New management will be taking over Hawaiian Falls this summer with plans to add new attractions to the Mansfield water park in the future.
ProParks Management will sublease the 14-acre water park as it enters its 10th year of operation. Like Big League Dreams, FieldHouseUSA and the StarCenter, the city owns the facility and Orlando-based ProParks will operate it.
“This will not change how the park is operated as far as it being a public-private partnership,” said Shelly Lanners, deputy city manager. “The owner has some immediate concerns based on some of the aesthetics and he wants to make improvements out there.”
Mansfield’s Hawaiian Falls is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend with freshly painted buildings and a full lineup of events and activities for the summer.
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“My background is in the water park business; I’ve been in it since I was 16 years old,” said Curt Caffey, a partner with ProParks. Mansfield’s park "is incredible. The growth rates in the city are so compelling. We’re really excited about it.”
He couldn’t give any details away, yet, but he said they have heard feedback from parkgoers that more attractions are needed for toddlers and tweens.
“We want to improve the number of attractions there so capacity for ridership can be greatly enhanced,” Caffey said. “We like rides that families can do together. We want families to make great memories together while experiencing great, clean fun.”
The City Council approved the deal unanimously at its April 23 meeting. Council members Terry Moore and Stephen Lindsey were absent.
The name will not change and season passes will still be good at any of the Hawaiian Falls parks in North Texas and Waco. Hawaiian Falls also has locations in Roanoke, Garland and The Colony.
City Manager Clayton Chandler said negative headlines, such as the park in Waco missing a payment, don’t affect the others.
“They are independent. They’re all standalone projects built at different times” he said.
Some Hawaiian Falls parks incorporated ropes courses in the park, something Mansfield declined to do, Chandler said.
ProParks has just acquired the five Hawaiian Falls in the last few months.
For Mansfield’s Hawaiian Falls, it's the second change in management companies in the last three years. Mansfield entered into an agreement with Mansfield Family Entertainment on Nov. 20, 2007, to operate Hawaiian Falls. In 2015, the city assigned the lease to STORE Master Funding VIII, the company that has been operating the city-owned facility the past two summers.
More lofts coming to downtown
Bolstered by strong demand, the Mansfield Lofts will soon start construction on 266 more apartments. The upscale complex received permission to add 30 more units to phase 2 with a 5-0 vote by the council.
The developer, Realty Capital, changed the layout of the apartments to accommodate additional units while also adding a one-level parking deck at the southwest corner.
“We’d like to start construction later this year or first quarter next year,” said Tim Coltart, managing director of Realty Capital Management.
The next phase will have its own leasing office, swimming pool and other amenities so they can be run separately, Coltart said.
The two complexes will complement each other. Phase 1 leasing started in November for 314 units. The complex is 48 percent leased with an average price of $1.52 per square foot, Coltart said.
“We’ve had very healthy leasing momentum. We’re excited to continue working with the city,” he said.
Construction of phase 2 is expected to take about 14 months, so it could be ready for lease by early 2020.
Along with that, Realty Capital will extend the Walnut Creek Linear Park west from Town Park, under North Main Street to create a new park just south of the apartments. It will be a short trail loop that will be complete at the same time phase 2 construction wraps up.
Eventually the city will extend the trail farther west along Walnut Creek to the western city limits. One of the stops along the way will be the city’s future dog park, which is in the early planning stages at 605 W. Broad St.
“The city’s parks are fabulous; they’ve got a great trail plan and a great system,” Coltart said.