasn’t cleared much over the past seven months.

He also contends that Greenway’s approach to signing tenants is backwards. He believes the major businesses should be pursued and signed first.

“Essentially, you get the anchor stores into an establishment like this, then fill in the subsidiary stores, and that ensures the quality,” Parker said.

Hammons disagreed about the selection process.

“This is an entertainment-oriented urban-style development, not a suburban shopping center,” she said. “We believe our development plan best suits the site.”

The rest of the council is fully on board.

Robert Rivera, a veteran of the commercial real estate and banking business, said tenant screening is “huge,” but “the market will take care of itself.”

“This is a premiere location with a premiere vertical presence being proposed,” he said. “The developers would not bring this forward, and no one would invest, if less-than-desirable tenants were considered.”

Mayor Jeff Williams said Champions Park “will become one of the most popular restaurant destinations in the area.”

Mayor Jeff Williams said Champions Park “will become one of the most popular restaurant destinations in the area.”

Hammons said a center park feature would include a fountain, some outdoor seating and trellises. And the two restaurants planned for the “hard corner” of the intersection will have alternative designs for rooftop patios, because they would have “the most desirable view” of AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington.

“It will definitely be worth the wait,” she said. “It will be something Arlington will really be proud of.”

Robert Cadwallader: 817-390-7186, @Kaddmann_ST

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