Galaxy Theatres Announces its stake in the DFW market, Joins Grandscape

Grandscape and Galaxy Theatres are thrilled to announce the luxury theatre operator will be joining the $1.5 billion development in The Colony, Texas. They are set to break ground this year on their 85,000+ sf, 16-screen venue with a projected open date of Spring 2019. Keeping to their vision the development team at Grandscape is excited about the unique offering that Galaxy has and that this will be the first location in the DFW metro.

Galaxy Theatres is an incredible operation which has demonstrated strong performance in their markets through their focus on visitor experience. This fits perfectly with our vision for Grandscape and will be the finest theatre experience in the DFW area.
-Jeff Lind, President, Grandscape

Every theatre within this state-of-the-art venue will feature digital sound & projection and luxury stadium seating with full-power recliners. Along with these amenities, there will be a full-service bar and restaurant and 2 large format auditoriums featuring their exclusive DFX projection and sound. Providing each and every movie-goer with the best possible, highest quality, affordable entertainment experience is the number one goal of Galaxy Theatres. Boasting all of these features Galaxy Theatres is sure to become the premiere luxury movie experience in North Dallas.

Our goal is simple, we aim to create and bring the finest movie theatre experience to the DFW metro, right here in The Colony!
-Rafe Cohen, President, Galaxy Theatres, LLC.

The Colony EDC Hosts Private Tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart

Members of the Urban Land Institute’s Retail Product Council got a “behind the scenes” look at Nebraska Furniture Mart organized by our own Keri Samford, Director of The Colony’s Economic Development Corporation, and led by representatives from the retailing giant.

Involved in bringing Nebraska Furniture Mart and the Grandscape Development to The Colony since the project was conceived in 2011, Keri was able to offer valuable insight to the members who represent development companies, financial institutions, service and construction companies.

“The tour was very well received, and everyone had fantastic things to say about Nebraska Furniture Mart and Grandscape,” notes Keri, who was invited to join the ULI’s Retail Product Council this year.

The goal of the North Texas-based Council is to provide a forum for education, networking, and sharing of best practices among the spectrum of disciplines involved in North Texas real estate.

The Colony Economic Development Corporation Receives State Award

Represents City at World’s Largest Retail Conference

The Colony Economic Development Corporation maintained its high profile and busy pace this spring as the organization won state honors as well as represented the City at the most important and largest retail real estate gathering in the world.

The Colony EDC received the 2015 Economic Excellence Award from the Texas Economic Development Council for the eighth consecutive year during the TEDC Spring Conference held June 8-9 in Irving, Texas. The Colony is one of only 22 cities statewide to earn this honor this year.

The award is presented to organizations that demonstrate a high level of achievement in their economic development efforts and a commitment to professional development. Factors cited include The Colony’s involvement with real estate and industry professional organizations; the expertise and training of staff; and well organized and coordinated economic development strategies.

“Receipt of this award is testament to the professionalism and expertise of our staff and volunteers serving on the Economic Development Board,” said The Colony Mayor Joe McCourry. “Working with our City Manager and Council, this team has been extremely successful in bringing new businesses to The Colony.”

This work involves representing The Colony at regional and national events, including International Council of Shopping Centers RECon, the world’s largest gathering of retail real estate professionals.

This year’s RECon was the biggest since 2007 with over 37,000 attendees and close to 1,200 exhibitors. The industry event was covered by 60 reporters from outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Radio, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes and GlobeSt.com.

“RECon is a must-attend event if you are trying to create any type of retail real estate development in your community,” said Keri Samford, Director of The Colony’s Economic Development Corporation.  “In just three days, we were able to meet with numerous shopping center developers, owners, and retailers to ensure that they are aware of the incredible opportunities in our community.”

Participating in TEDC and RECon through the years has proven to be a very viable component of The Colony’s economic development and retail recruitment strategies, notes Samford. “Many of the retail projects now complete or underway in The Colony were sparked through our networking and one-on-one meetings at past RECon conferences, and interest in our community this year was extremely high,” she said.

The brands opening and expanding in The Colony reflect what today’s consumer wants, an experience! Shopping for the home takes on a whole new meaning at the 1.86 million-square-foot Nebraska Furniture Mart, which opened in the 400-acre Grandscape Development in 2015. Owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., this retail Mecca kicked an already strong market into high gear with additional powerhouse retailers, unique restaurants and entertainment venues like Topgolf; Rock and Brews, owned by KISS front man Gene Simmons; Hard 8 Barbecue; and Lava Cantina, a 28,000-square-foot restaurant and live music depot now underway.

The world’s largest sports store, SCHEELS, will also soon be calling The Colony home. These accomplishments are one reason why The Colony has received a significant level of local and national accolades and media attention.

“These are definitely busy, but exciting times,” said Samford.

World’s Largest All-Sports Store Coming to The Colony

So excited to share this news! Scheels is coming to Grandscape!

The Colony SCHEELS will be the World’s Largest All Sports Store with 300,000 sq. ft. of top name brands under one roof. The store will have more than 85 specialty shops that will provide a retail adventure for the sports enthusiast, the outdoor adventurer, and for those that seek an array of fashion and footwear. SCHEELS believes in providing exceptional customer service, expert advice on a wide selection of products and services, lively entertainment venues, and welcoming ambiance. The store will break ground in 2018 & open in 2020.

The 85 specialty shops will range from technical running gear to spectacular hunting and fishing shops. The sport shoe, hiking boot, and casual footwear selection will be the largest in the region to meet the needs from toddlers to all athletes, from serious hikers to beach goers, and from hunters to the fashion conscious. There will be a World Class golf shop, bike shop, ski shop, canoe and kayak shop. The gun and hunting shops will have a selection of guns ranging from everyday shooters to modern sporting firearms. The men’s and women’s fashion shops will carry the latest brands.

Special attractions will include an expansive 16,000 gallon aquarium, a 65 ft. high 16-car operating Ferris Wheel, photo opportunities, a wildlife mountain, and sport simulators. SCHEELS restaurant and fudge shop, named Ginna’s Cafe, will serve gourmet soups and sandwiches, Starbucks® coffee and specialty drinks, 24 flavors of homemade fudge, and 18 flavors of gelato.

Needless to say we are EXCITED!!!

Learn more about Scheels at www.scheels.com.

KISS band members bring rockin’ restaurant to The Colony

By Sarah Blaskovich | Guide Live – Dallas News

Gene Simmons — yeah, the tongue wagging guitarist from the band KISS — is opening a restaurant in sleepy Dallas suburb The Colony. His buddy Paul Stanley is in on the deal, too. The two are the rock, and, alright, the roll, in restaurant chain Rock & Brews.

