June 01, 2022

Arlington’s Texas Live! has ‘$1 billion of development under cranes’

With the next addition to Arlington’s entertainment district, visitors will have a new place to work along with play.

Maryland-based developer Cordish Cos. and the Texas Rangers are bringing a new co-working and business incubator center to the baseball team’s former home at Choctaw Stadium.

The Spark Coworking operation is the next phase of the sprawling Texas Live development that surrounds the Rangers’ Globe Life Field and Choctaw Stadium.

“It’s hard to believe we started in 2015 with a vote of confidence from the city and look at where we are today,” said Cordish chief operating officer Zed Smith. “We have a $1 billion of development under cranes, and we have more to go.

“I think we have another 10 years to go here.”

Cordish and the Rangers are building the mixed-use project just south of Interstate 30 near the big sporting stadiums.

The Texas Live project — the first phase of which opened in 2018 — will have 200,000 square feet of restaurants, retail and entertainment venues, meeting and convention space, and an outdoor event pavilion.

The developers built the Live by Loews hotel in 2019, and the towering Loews Arlington Hotel & Convention Center broke ground in October.

Earlier this year, construction started nearby on the National Medal of Honor Museum.

Cordish’s next Arlington development is an almost 300-unit, five-story apartment and retail building called One Rangers Way on Nolan Ryan Expressway south of I-30.

“It will be high-end luxury apartment homes,” Smith said. “We are seeing that all over the country — why not here in Arlington?

“I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “I think there is the potential for more residential development here.”

Wednesday’s event at Choctaw Stadium was to detail Cordish Cos.’ plans for the Spark Coworking center. Located in the former Texas Rangers office space at the stadium, the shared office center will join other Spark Coworking operations Cordish has created at home in Baltimore, St Louis and Kansas City.

“Spark will be a major anchor,” Smith said. “That was a commitment the Rangers made years ago when they wanted to build the new stadium — they would commit to utilizing this space.”

The previous home of the Texas Rangers baseball team was repurposed after Arlington and the Rangers opened the new stadium in 2020. The old ballpark was converted into a multiuse sports and entertainment venue operated by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts.

Along with Spark, Six Flags Entertainment Corp. and Arlington’s visitors bureau are housed in the Choctaw Stadium offices.

Smith said Spark Coworking now serves 250 corporations with collaborative office space.

“We started Spark in 2017, and it was just an idea,” he said. “We saw the opportunity to create something special. This will be massive for the city.

“There will be entrepreneurs with big ideas coming out of Spark in Arlington.”

Cordish wants to create a new hub for local entrepreneurs, start-up companies and innovators when it opens this winter.

The two-level coworking facility will include workstations, 61 private offices, 17 suites and workspace balconies with views of Globe Life Field and Choctaw Stadium infield. Other features include a community kitchen, a member café, lounge spaces, meeting rooms and a podcast studio.

Texas Rangers managing partner and majority owner Ray Davis said Spark Coworking will bring Arlington a new generation of businesses.

“There are going be people who come in here and share office space and they will grow to be the next entrepreneurs and the next public companies,” Davis said. “Knowing some of the things we are working on, today is not going to be our last announcement.

“This is another example of reconfiguring this stadium and the commitment we made to keep this here long term,” he said. “It was very important to the taxpayers of Arlington and me personally.”

Cordish and the Rangers’ development plan in Arlington is aimed at bringing visitors to do more than just watch baseball.

“The whole idea is to expand the fan experience,” Smith said. “When you come to Texas Live, you get sports and entertainment — that’s what this is all supposed to be about.

“They come early and stay late because there is so much more to do here,” he said. “With the hotels we are adding, people come and stay for a weekend, see a game, have dinner and be entertained.”

Smith said Cordish has worked on similar projects in St. Louis and Philadelphia.

“It’s something we’ve found as a sweet spot and working well not only for us but for the teams,” he said. “It’s been a long journey to come through a pandemic.

“But we didn’t take our foot off the gas.”

View article online here. 

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