By Elsa Maxey
For a plan that has been in the making since 2008 after bond referendum authorization, a development agreement between the City of Sugar Land and ACE Sugar Land, LLC (ACE Theatrical) has now been approved for Sugar Land’s Performing Arts Center. It’s being called the framework for the performing arts center. Development and construction plans call for substantial completion by September 2016. The facility is projected to cost $83,650,000 and it will sit on acreage purchased by the city from Newland at the southeast corner of University and U.S. 59, both views of the new facility.
Funding sources for the new performing arts and live entertainment facility will come from ACE as an equity partner, the Sugar Land Development Corporation, which will issue sales tax revenue bonds, the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT), and Certificates of Obligation (Cos) supported by the rent payments for the venue. Financing will also include a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) for that area.
In a presentation before city council, Economic Development Director Regina Morales stated that no property taxes would be used to finance the project, which is being planned as a self sustaining venture. Schematics call for the performing arts center to be an estimated 200,000 sq ft facility with 6,500 seats plus about a dozen luxury suites, also concessions, a plaza area, parking, a marquee sign and additional amenities.
The city will be responsible for construction and as announced, by September 23, it will select an architect, who will design the project during the next 12-month period. Facility construction will begin in 2014, and is expected for completion two years later.
Last year, the Sugar Land City Council approved and signed a letter of intent among the city, the Sugar Land Development Corporation, and ACE Theatrical for transaction plans relating to project location, lease agreements, a financing plan, closing deadline and other conditions for the project.