It’s the first free-standing Rock & Brews in Texas and debuts Monday, March 14. You’ll find it nestled near the behemoth Nebraska Furniture Mart, down the street from the under-construction Toyota headquarters, and only a few thousand feet from the nearest McMansion. The Colony doesn’t exactly scream glam rock like its famous KISS counterparts do. But the restaurant is hip.

Now I know what you’re thinking: There’s already a music-inspired restaurant with wings and burgers; it’s called Hard Rock Cafe. Tell that to Simmons — well, I politely did — and he shrugs off the idea.

“Respectfully, the best thing you can do when you’re running a race,” he says, is to “not see who else is running behind you.” And while Hard Rock Cafes have launched hundreds of restaurants in places like Austria, Norway, Egypt, Fiji and Indonesia, Rock & Brews is only in North America and touches a mere seven states so far. Its partners — a host of real estate and chain restaurant guys, beyond Simmons and Stanley — seem content to multiply without exploding like a ball of fire at a KISS concert.

The kitchen staff makes its own pizza dough and salad dressings; they pickle the onions in-house and make veggie burgers from scratch. CEO Michael Zislis is quick to say the menu of tacos, sandwiches, pizzas and fried stuff is driven by a made-from-scratch mentality.

That “outdoor party fun area,” says Scott Paul, president of operations for Rock & Brews Southwest and Rock & Brews Florida, has shuffle board, foosball, wraparound couches and live music. The patio is dog- and kid-friendly. And let’s just say it: North Texans could use another beer garden in the ‘burbs.

The walls inside are washed with bright murals painted by Dallas-Fort Worth artists Dan Holzschuh and Stylle Read. They depict Stevie Ray Vaughan standing between two skylines, Dallas and Austin, and Texas music legends such as Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson. Concert posters, paintings and photos show Texas outsiders John Lennon, David Bowie and Madonna.

Interestingly, the staff wears whatever it wants; uniforms are uncool. Servers aren’t given a script, either. “Let me get you a cold beer from our fridge,” they might say, Paul recounts. None of this “Welcome, sir and ma’am” nonsense that would feel so not rock ‘n roll.

Similarly, the cooks are allowed to rock out to whatever music they’d like to play on the kitchen speakers. Two TVs located above the cooking line can be turned to any channel. You won’t find that kind of freedom in most kitchens.

Why not turn it up to 11 closer to Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas, where Simmons and Stanley have played twice in the past four years.

“There’s so much business here,” says Brett Anz, a principal partner in the restaurant. He lives in Plano and has watched Sam Rayburn Tollway send business west of the Dallas North Tollway and into The Colony. Rock & Brews’ neighboring Nebraska Furniture Mart has been wildly successful, too, with sales exceeding $500 million last year, reports Dallas Morning News business writer Maria Halkias.

For those hoping to stumble upon Simmons and Stanley hanging out at their Texas Rock & Brews, it’s unlikely. However, both rock stars will appear at a ticketed event May 10 where proceeds to go an as-yet-chosen veterans group.

The best place to find Simmons and Stanley is still on stage. “We’ve been coming to Dallas [for a long time],” Simmons says. Then a promise: “and we’re not about to stop.”

See original article at Guidelive.com.

Texas adds 24,900 jobs in December – DFW jobless rate falls

By Lance Murray | Dallas Business Journal

The state of Texas added 24,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in December, the 10th straight month of job increases in the state, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

That was the good news. The bad news is that the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in November. That’s still below the national average of 5 percent.

“Texas finished 2015 on a strong note in December with employers adding 166,900 jobs over the year across a diverse range of industries,” TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar said in the news release.

According to the TWC, professional and business services employment saw an additional 12,500 jobs in December, that sector’s largest over-the-month gain since November 2014.

The second largest employment gain over the month was the Education and Health Services industry, which saw 7,400 jobs added.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area recorded an unemployment rate in December of 3.7 percent, which was down from 4 percent in November and in December 2014.

Read original article at Dallas Business Journal.

Lava Cantina Artist Rendering

Lava Cantina Builds Suburban Concert Dream

By Kelly Dearmore | Dallas Observer

Later this year, The Colony — of all places — will welcome arguably the most ambitious music venue opening in North Texas. Lava Cantina, a 28,000-square-foot restaurant and live music depot, will become the brightest star in the promising Grandscape development. If all goes according to plan, The Colony could soon become a new concert destination — and if so, it’ll happen with the help of longtime Coach Joe’s Hat Tricks owner Tony Avezzano.

The new venue will share acreage with the gargantuan Nebraska Furniture Mart and the latest theme bar from none other than noted casino rockers KISS, among dozens of other restaurants and retail and entertainment options. The centerpiece of the sprawling venue, which will be larger than the original Lava Cantina in Baton Rouge, will be a 1,800-person-capacity concert area. Its size will make Lava Cantina an immediate competitor with many of Dallas’ most beloved venues.

Rock N Concepts, the company responsible for Lava Cantina, is helmed by former Cane’s Chicken COO Ian Vaughn. The Louisiana-raised Vaughn, though a lifelong music lover, is a newcomer to the business side of the North Texas music scene. That makes his hiring of Tony Avezzano to handle talent booking a well-advised move. Avezzano recently sold Hat Tricks, where he oversaw a rather eclectic concert schedule in Lewisville for the past decade, in order to move on to bigger things. Not only does Avezzano have a successful track record when it comes to the crowded live music market, but he knows full well what it takes to pack a room for a wide range of shows at a venue that’s off the beaten, Dallas-proper path.

More than ever, it seems that Dallas might be approaching a saturation point for major new music venues. With the openings of The Bomb Factory and Gas Monkey Live! in the past 16 months, it’s tough to imagine another venue joining in and flourishing without negatively affecting the quality of what’s going on at other venues. Those most at risk include the Granada Theater, House of Blues and slightly smaller spots such as Trees, Dada and The Kessler Theater. But what about the music-loving suburbs north of the insular Dallas bubble south of 635? The Ikea-flavored landscape is a blank canvas for enterprising minds looking to claim some lucrative entertainment territory.

“There’s room for Lava Cantina in the Dallas area because of where it’s located,” Avezzano says. “I think many people out this way in Carrollton, Plano, The Colony, Frisco, Plano, Allen and McKinney are ready for a great venue that’s north of 635 they can go to without having to worry so much about the drive home. That’s not a shot at Deep Ellum or downtown, but it’s just a matter of what will work best for music fans living closer to this area.”

