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Possible New Park in the Dallas Area


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Don't shoot the messenger however just saw this on the news a little while ago and read more into it. Park would be in an area of the DFW metroplex known as The Colony, which is a small suburb to the north of the city. I live pretty close to the planned park (I'm 5-10 miles from the proposed site) and can tell you all that there is plenty of land. However the numbers that are being presented (8 million visitors???) seem to be a little bit on the extreme side. The developer also apparently has 1.5 billion dollars to work with, however their name is not being disclosed. With a project as big as this one seems, I can't help but think that unless we're getting a Disney park (we're not) this just doesn't smell right. Anyway, below is a copy of the story and a link to the local news story.

 

THE COLONY (CBSDFW.COM) - A theme park in The Colony? It could happen.

 

The city council agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting lists a proposal for a “1.5 billion dollar” development for “a theme park, hotel, convention center, stores, concessions, restaurants and park facilities.”

 

The park development would sit on 400 acres along Texas 121. It would supposedly create tens of thousands of jobs while bringing eight million tourists to The Colony annually.

 

City officials won’t name the developer. But Denton Central Appraisal District records show much of the land in question is owned by a transcendental spiritual group that once promised to build the world’s tallest building there.

 

 

 

Years ago, the Maharishi Global Development Fund wanted to build a 1,600 foot tower on the land.

 

That skyscraper project never happened, and neither did a separate mixed-use development the group later proposed for the same location. The land is empty now.

 

This map from the Denton Central Appraisal District’s website shows a portion of the area where the development would lie, along Texas 121 between Spring Creek Parkway and Plano Parkway. The colored areas of the map on the south side of Texas 121 represent land owned by the fund.

 

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/11/07/theme-park-proposed-for-the-colony/

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City officials won’t name the developer. But Denton Central Appraisal District records show much of the land in question is owned by a transcendental spiritual group that once promised to build the world’s tallest building there.

 

 

Well, that explains that.

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For what it's worth I've seen some conflicting information about if that group still owns the land.

 

 

 

I'd love to pretend that Disney, using a number of shell corporations, decided to make a bold move and build another Magic Kingdom in the US. This would be the only way any theme park company in the US would even have a a chance of hitting 8 million in predicted attendance. Sadly, I doubt any major theme park company would involve themselves with a fringe group like this. There is a lot of cheap, less controversial land near Dallas. I suspect all that will come of this is that this group will make headlines again.

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So someone wants to plunk a 400 acre park in the general vicinity of SFOT??

 

Yeah, that was my first thought as well. Now if they wanted to move this park about 240 miles south down the I-45, I'd be more optimistic.

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Heard a little more about this planned project today and found an article from the Dallas Business Journal.

 

Nebraska Furniture Mart .. Inc.'s planned $1.5 billion, 433-acre complex in The Colony has the furniture retailer seeking developing partners for a theme park, hotels, and additional retail and restaurants.

 

The Omaha-based furniture retailer, which is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. .. (NYSE: BRK), also is looking for partners, such as Dallas-Fort Worth area construction companies and architects.

 

The complex, which is planned south of State Highway 121 between Plano Parkway and West Spring Creek Parkway, would be anchored by a 1.8 million-square-foot retail and distribution center for the retailer.

 

The 1.8 million-square-foot retail and distribution center would include 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space, a 546,000-square-foot showroom, and 25,000 square feet of regional corporate office space.

 

If plans move forward, construction could finish by the end of 2015.

 

"We will be the mainstay of the whole development," said Bob Batt, executive vice president of Nebraska Furniture Mart. "The development will include other retail shops, hotels, convention centers, restaurants...it's going to be a brand new design."

 

Batt has worked for nearly 50 years at the furniture retail company, which was started by his grandmother in 1937.

 

He has studied the area for years for a Nebraska Furniture Mart location and was struck by North Texas' ease of highway systems that could aid ease of access to The Colony and help the retailer gain visibility.

 

The city is in the growth pattern of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is an outstanding location for a retail-anchored development, Batt said.

 

Nebraska Furniture Mart expects to bring in 8 million customers a year and $600 million in sales from throughout the southwest region.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2011/11/09/nebraska-furniture-mart-unveils-early.html

 

I'm still very dubious of this project as it just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The park would be about 30-40 miles from SFOT (might want to look that up, I'm doing some very rough math in my head based on how far I live from SFOT). Could this area support a second major park? I think it is possible if it is done right. There has been tremendous growth from what I understand (I moved out here about a year and a half ago) in this area over the past 10 years. Regardless I am interested to see what they have planned, and am even more interested to see if the park can move from an idea to reality.

 

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure a theme park based around a furniture store has the best chance to have "Bench: The Ride."

 

EDIT: So after posting I read just a little more into this. The park is not planned to happen anytime soon. I guess that a huge furniture store is coming as the first phase of the project. The other two phases include the park as well as hotel and convention center. So to boil this down to the most basic facts, Dallas is getting an Ikea on steroids with roller coasters that 8 million people per year are going to visit???

