Construction Begins for Smart Financial Centre Public Plaza
Fall 2016 Is Expected Completion Date For Tree-Filled Setting
Sugar Land has begun construction of a 2.88-acre public plaza next to the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, a live entertainment venue being built near University Boulevard and U.S. Highway 59. Substantial completion of the plaza and the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is expected by fall 2016, with a formal grand opening event planned by ACE SL, LLC (ACE) in January 2017.
Located on City-owned property within Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) #4, the plaza will serve as a focal point for a mixed-use development expected to include office, retail, entertainment, a future hotel/conference center and major corporate employers such as Fluor Corporation and Texas Instruments.
The plaza will feature an interactive water fountain, a tree-covered grove, a large lawn area and a dedicated area for food truck connections. The project is expected to spur additional commercial and retail growth in Sugar Land, which is one of the strongest economies in the region, all while building and enhancing the value of the overall development within TIRZ #4.
“Just as the plaza in front of Sugar Land City Hall is a major focal point for all of Town Square,” said City Manager Allen Bogard, “we believe this plaza will become its own unique destination and gathering place for families, visitors and employers.”
In accordance with a long-held vision of Sugar Land residents and the City Council, the City’s development of this property will promote capital investment; create new jobs; enhance educational opportunities; increase tourism and provide unique destination activities; and anchor an exciting mixed-used development.
Construction continues on the adjacent Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, which is expected to set a new standard in the touring industry and change the entertainment landscape in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro region. It will be capable of hosting a wide range of performances, including national music and comedy artists, theatrical and family entertainment, as well as cultural and performing arts attractions.
Designed for flexibility, the 200,000-square-foot venue incorporates innovative moveable walls that can expand and contract to create four different seating capacities that range from an intimate setting of 3,400 seats to a maximum of 6,400. It also features 14 luxury suites, corporate hospitality areas, and the latest sound, lighting and video technology. Other offerings include space to house up to 18 trucks and buses, as well as 2,500 guest parking spaces.
Sugar Land is partnering with ACE to design and construct the state-of-the-art facility. The company brings an experienced team of locally-based entertainment industry professionals to the project, and an executive team that has been successful in local, national and international entertainment ventures, including pioneering the development of new music and theatrical venues, as well as the entertainment to fill them.
Based on voters’ approval of financing tools in 2008, funding is provided through a unique package of special funding sources restricted for economic development and tourism purposes, with no general fund tax dollars being spent on the plaza or the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, which on its own is projected to provide an annual benefit to the community of $26.1 million over 30 years. Additionally, ACE made a $10-million equity contribution to the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land project and will also pay substantial rent revenues generated by the facility.