As the construction and planning for Lava Cantina moves ahead, Avezzano will continue to handle music booking for Hat Tricks, and is also beginning to book shows for Stroker’s Ice House, the adored biker bar in Dallas. At this time, Lava Cantina will look to feature between 20 and 30 large ticketed shows from national touring artists, along with many more nights featuring live music on a smaller indoor stage with a 500-person capacity. Avezzano is confident the region can support another venue of its size, but he knows the competition is beyond stiff.

Vaughn throws down some population-focused logic when explaining why he sees the North Texas music scene as a more open equation than some might think. “There are 6.5 million people in this area,” he says. “I know that places like The Bomb Factory and the Granada offer people an experience that’s unique to their establishment, and I’m a big fan of those places personally, but that’s a lot of people we can all go after. I am sure Lava Cantina will provide a really unique experience that can’t be had anywhere else also, so enough of that 6.5 million will want to come to us.”

With a projected opening of late October or early November, Vaughn, Avezzano and other key members of the opening team including former Sundown at Granada chef Patrick Stark, who will handle the restaurant’s Creole/Mexican fusion menu, don’t have time to worry about much beyond making their presence known as soon as possible. According to Vaughn, who admits to having an “obsession with going to concerts,” as well as being a metalhead who would book German metal giants Rammstein for the grand opening if he could, there will be many features aside from a great location that will lure patrons north.

“Our main concert area will be outdoors, but have a retractable roof so that it will remain comfortable in different types of weather,” he says. “Also, that space will be a multi-level area where no one will be more than 100 feet from the stage so that it’s large but still intimate.”

The second stage inside will likely host a regular schedule of local acts, school of rock showcases, jazz brunches and even some celebrity chef demos. Such entertainment diversity will be a big part of the identity Vaughn hopes to galvanize as Lava Cantina goes from shiny newcomer to established veteran.

“Being first to market gives us an advantage,” Vaughn says. “We can create our own brand and build a unique message. We will be one of the Dallas area’s premium destinations for live music.”

View the original article at Dallas Observer.

Austin Ranch to see further business growth, new pub coming to The Colony

Lorelei Day | lday@starlocalmedia.com | The Colony Courier-Leader

The Colony Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) discussed various items on Tuesday regarding the expansion and improvement of the city’s retail and residential developments.

Among noteworthy votes were the approval of additional land uses in Austin Ranch, approval for The Thirsty Growler pub to add a location and further building requirements for the Gateway District.

Austin Ranch

The board will recommend to the City Council text amendments that will add certain land uses to the Austin Ranch development. If approved, a health studio, photography studio, private recreation club or area, art or dance studio and a dog park will be allowed to occupy the area.

Austin Ranch contains commercial, office, mixed-use and single-family and multi-family homes. Planning Director Mike Joyce said Austin Ranch has seen significant growth over the past year due to Grandscape’s expansion, which includes Nebraska Furniture Mart, Hard Eight BBQ, Rock & Brews, Mi Cocina, Lava Cantina and many other attractions.

“It’s [Austin Ranch] one of the new and happening places in the city,” senior planner Surupa Sen said. “We look forward to developing it and having it as part of The Colony.”

The Thirsty Growler

A recommendation was made to the council to approve a Special Use Permit (SUP) for The Thirsty Growler.

“The Thirsty Growler [located within the Village at 121 shopping center] will sell a variety of craft beer, cider and kombucha for on-site consumption and to-go containers,” Sen said.

Star Liquor is located within 1,000 feet of the proposed location for The Thirsty Growler. Although it has been closed since 2012, Star Liquor’s SUP still remains active. Under city law, The Thirsty Growler cannot legally obtain its SUP until Star Liquor’s permit is revoked. The city has reached out to the previous owners and does not anticipate any problems with that course of action.

The council will now have to approve the commission’s suggestion to change the law that prevents any business that estimates 75 percent or more of its income from alcohol sales to be located within 1,000 feet of another similar facility to 300 feet.

If the amendment to the law passes, The Thirsty Growler will be able to obtain its SUP and move in to the Village at 121 shopping center.

Gateway District

Commissioners approved an ordinance revision to the Gateway District, the area within the S.H. 121 and Main Street corridors.

The revision will allow for retail, commercial and office developments at the South Colony Boulevard, Paige Boulevard and the southwest corner of Kisor Drive and Paige Blvd to be in compliance with the “enhanced development standards” that were modified in 2013.

The regulations for this area include:

Site design, landscaping, building design, public areas, pedestrian and bike standards, fences and service areas.

View original article at The Colony Courier-Leader.

Service King Breaks Ground on 35th DFW Location

Service King Collision Repair Centers plans to open new location in The Colony in 2016

Service King Collision Repair Centers, an industry-leading national operator of high-quality collision repair centers and one of the most trusted automotive repair companies nationwide, today held a groundbreaking ceremony for its future location in The Colony, Texas.

Service King officials, including CEO Chris Abraham, joined representatives from the city of The Colony to officially commence construction of Service King’s future 22,600 square foot repair center located at 5270 Memorial Dr. in the rapidly growing north-Dallas suburb of The Colony. Service King plans to open the repair center in late summer 2016.

“The Colony is thrilled to welcome the newest North Texas Service King location,” said Keri Samford, Director of Economic Development for the city of The Colony. “Service King and its family of teammates will serve as a vibrant addition to our business community and provide a world-class service to our citizens.”

The new repair center will operate as Service King’s 35th location in the DFW Metroplex and boast the capacity to repair up to 300 vehicles per month while employing a staff of 25-30 teammates. It will mark Service King’s very first location in The Colony and the first new location to be constructed from the ground-up in the Dallas area in five years.

“This is a moment our team has been looking forward to for quite some time,” said Jeff McFadden, Service King President. “Service King has always been extremely proud to call DFW home and we look forward to a long, prosperous future in The Colony with the addition of this repair center.”

Service King, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016, is one of the fastest growing collision repair providers in the country serving customers and insurance partners at more than 275 locations in 23 states across the U.S. The company provides all customers a written lifetime warranty valid at any of its locations, on-site rental assistance and works directly with all major insurance carriers to simplify the repair process.

“This is an exciting time to join The Colony in the midst its booming growth in the market,” said Service King CEO Chris Abraham. “After five years of expanding Service King to customers across the U.S. our team is thrilled at the opportunity to continue investing in our home market as we enter our 40th anniversary as an organization.”

Service King Presentation Plaque

Above: Service King CEO, Chris Abraham (left) presents Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Perry Schrag with a commemorative Service King plaque.

ABOUT SERVICE KING COLLISION REPAIR CENTERS
Service King is one of the largest multi-location operators of collision repair facilities in the U.S., dedicated to offering customers an overall superior service experience. Founded in 1976 in Dallas, Texas, Service King is a leader in the collision repair industry, currently servicing customers at 276 locations in 23 states. In 2015, Service King was named the No. 1 Best Place to Work by both the Dallas and San Antonio Business Journals. For more information about Service King, visit www.ServiceKing.com.

