Arlington’s Glorypark on hold, development surrounding ballpark and stadium delayed; surprise surprise

JEFF MOSIER and STEVE BROWN of the Dallas Morning News report that Arlington will have to wait for Glorypark Development near stadiums. Too that I ask, is anyone surprised? This kind of has a familiar ring to it.

The Lame Duck in Washington didn’t even act like he was going to develop the ballpark. After selling his share of the Rangers for a 25 fold profit (read this story to see how little Bush did to kick off his political career as a Rangers principal) he got the heck out of dodge.

The Rangers have promised development around The Ballpark for nearly 20 years since voters approved the stadium in 1990. In 2001, an April article by Kelly Patterson in The Dallas Morning News seemed like progress was on the way.

  • Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks will kick off a multimillion-dollar development at The Ballpark in Arlington this year with three buildings that will combine office, retail and residential space, Southwest Sports Group officials said Thursday. The buildings will be constructed on what are now parking lots along Randol Mill Road and Ballpark Way.

In March of 2002 it was…you guessed it, terrorist attacks. MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER / The Dallas Morning News

  • Don’t expect to see signs anytime soon of the promised commercial development that was to surround The Ballpark in Arlington.The beginning of commercial construction near The Ballpark remains at least six months away, an executive with the Texas Rangers’ parent company said.Mike Cramer, president of Southwest Sports Group, the parent company of both the Rangers and the Dallas Stars, said the Arlington project remained a top priority for the company. Significant money has already been spent on architectural design work, studies and other initiatives, he said.

    “We work on it every day,” Mr. Cramer said. “I meet personally with the Arlington chamber folks just about every week. We have a very big investment there already in the team and in the land.”

    Arlington officials and residents have been waiting about 10 years for the development at The Ballpark’s 270 vacant acres to begin. Retail, office and residential projects had been billed as another reason voters should support a half-cent increase in the sales-tax rate to pay for the stadium.

    Rangers owner Tom Hicks bought the team and associated properties in 1998 for $250 million. Last April, he announced that the first phase of a long-term major development project would begin in 2001. Three buildings were to be under way by the end of December.

    Mr. Cramer said the terrorist attacks of last fall and the uncertain economy since then had forced the company to wait.

    “Sept. 11 definitely sidetracked us,” he said. “And we can only create what the market will support.”

Dallas Business Journal June 2004, once again it’s on.

  • The 176 acres around Ameriquest Field make up the largest part of the management deal. Recent developments near the stadium include a corporate headquarters for Siemens Dematic Postal Automation, which opened in December 2003, and two restaurants, which are currently under construction. In the 10 years since the stadium opened, the promised development around the ballpark has largely not appeared, however. Proposed uses for future development include residential, retail, office and hotel facilities.

And now, the dreaded credit crunch. From Thursday’s article:

  • Arlington’s half-billion dollar answer to Victory Park has been put on hold because of the troubled financial and retail markets, billionaire Tom Hicks said Wednesday.
  • Mr. Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, said Hicks Holdings has been unable to secure financing for the 1.2 million-square- foot Glorypark. The giant mixed-use development was scheduled to open in March 2010.
  • The completion of Glorypark, which would have included restaurants, retail, office space and residential, had been delayed at least twice previously. The project was to be built on the parking lots to the south and west of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

“We’re in the most difficult credit crunch I’ve seen the last 20 years,” Mr. Hicks said.
Congrats Arlington! They’ve done it to you again.

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