Sugar Land can expect changes if budget’s approved

By Christina Martinez

A rendering of the Art Center of Sugar Land by Martinez-Johnson Architecture.  (Submitted)

A rendering of the Art Center of Sugar Land by Martinez-Johnson Architecture. (Submitted)

Imagine saving a couple of hours, plus a few bucks in gas money, on that trip to The Woodlands to hear Michael Buble’s  songs or George Lopez’s humor.

That could become a reality the proposed Performing Arts Center comes to fruition in 2016.

That development is dependant on whether the city passes its budget for the Fiscal Year 2015.

City Manager Allen Bogard submitted the budget to the City on July 22. Last week , the City discussed the budget at a Thursday meeting and the proposed budget will be finalized in September, according to Bogard.

Last December, Council approved a Construction Manager at Risk agreement with Linbeck Group, LLC for the City’s new performing arts center – the agreement allots for $98,500. The arts center will house approximately 6,500 seats and will sit on around 38.5 acres of City-owned property in the Telfair commercial district, southeast of U.S Highway 59 and University Boulevard.

Linbeck was selected from a list of five firms after a formal request of qualifications and interview process in August. Linbeck has completed more than $3 billion in construction projects in the past six years, including – Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie, Tobin Center for Performing Arts in San Antonio, Bill and Margo Winspear Opera House in Dallas, and Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

In 2002, Linbeck opened one of their projects, Grand Prairie Verizon Theater. The venue has a 6,350 indoor-seating venue, just short of the seating at the proposed performing arts center for Sugar Land. According to the Verizon Theatre website, the facility has hosted everything from Buble, Lopez, late Robin Williams, the Eagles, Alicia Keys, Sesame Street Live!, Justin Bieber, Celtic Woman, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

The City has partnered with ACE Theatrical Group to bring in the entertainment to the venue. According to their website, the business is a theatrical management and development company formed by entertainment industry veterans, specializing in the design, development, construction and operation of live performance venues throughout North America.

“The City partner, ACE Theatrical Group, was selected to bring the level of live entertainment expertise and high standards of facility management that align with the City’s goals for a first class venue and entertainment experience,” Adolph said. “Ace has not yet announced specific performances. We are currently in the design phase.”

ACE Theatrical Group is based in Houston with offices in New York, San Antonio and New Orleans.

Sugar Land public information officer Doug Adolph said the goal to the project is to attract tourists and visitors who will not only attend events at the facility, but also spend money at nearby hotels, restaurants and various places around town. “Making Sugar Land a destination for culture and entertainment has been a long-held vision of our citizens and City Council.  A 2007 Citizen Visioning Task Force included a performing arts center among its cultural and entertainment venue recommendations.  The task force also identified a minor league baseball stadium, a project that has already produced tangible results.”

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Posted by on Sep 2 2014. Filed under Breaking News, Featured Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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