Plans for Flower Mound’s first hotel look promising

Flower Mound’s first hotel could be under construction as early as next spring at The River Walk after town officials unanimously approved a Chapter 380 Agreement Monday night.

The proposed five-story, 140-room upscale hotel by Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt or Starwood will be about 100,000 square feet with 6,000 square feet dedicated to meeting and conference room space, according to Mark Wood, director of economic development for the Town of Flower Mound. Of the proposed 147 rooms, 35 would have balconies overlooking the river, amphitheater as well as a chapel.

The hotel would include a restaurant/bar, an exercise room, an indoor pool and an outdoor area with multiple fire pits facing the proposed river in The River Walk, said Scott Tarwater, executive vice president of DePalma Hotels & Resorts, who was retained by Ranier Medical Investments earlier this year to work on the proposed hotel. Tarwater also worked on the hotel project with Leo A Daly, the architectural firm of record, and Pat Miller, vice president and managing principal, who is a longtime resident of Flower Mound. DePalma Hotel & Resorts will manage the hotel.

The overall quality and service is going to be exactly what Flower Mound is looking for,” Tarwater told council members. Tarwater said he helped to bring the Embassy Suites Outdoor World to Grapevine, where he grew up. “That turned out … to be a raving success,” he said.

“This project will be special to me as a Flower Mound resident,” Tarwater said in a news release from the Town of Flower Mound. “I am so proud to be part of this community and enjoy all of the many wonderful things Flower Mound has to offer. Now, we will also have a quality, upscale hotel that has been long overdue. I look forward to working with our chamber of commerce and local corporations to start filling up our conference calendar.”

The project also calls for a parking garage with at 400 to 600 spaces that will be available for public use with a set amount reserved for hotel guests and the remainder available for The River Walk.

The hotel, as well as the nearby Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound, will serve as anchors for The River Walk and serve as a catalyst for future commercial development. The hotel will be located next to the hospital and just north of the proposed amphitheater.

This will be Flower Mound’s first hotel, a project that the town has pursued for many years, Wood noted in a document to town officials. The hotel has also long been a dream of Council member Mark Wise and others on the council who wanted to bring a quality hotel to the town, said Mayor Tom Hayden in a telephone conversation before the town meeting.

“This is a big win for Flower Mound,” said Council Member Mark Wise, who was instrumental in the process, according to a news release. “Flower Mound residents will finally have a local destination to welcome visiting family members and friends.”

The Chapter 380 Agreement offers a range of incentives including: an 8-year 100 percent hotel occupancy tax rebate; a seven year, 75 percent real and business personal property tax rebate; a 7-year, 50 percent sales tax rebate of the town’s 1 percent general fund portion; a 50 percent sales tax rebate of the town’s 1 percent general fund portion for initial construction purchases;  a waiver from all impact and permit fees; and $1 million from the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 1 (TIRZ) for a parking structure. 

The parking structure is a public project and will be available for use by the general public free of charge, according to town documents. Maintenance of the parking garage would be the responsibility of the developer or parking owner. The TIRZ funding for the parking structure will come from the previously approved project plan line item “Improvements in Forum (Riverwalk) area,” which has a total budget of $5 million, according to town officials.

The fiscal impact of the Chapter 380 Agreement is estimated at just more than $3.3 million. A cost benefit analysis shows that over a 20-year period, the development would generate an estimated $9.67 million in projected revenues for the town. The difference between the projected revenues and the Chapter 380 Agreement would total $6,331,867. 

The project developer must receive a building permit from Flower Mound no later than June 1, 2015 or the Chapter 380 Agreement will be rendered null and void, according to town documents. The timetable, officials said, would be to move dirt by the end of the first quarter of 2015 with a ribbon cutting possibly by early 2016.

An announcement of the hotel brand is expected by December, Tarwater said, adding the developer would meet with interested hotel officials at the end of October and anticipate a decision by early December.

When Hayden suggested the proposed hotel wasn’t the first one proposed for the town, Tarwater said, “We’re going to get this one done.”

Tim Lavender, president of the RMI River Walk Investors, LP, concurred: “This is our second swing at the bat with a hotel project. As you can tell, this is a night and day experience.”

Currently under development, The River Walk at Central Park is a 158-acre mixed use development featuring the hospital, hotel, medical offices, retail shops and restaurants as well as civic and residential uses ranging from condominiums to senior living. The project will feature 46.5 acres of parks and open spaces just north of FM 1171 west of Morriss Road and east of FM 2499.

The project is outlined in three phases including the existing developments off Morriss Road, FM 2499 and just off FM 1171; a second proposed phase including the hotel, retail development, medical office buildings and some housing; and a future phase three.


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