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It sounds to me like this is supposed to be more of a giant furniture superstore and the "theme park" will be more of a small attraction to keep kids entertained while parents shop. Sort of like how Gallery Furniture in Houston has a giant Chuck E. Cheese-esque playplace and a Rainforest Cafe to make shopping for furniture a fun event for the family. I think this sounds like it could be taking that idea to the next level. Somehwere in between that and Nickelodeon at Mall of America. So I wouldn't expect it to be anything to drive out for if you're not already planning to shop for furniture. So I wouldn't imagine they are trying to compete with SFOT. But who knows, maybe I'm way off.

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Being from Kansas City, we have a Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), in fact there are only 3 in the U.S. One in Omaha, and the other is in Des Moines, Iowa. I too was skeptical until I read who was behind the development. NFM was built out in Kansas City, Kansas basically in the middle of no where as one of the anchors for the Legends shopping center in 2002. The store has great prices (half our furniture has come from there) and the Village West development now has the Sporting Kansas City Soccer arena, the Nascar Kansas Speedway, Great Wolf Lodge and tons of restaurants, and the semi pro baseball team. Also, Schlitterbahn is located a very short distance from there. Warren Buffet took over NFM (Mrs. B, the founder passed away after the turn of the century at over 100 years old, and was still working in the store, though not as often as she had). NFM is probably the next psuedo Ikea, at least in the US. They have legendary customer service and it is always crowded. The sell much more than name brand furniture, including electoronics, TV's, appliances(got my Samsung HE washer there last year at about 30 percent less than I found it anywhere else!), flooring, decor, etc. The store is massive and two levels (about the size of a two level modern day super Walmart). Very modern and well kept.

Mr. Buffet has the money to do this. I'm not sure exactly what they have in mind park wise, but I'm no longer skeptical. This does have a real chance of happening along some scale. I don't think they'll go all out with a theme park that's 400 hundred acres, but whatever it is, it WILL be well done - perhaps an indoor park? Peace, KC

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I suspect that Warren Buffet's team has a plan to implement a number of different entertainment diversions to draw business to the store. It's rare to read a press release from Berkshire Hathaway that doesn't actually pan out. He is arguably the smartest mind in business over the past 40 years. That being said, at best you will see something on level of Mall of America.. This a furniture store first and foremost. The amusements are a secondary draw/diversion to promote the store as being that much more of a destination.

Edited by Chroniq
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Instead of Dallas where Six Flags Over Texas has already been established as a great park. Why go about 250 miles to Houston, where oh I don't know there is no theme park. One of the largest cities in America and still no theme park since 2005.

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Ok so KCForce's description of this furniture chain further reaffirms my thought about the park being a small Mall of America-esque attraction. This actually sounds like a pretty cool idea and a fun place to shop for furniture. I have a blast shopping at IKEA and can stay for hours, so I bet I would love visiting this place.

 

And anyway, I'm glad this isn't going into Houston. When Houston finally does get a new park, I want it to be much bigger and better than that. *Cough Earthquest Adventures Cough*

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Looking at NFM stores on Google, they look pretty impressive.

 

I won't hold my breath for a Nickelodeon Universe style park (yet), especially with SFOT being in the same area. It looks more along the lines of Uncle Bernie's with a few small children's/family rides in the middle of a huge shopping area at this point.

 

Looks like a ton of potential for another nice park for Texas though.

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While we're at it, let's send IKEA an email requesting that they install a Mega-Lite

 

All joking aside, this park could be a success if plans are carried out well. But, in all honesty, I feel like this plan is going to be trashed. Just too big of a risk building a theme park within the general vicinity of SFOT.

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I don't think SFOT has anything to do with it. This project is primarily a furniture store with a small amusement area. It seems obvious to me that it isn't competing for the same attendees as SFOT. Sort of in the same way as Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America isn't competing for the same target audience as Valleyfair or how Old Town isn't designed to compete with the major Orlando parks etc. It is more of a compliment to the shopping/dining.

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...proposal for a “1.5 billion dollar” development for “a theme park, hotel, convention center, stores, concessions, restaurants and park facilities.”

 

Maybe they are thinking something similar to CityWalk or Downtown Disney but with a furniture store and convention center on top of restaurants, a hotel and a small park.

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...proposal for a “1.5 billion dollar” development for “a theme park, hotel, convention center, stores, concessions, restaurants and park facilities.”

 

Maybe they are thinking something similar to CityWalk or Downtown Disney but with a furniture store and convention center on top of restaurants, a hotel and a small park.

 

Could this be the future of any "new" park development of any kind. In this day's economy this seems like a pretty smart idea opposed to what is being planned down in Orlando. Incorporating an amusement park into something that will draw more of a base crowd should in all likelihood lead to some kind of better expansion rate I would presume.

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  • 1 month later...

I live 10 minutes away... I don't think this will happen... In the past 5 years, we got two new theme parks, and one coming soon that filed for bankruptcy last year. We got the Great Wolf Lodge and the new Lego Land that opened last summer, both are located in Grapevine. The Texas Alps was coming to Grapevine, but the company behind the park filed for bankruptcy. So, when they say "BIG", it will be very "small". I thought Lego Land was going to be a huge theme park, I was wrong. It's a very small theme park in Grapevine Mills Mall. I am still waiting for the new Disney theme park for the past 15 years. I am still waiting....

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