Grandscape a Top-Read DBJ Story in 2015

The Dallas Business Journal recently released its list of “The 15 Most-Read DBJ Stories of 2015”.

And we were pleased to see that The Colony’s Grandscape Development made the list!

In the October article, Dallas Business Journal staff writer Candace Carlisle reported that construction had begun on the $45 million “boardwalk” district of the $1.5 billion mixed-use development anchored by Nebraska Furniture Mart.

“We haven’t officially named it, but it’s the boardwalk district,” Jeff Lind, president and CEO of Grandscape and Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas, which are affiliates of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., told Carlisle.

Once filled, the 11-acre manmade lake fronting the boardwalk will bring an amenity to Grandscape, which has already landed a number of restaurants and 1,800-fan concert venue.

“This will be an amenity to serve those restaurant pad sites and give people a walking area with music and lighting,” he said. “It will be a nice place to take a stroll.”
Grandscape has already landed the 1,800-seat concert venue Lava Cantina along the boardwalk and could land another five restaurants.

The Warren Buffett-backed company is working directly with restaurant and retail owners from outside Dallas-Fort Worth to bring new concepts to the region.

Along with the boardwalk district, Grandscape has started construction on two multi-tenant buildings along Plano Parkway in between Bargain Way and Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive.

Two new restaurants — Dog Haus and Bread Zeppelin — are the first to join the buildings that will total more than 16,000 square feet in retail space. Both restaurants are slated to open in fall 2016.

Additionally, Cheddars Casual Café is already open in the Grandscape development, with Mi Cocina, Rock & Brews, and Hard 8 Barbecue coming in 2016.

The Colony Economic Development Corporation Represents City at ICSC Texas Deal Making Conference

In an effort to promote additional economic development, enhance the local tax base, and create new jobs, The Colony Economic Development Corporation participated in the Texas Deal Making Conference hosted in Dallas this month by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

The three-day event featured educational sessions on retail and economic development issues, as well as an exhibit hall bustling with activity as leading retailers, developers, leasing agents, brokers and Texas cities including The Colony.

“Participating in this event is an important part of our retail recruitment and expansion strategies,” said Keri Samford, Director of The Colony’s Economic Development Corporation.  “This year was one of the busiest shows since the recession, and there is tremendous interest in The Colony.”

The Tile Shop Introduces Collection of Over 4,000 Products to The Colony, Texas Community Inside New Showroom

Press Release by Lindsey Rose | lindsey.rose@tileshop.com

The Tile Shop, a specialty retailer of premium manufactured tile and natural stone, setting and maintenance materials, announced that it has expanded its presence in Dallas, opening a new retail showroom to the public today at 6240 Morning Star Drive in The Colony, Texas.

The new store is The Tile Shop’s fifth location in the Dallas metro area, showcasing inspirational styled living spaces defined by a diverse collection of more than 4,000 ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone tile products in unlimited color palettes and textures. The approximately 15,000 square-foot store also features an on-site design and education center available to all customers.

“Our tile collection encompasses many colors, shapes, patterns and textures that allow people to express their own style, and we’re excited to introduce The Colony area homeowners and trade professionals to our product selection and shopping experience,” said Carl Randazzo, Senior Vice President of Retail for The Tile Shop.

“We’re as passionate about our customers as we are about our products, and as a project partner, we understand their home is a big part of their lives. Whether dressing up a single surface, doing a complete remodel or building a new home, we bring customers product and design inspiration, expert advice, superior service and confidence to achieve their vision.”

Learn more about The Tile Shop on their website.

Read the full press release.

The Colony’s Nebraska Furniture Mart/Grandscape Project Showcased at TML Economic Development Conference

Keri Samford, Director of The Colony Economic Development Corporation, was an invited guest speaker at the Texas Municipal League’s inaugural Economic Development Conference held in Bastrop, Texas October 16-17.

Keri presented the incredible economic development impact that the opening of Nebraska Furniture Mart and the Grandscape development is having on The Colony.

In addition to the increased business and sales tax generated by the retailing giant owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the project has spurred significant growth across all industry sectors including housing, restaurants, retailers, lodging, and business/corporate expansions and relocations.

Ms. Samford shared insight on how the project was landed with a full room of TML members, and offered tips for successfully securing new projects in their own communities.

Also presenting during this conference session was Jim Quin, City Administrator of Haslet, who discussed the Amazon Fulfillment Center’s expansion in Haslet, and Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock, who discussed Toyota’s move of  its U.S. headquarters to Plano.

Grandscape Presentation TML 2015

Above from left: Keri Samford, Director of The Colony Economic Development Corporation; Bruce Glasscock, Plano City Manager; and Jim Quin, City Administrator of Haslet.

Buffett-backed Grandscape starts its new $45M ‘boardwalk’ restaurant district

Candace Carlisle | ccarlisle@bizjournals.com | Dallas Business Journal

The development group behind Grandscape — a $1.5 billion mixed-use development anchored by the massive Nebraska Furniture Mart — has started construction on its next phase of the 400-acre project, a $45 million “boardwalk,” district.

“We haven’t officially named it, but it’s the boardwalk district,” Jeff Lind, president and CEO of Grandscape and Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas, which are affiliates of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., told the Dallas Business Journal.

The board walk at Grandscape will include a restaurant row overlooking a man-made lake fronting the Sam Rayburn Tollway.

Once filled, the 11-acre manmade lake fronting the boardwalk will bring an amenity to Grandscape, which has already landed a number of restaurants and 1,800-fan concert venue.

“This will be an amenity to serve those restaurant pad sites and give people a walking area with music and lighting,” he told me. “It will be a nice place to take a stroll.”

Recently, Grandscape landed the 1,800-seat concert venue Lava Cantina along the boardwalk and could land another five restaurants. Grandscape officials plan to keep the number of restaurants low in the immediate area to ensure there’s parking for restaurant-goers and areas for valet, he said.

The Warren Buffett-backed company has bucked the traditional development mode of using brokers to land big retail tenants, Lind said. Instead, the group is working directly with restaurant and retail owners from outside Dallas-Fort Worth to bring new concepts to the region.

“A lot of places are coming to us and those discussions are in progress,” Lind told me. “Expect more announcements before too long.”

Along with the boardwalk district, Grandscape has started construction on two multitenant buildings along Plano Parkway in between Bargain Way and Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive.

Two new restaurants — Dog Haus and Bread Zeppelin — are the first to join the buildings that would total more than 16,000 square feet in retail space. Both restaurants are slated to open in fall 2016.

