Council gives go-ahead on entertainment center

The Irving City Council on Thursday gave the green light for city staff members to work with private developers on the details of a deal for a massive Las Colinas entertainment center. That development will be adjacent to the city's planned convention center.

The complex will be built on land surrounded by Northwest Highway, State Highway 114 and West Las Colinas Boulevard.

Entertainment complex developers, including famed entertainment guru Billy Bob Barnett, envision a 600,000-square-foot, pedestrian-friendly complex centered on a five-level concert hall with a maximum capacity for 6,000 people.

A bevy of restaurants, smaller live music venues, bars, high-end retail shops, a polo club and a recording studio are also planned for the project. The council also on Thursday agreed to enter the city into exclusive negotiations with Watermark Hotel Co. for the complex's planned convention center and boutique hotels.

The 275,000-square-foot convention center is set to open in November 2010. Site work is expected to begin later this year. The entertainment complex is scheduled to open in early 2011 and is expected to cost more than $200 million.

Brandon Formby

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