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Developer breaks ground on $1B lagoon-anchored project in Rowlett

The city is one step closer to getting a Crystal Lagoon of its own.
Credit: City of Rowlett
A rendering of the Sapphire Bay in Rowlett, Texas

ROWLETT, Texas — Sapphire Bay Land Development broke ground on the first phase of its 117-acre, lagoon-anchored development in Rowlett on Monday.

The $1 billion Sapphire Bay mixed-use project, located south of IH-30 at Dalrock Road, is expected eventually to attract conference-goers, travelers and more to the North Texas city.

Phase 1 includes the development's Crystal Lagoon, which was first announced in 2015, in addition to a resort, conference center, marina and beach club. A synchronized video and water show will also accompany the development of the sprawling 6.5-acre lagoon.

The phase is expected to be delivered at the end of 2023.

RELATED: Photos of Crystal Lagoon projects around the world

Current plans for Sapphire Bay include 1.4 million square feet of commercial space and 1,600 residential units at buildout. 

“The citizens of Rowlett, the Mayor, and the entire City Council can now clearly see on the ground what was long ago promised on paper. ... It will be a game-changer for Rowlett,” said Marc S. English, president of Sapphire Bay Land Development, in a prepared statement.

Rowlett residents have been hearing about the possibility of a project involving a Crystal Lagoon since 2015 when Rowlett's development partner at the time purchased the land from the City of Dallas for more than $30 million.

With Monday’s groundbreaking, it looks like the development is actually coming this time. 

After attempts to create the lagoon-anchored destination with Bayside Land Partners LLC and Bayside District Partners LLC, the City of Rowlett teamed up with Sapphire Bay Land Development in August. 

The development is projected to add almost $1 billion in taxable value, resulting in $165 million in revenue from property, sales and hotel occupancy taxes within the next 17 years, according to a news release issued by the City of Rowlett.

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