Lind said he will take his time landing the right restaurants and retail shops within Grandscape.

Read the original article at The Dallas Business Journal

KISS’ Gene Simmons visits The Colony ahead of Rock and Brews opening

Korri Kezar | Dallas Business Journal

Though the restaurant is months away from opening, on Monday KISS bassist Gene Simmons visited The Colony, the site of Rock and Brews’ newest location.

Simmons and KISS front man Paul Stanley co-founded the Rock and Brews concept with Dave Furano, Dell Furano and Michael Zislis. Its first location opened in El Segundo, California, in 2012. The restaurant serves pizza, burgers, sandwiches and fish tacos complemented with local craft beers.

It has 11 locations and plans to grow to 75 to 100 stores in the next five years. Those growth plans could include another North Texas location, though Simmons adds he restaurant will stick with one for now.

About 100 city officials, business leaders and members of the media gathered under a white tent next to Nebraska Furniture Mart Monday afternoon to sample burgers, sandwiches, coleslaw and salad from Rock and Brews’ menu and hear Simmons speak.

“I’m here because we’re committed to this, we’re committed to Dallas,” he told the crowd. “You may not be a rock star, but we’re going to make you feel like a rock star.”

The Colony location, which will encompass 8,950 square feet, is set to open in January. Simmons hopes to open the doors on Jan. 1, and he and Stanley will return to North Texas on the heels of KISS’ world tour to launch the restaurant.

But before Rock and Brews officially opens for business, Simmons gave the Dallas Business Journal a taste of what to expect in the new eatery.

Rock and Brews places a heavy emphasis on veterans

At 10:45 a.m. every day at all Rock and Brews locations, the restaurants’ staffs stop what they are doing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and listen to the first 30 seconds of Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The Colony location will be no different. On its first day, Simmons said the restaurant will be open only for veterans.

“Our philosophy is, one, honor God, country, and honor the military,” he added. “Day one is only for vets. They come, we honor them, we feed them and we give them a big fat check.”

Read Original Article at the Dallas Business Journal.

New Tenants Embrace The Cascades Phase II in The Colony

Six months ago there was one tenant in the new Phase II of The Cascades, a master-planned community offering office/warehouse opportunities for local and national corporate clients. Today it is almost 70 percent leased with great prospects for the remaining space.

Companies recognize the central location along Sam Rayburn Tollway, just 15 minutes from D/FW Airport. Hilti, who has relocated their corporate office to Legacy in Plano, is opening a retail shop in Building 8 of approximately 6,000 square feet and will sell high-end construction materials. The Tile Shop will be the west end cap of Building 8 and will take 15,000 square feet. Verona Marble Company is a high end Italian marble slab company that will be the east end cap of Building 8 and will take about 9,000 square feet.

Corporations are taking advantage of the growing economic climate we have in Texas. Six Months Smile is relocating their corporate office from New York and taking the other half of Building 9, approximately 12,000 square feet, where Zackat is currently located.  This company is similar to invisalign and has a great reputation with dentists. Titan’s Orthopaedic Sales, a joint replacement distributor, is taking around 11,000 square feet of space in Building 10. Ventanex will take 14,000 square feet of Building 10.  This company is a 3rd party processer of bills, invoices, and other mail-served documents.

The only vacancies remaining are 6,000 square feet in Building 10 and all of Building 7. For more information about opportunities for your business within The Cascades contact Cindi Lane, clane@thecolonytx.org.

A new movie going experience

Kimberly Diggs | Star Local Media

What was once a Best Buy has become a sleek, modern movie theater offering an elevated moviegoing experience. On July 30, Studio Movie Grill opened the doors to a new flagship location in The Colony, 4800 State Highway 121 at Josey Lane, vastly different from some of the other locations in the area in amenities and décor.

One of the aspects of the experience that they’ve gotten the most compliments about are the custom-built Inorca recliners with plush leather seating.

“Opening this new location in our hometown is as exciting for us as opening our first Studio Movie Grill over 15 years ago,” said Brian Schultz, founder and CEO of Studio Movie Grill. “Since then, technology, amenities and aesthetics have evolved significantly. Dallas really has the most supportive and appreciative of communities, and we are thrilled to be expanding in our own backyard. As our 22nd location nationwide, Studio Movie Grill The Colony promises to be an exceptional in-theater dining experience for our guests.”

Along with the décor, the theater has introduced a revamped menu with new dishes and drinks.

Some of their most popular new menu items are the mahimahi fish and chips and blackened chicken salad, but they’ve made sure to hold fast to classics such as the coconut chicken tenders and, one of their most popular snacks, soft pretzel bites.

They’re also serving new drinks such as the Mexican Chocolate Cinn and the Creamy Caramel Macchiato adult shake, but they are holding on to their bestseller – their frozen margarita.

Though they are most focused on providing a luxurious movie-watching experience, they are also driven to give back to the community that will support them through the years.

Every second Saturday at 11 a.m., once a new children’s movie is released, Studio Movie Grill has a free screening for children with special needs. They work with local hospitals and autism organizations to coordinate screenings of the latest movies.

They recently completed screenings of “The Minions” and “Shaun the Sheep.”

“We turn up the lighting so it’s a bit more conducive and turn down the sound a little bit,” said Gary Frank, marketing director of Studio Movie Grill.

In addition to programs like these, each month, the theater hosts a retro movie series geared toward families called the Family Rewind that allows families to pay $3 to see movies such as “Karate Kid” and “Back to the Future.” It’s hosted one Wednesday and Sunday a month.

“This is a family event that allows parents to show their children movies that they were excited about as kids,” Frank said.

Studio Movie Grill also hosts Girl’s Night Out once a month that allows women to pay $3 to see the featured film. The next Girl’s Night Out will occur on Sept. 9 and feature an in-theater viewing of “Pretty Woman.”

Read original article at Star Local Media.

Rock and Brews restaurant by KISS building in The Colony

Korri Kezar | Dallas Business Journal

North Texas can rock and roll all night and party every day with a new Rock and Brews coming to The Colony next year.

The restaurant concept, formed by frontman Paul Stanley and bass guitarist Gene Simmons of the band KISS, is building an 8,950-square foot location near Nebraska Furniture Mart in the Grandscape development. Stanley said the company was drawn to Grandscape’s size and affordable space.

“It’s an exciting project out there and Warren Buffett, you can say he’s a trailblazer, but he’s also someone who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Stanley told the Dallas Business Journal. “ That area is upcoming and it’s expanding, so we chose that area rather than going into the city where it would be more difficult to fully realize what we see Rock and Brews being, which is an indoor/outdoor family-friendly restaurant.”

