By Betsy Dolan
With a third of Sugar Land’s entertainment trifecta realized–Constellation Field opened in April–the remaining two-thirds, an outdoor festival site and amphitheater/concert venue, took an important step forward November 20 with the approval of an amended ground lease agreement with the University of Houston.
“The most significant development from the amendment is it consolidates two parcels of land into one 52 acre parcel,” said James Brown, Sugar Land’s Director of Parks & Recreation. “Having one parcel gives us greater flexibility in the planning and use of the property, better access and better visibility.”
Two parcels, 45 acres and 7 acres–were part of the original 2005 lease agreement between the Sugar Land 4B Corporation and the university. At the time, the City planned to build city facilities and parkland on the larger parcel with a new recreation center planned for the seven acre site. Imperial Park was ultimately selected at the site for the new recreation center allowing the city to enlarge the 45 acre parcel for the festival site.
Brown told the City Council that facility development talks are already underway between the Parks Department and the University of Houston. Those talks will outline the development of the property including infrastructure and will involve multiple phases of development. An projected opening date of the venues has not been determined.
“We’re looking forward to working together on something that is mutually beneficial in a number of ways both for the community and to the University of Houston system,” said Dick Phillips, Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Houston-Sugar Land.
The festival/concert venue was first targeted as a City priority in 2007 when a Visioning Task Force identified five preferred entertainment venues for the community and prioritized three: Professional Minor League Baseball, Larger Festival Site and an Indoor Concert Venue.
In 2008, a public vote determined that entertainment venues were determined to be in the community’s best interest. In 2008, the City conducted a Market Analysis and Feasibility Study and identified that a Concert/Performing Arts Venue would promote capital investment, create new jobs, enhance educational opportunities and create unique destination activities attracting local and regional visitors. This survey also recommended the ideal venue for Sugar Land would include a concert stage and approximately 6,000 to 7,000 seats.
Public feedback wanted for proposed Telfair Park
An informational meeting has been scheduled for Dec. 13 to discuss proposals for a citywide park located on 63 acres south of U.S. Highway 90A and west of State Highway 6 near Easton Avenue and Chatham Avenue in Telfair.
The meeting will be held at Sugar Land City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North, at 6 p.m.
“Our citizens told us what they’d like to see at this park, and we’re listening,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. “It’s a great example of citizen engagement. We’ll continue to look to our citizens as we seek their feedback on future parks projects.”