Rock and Brews will include a pet-friendly patio and a children’s area so music lovers of all ages can enjoy a little classic rock by musicians and bands such as Don Henley, The Beatles and, you guessed it, KISS.

“As I had children, it became more difficult to have a great meal,” Stanley said. “You basically wound up with cardboard pizza surrounded by people playing video games. We wanted to create an atmosphere where you could celebrate what we all love, classic rock, with a staff that you can call your friends. People continue to come back to Rock and Brews because it’s a social hub.”

The menu has been described by Stanley as “fabulous comfort food.” Selections include fish tacos, pizza and burgers, and diners can sample more than 80 craft brews. The Colony location will incorporate region-specific favorites such as chicken fried steak with white gravy.

Stanley will be in The Colony in January when the restaurant is slated to open. The eatery’s launch will include a benefit for veterans with Stanley leading the pledge of allegiance.

“I’m there to shake hands and to make sure the vets have a great time,” he added. “I’m a firm believer that patriotism is cool and we need to make sure that people know loving your country and championing your soldiers is an obligation and an honor.”

After The Colony restaurant’s opening, Rock and Brews may not be done building in North Texas, Stanley said. The 11-location concept plans to grow to between 75 and 100 locations in the next five years, and is expanding into arenas, stadiums and airports, giving options for more Dallas-Fort Worth stores.

Read original article at The Dallas Business Journal.

Massive live music venue and restaurant expected in 2016

Sarah Blaskovich | GuideLive

The Colony is about to be on fire. Lava Cantina has a rock and roll vibe, but it’ll be home to country, pop and heavy metal concerts, too.

The opening of Nebraska Furniture Mart and its huge Grandscape development means a steady stream of new food and fun near Texas State Highway 121. The Dallas Morning News has confirmed a 29,000 square foot live music venue and restaurant called Lava Cantina is expected to open near the mega-furniture mart in 2016.

Lava Cantina will have stages indoors and out, plus a patio and a rooftop deck. Owners expect to have live music during meals — jazz brunch is an example — but the venue will also host special ticketed concerts and festivals.

Which means: Your favorite band’s next show might be in The Colony.

Owner and Founding Partner Ian Vaughn would like to snag acts such as Cage the Elephant or AWOLNATION. (Neither are on the calendar; they’re just examples.) He’d also like to host occasional festivals modeled after the one existing Lava Cantina, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Their Cinco de Mayo and Lavapalooza fests might make sense in Dallas-Fort Worth, Vaughn says.

The restaurant and music venue is designed to feel like you’re backstage at a show.

The menu, still being developed, will be the work of chef Patrick Stark, who made his name known at Sundown at Granada in Dallas. Some also know the mohawked chef from his appearances on Food Network.

Stark’s menu at Lava Cantina in The Colony will be Creole with a Mexican twist. You may also see him up on stage; he is active in the music community in D-FW and has expressed interest in performing at the coming-soon spot.

Other notable restaurants coming to The Colony: classic rock themed restaurant fronted by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, Hard Eight barbecue, Mi Cocina and more.

Lava Cantina is expected to open in mid 2016 on Grandscape Boulevard in The Colony.

Read original article at GuideLive.com.

The Colony opens first location of Raising Cane’s

Heather Goodwin | The Courier-Leader

The DFW Metroplex is already home to more Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers than any other market in the country but until recently, Caniacs in The Colony haven’t had a Cane’s to call their own.

Raising Cane’s The Colony opened July 16 at 3851 Plano Parkway. It marks the company’s 29th location in DFW, its 79th in the state of Texas and the 226th in the nation.

Grand opening festivities began with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony courtesy of The Colony Chamber of Commerce and other community leaders. First-time visitors will be treated to traditional cheers and other high-energy chants to launch the location in unique Cane’s fashion, compliments of its 45-50 newly hired crewmembers. Deuce, a Frisco RoughRiders mascot, joined guests for photos.

The first 10 paying, dine-in customers ages 13 and older received free Cane’s for a year. In addition, the first 100 paying, dine-in customers ages 13 and older received a free Cane’s The Colony T-shirt, along with a voucher for a free box combo.

“This will be my eighth Raising Cane’s opening, and I have to say I’ve never been more pumped,” said Brian Gibson, general manager. “My team and I are excited to be apart of The Colony community and become actively involved.”

During the grand opening, Gibson presented a $1,000 check to the Hungry Hearts Food Pantry on behalf of Raising Cane’s. That follows a team volunteer day on July 10, when Gibson and roughly 15 crewmembers helped stock, organize and clean the food pantry.

“Hungry Hearts is an absolutely first-class organization, and it has been our honor to support them through our grand opening community service project,” said Gibson. “But that’s just the beginning of our outreach in this city.”

Raising Cane’s is also supporting The Colony Youth Baseball Association, The Colony ISD and the summer reading program at The Colony Library.

Hours of operation at The Colony restaurant are Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Read original article at The Courier-Leader.

Grandscape now has a lake and a Cheddar’s

Maria Halkias | Dallas Morning News Biz Beat Blog

Berkshire Hathaway is making progress on its $1.5 billion Grandscape development anchored by Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony.

A winding lake and boardwalk that are part of the 433-acre project are under construction.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is the first restaurant to open. The restaurant added 200 part-time and full-time jobs.

Hard Eight BBQ & Hampton Inn & Suites are under construction. Mi Cocina and Rock & Brews are in the design phase, said Grandscape spokeswoman Katie Rager, and more tenants will be announced later this year.

Read the original article on the Dallas Morning News website.

Recon 2015

City Officials Represent The Colony at Global Retail Real Estate Conference

In an effort to promote additional economic development, enhance the local tax base, and create new jobs, representatives from the City of The Colony and Economic Development Corporation were among more than 1,000 public officials and 35,000 retail real estate professionals who traveled to Las Vegas this month to attend RECon, the global convention sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

The three-day event featured educational sessions on retail and economic development issues, more than 1 million square-feet of exhibit space showcasing leading retailers, developers, leasing agents, brokers, public sector professionals, and industry product and service providers.

“RECon is a must-attend event if you are trying to create any type of retail real estate development in your community,” said Keri Samford, Director of The Colony’s Economic Development Corporation.  “In just three days, we were able to meet with numerous shopping center developers, owners, and retailers to ensure that they are aware of the incredible opportunities in our community.”

According to ICSC, approximately 50 percent of all retail real estate industry deals are conceived of or consummated at RECon.

“Participating in RECon through the years has proven to be a very viable component of our comprehensive retail recruitment strategy,” added Samford. “Many of the retail projects now complete or underway in The Colony were sparked through our networking and one-on-one meetings at past RECon conferences, and interest in our community this year was extremely high.”

Shopping centers generate more than $2.5 trillion in retail sales annually in the U.S. and raise nearly $145 billion in sales tax revenue for state and local governments.  In 2014, there were 12.7 million shopping center-related jobs in the U.S.

In Texas, shopping centers generate more than $ $236.5 billion in retail sales annually and raise nearly $14.8 billion in sales tax revenue for state and local governments.  In 2014, there were 1 million shopping center-related jobs in Texas.

121 Growth A Matter of Time

Expert: SH 121 growth ‘a matter of time’

impact news | extract

Activity along SH 121 has exploded in recent years in The Colony and Plano. The Grandscape development in The Colony, for instance, opened its anchor store, Nebraska Furniture Mart, in May and is expected to help in the city’s economic growth. On the Frisco side of SH 121, Crest Auto Group is building three new car dealerships and a Wal-Mart is going in the Custer Bridges development.

“The [land] pricing today is as low as it will be for the foreseeable future. Prices are only going to continue to increase as demand increases.”

– Bill Cox, principal for commercial real estate firm Carey Cox Co.

Read full article at www.impactnews.com.

NFM Grand Opening

Nebraska Furniture Mart Holds Public Grand Opening

Carla Wade, WFAA ABC Channel 8

With 560,000 square feet of showroom space divided between two floors, Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas may partially bear the name of another state — but it’s a Texas-sized shopping experience.

“It’s exceptional,” said shopper Glenn Allen.

The store held its Grand Opening Thursday morning. City and county leaders joined the company’s President and COO Ron Blumkin outside the store for a giant ribbon cutting.

The Colony Mayor Joe McCourry said seeing the finished store was the culmination of years of planning to bring more economic development to the area.

“Years ago the council said that this corridor was going to be an entertainment destination and a lot of people laughed at us,” said McCourry. “But now though, we stuck to our guns, we followed our intuition and we went after those things that would make it happen.”

The new store offers furniture, appliances, electronics and flooring. It could take you three to four hours to walk the entire store. Some experts estimate the retailer will make at least $1 billion in sales the first year.

“What really excited us about coming to Texas was how great the economy is here and how great the culture of people is here,” said Store Director Ed Lipsett.

The store had a “soft opening” back on March 4. It’s taken two months to get workers, more than 2,000 of them, trained for Thursday’s Grand Opening.

“Including and on down to the people who install products for us, to our sales people, to even our delivery services that work for us,” said Lipsett.

Workers armed with tablets can ring up customers anywhere. And prices in the morning could differ by the afternoon. Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas uses digital tagging — scanning prices from other stores and instantly changing prices multiple times a day.

The distribution center is more than a million square feet and it’s filled with merchandise ready for pick up or delivery.

“I like it, “Allen said with a huge grin. “This is where you can come and find everything you need in one place.”

Lindsey Lessner drove in from McKinney to see the store.

“My mom lives in Fort Worth and she’s talked about coming to visit,” she said. “And I just think it has a lot to offer that was missing in the DFW market for furniture.”

View original story and video at WFAA.com

Why Quest Resource needed a new DFW corporate headquarters

Candace Carlisle | ccarlisle@bizjournals.com | Dallas Business Journal

Fast-growing Quest Resource Management Group LLC, a subsidiary of Quest Resource Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: QRHC), was running out of space at its Frisco headquarters, which is why it needed a new build-to-suit corporate office.

“I consider myself a person who can see opportunity a few steps before someone else and has the competitiveness and the drive to go out and try it,” Quest CEO and President Brian Dick recently told my colleague Nicholas Sakelaris. “That’s a core philosophy of mine.”

In February, Quest Resource Management was a $180 million company with 120 employees that recycles products from 20,000 locations. The new headquarters will help Dick further the company’s goal of expanding its business.

“Like anything else, you do something well and word starts to spread and we continue to expand our business,” he said.

Construction is already underway on the single-story, 36,000-square-foot headquarters at Plano Parkway and Destination Drive at Austin Ranch in The Colony. Dallas-based Billingsley Co. is the developer of the project.

This would move Quest Resource’s corporate office to The Colony from Frisco adjacent to Toyota Stadium.

Dick was sold on Austin Ranch’s location based on its proximity to the Nebraska Furniture Mart-anchored Grandscape on State Highway 121, which gives employees easy access to the new corporate office.

Quest’s new headquarters is one of three office buildings at Austin Ranch, which Billingsley Co. has named Old Oak Pond. Sanyo Energy U.S.A. Corp. decided to expand and relocate its growing headquarters to the site last fall.

Steve Wentz of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. represented Quest in the company’s real estate search. Marijke Lantz of Billingsley Co. represented the landlord in the deal.

“This is truly a hot spot for development in DFW and this location was a great fit for Quest to boost their corporate image and a great space for future growth, said Wentz, a director at the real estate brokerage.

The work is slated for completion in September. The new building is expandable and can grow with Quest’s business plans, which has experienced tremendous growth since its inception in 2007.

Read original story at the Dallas Business Journal

NFM WFAA 8

Megastore is core of ambitious project in The Colony

Sebastian Robertson, WFAA ABC Channel 8

Nebraska Furniture Mart ‘s reach extends far beyond furniture. The megastore is set to open in The Colony sometime this spring.

For the next few weeks, however, hundreds of shoppers contacted by e-mail and mailer will be among the first to browse the 560,000 square foot emporium. By way of comparison, Ikea’s sprawling store in neighboring Frisco encompasses 310,000 square feet.

Nebraska Furniture Mart is all in, and it has some big name backers — including financier Warren Buffett — as seen in a promotional video for the surrounding development.

“We’re going to have a store that really blows people’s minds away,” Buffett said.

The furniture store serves as the anchor behind a massive multi-use development spanning 400 acres. It will be the first development of its kind in The Colony.

Keri Samford on WFAA

The Colony EDC Director Keri Samford on WFAA ABC Channel 8 News.

“If you drive along the [Highway] 121 corridor, there is a tremendous amount of growth and development taking place,” said the city’s economic development director Keri Sanford. “For example, we have six new hotels that have either been announced or are under construction currently.”

A billion dollar project dubbed Grandscape is about more than shopping. Renderings depict a vibrant mixed-use development featuring a convention center, restaurants, and an outdoor amphitheater.

“It’s been traditionally a bedroom community, but now this transitions us to having a better and more broad base, with commercial development as well,” Sanford said.

Store officials haven’t announced an official opening date for the general public, but do say it could come in the next few weeks.

“It’s humongous,” said shopper Reva Nathanson, one of those who has had a sneak peek. “It’s an amazing stadium of furniture. It’s going to put The Colony, Texas on the map.”

When complete, city officials predict the development could attract as many as eight million shoppers a year. ​

See original story and watch the video at WFAA.com

Raising Cane's Opening In The Colony

Raising Cane’s Breaks Ground In The Colony

By Heather M. Goodwin | hgoodwin@starlocalmedia.com | The Colony Courier-Leader
The Metroplex is already home to 27 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurants, but local Caniacs can’t seem to get enough. The Louisiana-based chain recently broke ground on its newest location, in The Colony. It is tentatively scheduled to open in late June.

The newest restaurant extends DFW’s lead as the most populated market in the entire Raising Cane’s system. It will also be the first constructed to the company’s new and larger prototype specifications.

“The Colony is a great spot for Raising Cane’s and building a restaurant here is a very big milestone for us and for all of the Caniacs that live, work, and play in this great city”, said Luke Overman, area director of operations. “I have also received feedback from many of our customers that they have been waiting for a Raising Cane’s to open in The Colony, so we believe this is a win for everybody. Our culture is rooted in the relationships we build in each community we serve, so our crewmembers will definitely be reaching out to area schools and organizations of all types in the months ahead to see how we can become an active community partner.”

The Colony’s first Raising Cane’s will be located at 3851 Plano Parkway, just south of the Sam Rayburn Tollway.

See original article at The Colony Courier-Leader

The Colony Chamber of Commerce

The Colony Chamber of Commerce revamps itself

By Heather M. Goodwin | hgoodwin@starlocalmedia.com | The Colony Courier-Leader

Changes are coming to The Colony Chamber of Commerce, and its new leader hopes it will allow members to get more out of the organization.

“There are definitely a lot of changes coming,” said Robyn Bowers, president of the chamber board. “I want to see the chamber be very prosperous and allow our members to get the most out of The Colony.”

Recently, the chamber has appointed all new board of directors members after the previous members resigned. Bowers said the board has also been meeting weekly. The chamber is also reshaping its member benefits package and welcome bags that are given to new residents.

“There is a collaboration of people wanting to change things. I think I’m able to use my background to help drive the chamber, but there is a great board in place that has stepped up and wants to see The Colony grow and succeed,” Bowers said. “Everyone on the board is very engaged. We’re exchanging ideas and brainstorming with each other.”

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Drunken Donkey Bar and Grill, 4897 State Highway 121, the chamber is inviting all previous, current and potential members to attend an event meant to introduce the community to the new chamber board.

“We want people to meet and get to know us,” Bowers said. “They’ll see that the chamber is a fun environment and has a lot of networking opportunities.”

Tuesday is also the deadline for businesses to add to the chamber’s welcome bags. Bowers said the bags include information about local businesses.

“I encourage creativity, bring your business cards, flyers, brochures or whatever you want,” Bowers said. “The goal is to stand out.”

Business owners should bring enough to fill 500 bags.

In addition, the chamber is partnering with Nebraska Furniture Mart and other new businesses coming to the Grandscape for sponsorships of other event. Sometime in March, NFM will partner with the chamber for a soft opening of the store to allow chamber members a sneak peak of the mart. Bowers said the chamber is trying to fill up its calendar with other events and fundraisers.

“We’ve also met with the city to get more involved, and we want to work with the schools. It will take some time, but it will happen,” Bowers said.

Bowers said while the previous board members were “great,” every now and then fresh volunteers are needed.

“It’s hard to maintain because these are volunteer positions,” Bowers said. “Now we have the opportunity to step in with new faces and see it prosper.”

Bowers is not only new to the chamber; she is new to The Colony and to Texas. She moved to the area in May and joined the chamber in October.

“I opened a new business in The Colony and wanted to get involved,” Bowers said. “I was involved with the chamber where I lived before. As a small business owner I know how hard it is when you first start up, and I want to offer my experience.”

Bowers said she wants to see a strong community. By the end of the year she hopes to see more than 100 members attend chamber events on a regular basis. She said the chamber will also roll out a new website in the coming months.

“I encourage feedback and suggestions from everyone,” Bowers said. “We’re trying to rebuild, so right now is the time we can implement just about anything.”

Interested members may join the chamber online at thecolonychamber.com or at Comerica Bank, 4730 State Highway 121.

“I would be happy to sit down and go over the benefits of becoming a member with anyone,” Bowers said. “I think every business owner should be part of it because we’re about to see things take off.”

Read more at The Colony Courier-Leader

Hampton Inn Breaks Ground at Grandscape

Hampton Inn and Suites breaks ground at Nebraska Furniture Mart’s Grandscape development

Korri Kezar | kkezar@bizjournalscom | Dallas Business Journal

A 115-room, 6-story Hampton Inn and Suites has broken ground at the Grandscape development in The Colony.

Nebraska Furniture Mart is spending $1.5 billion to anchor and develop Grandscape, which will stretch across 433 acres. Its first phase includes two Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) hotels developed by Carrollton-based Atlantic Hotels Group, which has done construction for other well-known names including Marriott and Holiday Inn.

The hotels will include the Hampton and a 126-room Homewood Suites by Hilton. Both hotels will be upscale to cater to transient and extended-stay customers, a company news release said.

“We are extremely excited to be developing for Hilton inside Grandscape,” said Perry Molubhoy, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Hotels Group. “We look forward to providing The Colony and our customers with a luxurious, quality product that will make them always (come) back for more – a home away from home.”

Atlantic is set to complete construction in early 2016. The hotel will cost $12 million to build.

Other businesses slated to join the development include restaurants Mi Cocina, Cheddars, Hard Eight BBQ and Rock & Brews.

“The biggest thing that differentiates us from other developers is that we are under no financial pressure to sign tenants,” Jeff Lind, Granscape president, told the Dallas Business Journal in January. “We can tweak anything that we need to tweak and as we open the store, we’ll take our time and do it right.”

More at www.bizjournals.com

Abuelos Resturant Moving To The Colony

Abuelos moving to The Colony

Posted by LewisvilleTexan

Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant announced this week that on February 15th, it’s location on 2520 S. I-35E in Lewisville will close its doors. The property has been purchased through eminent domain by the Texas Department of Transportation for use in the Interstate 35 expansion project. The state’s purchase price was not listed as of Thursday, but the property was on the tax rolls at $2.6 million. The restaurant had been in business at the location since 1999.

Food Concepts International, the Lubbock based parent company of Abuelos, said they were in the process of finalizing plans for a new location in The Colony, near the new Nebraska Furniture Mart on SH 121. They hope to open the restaurant there by September of this year.

“With regret, we are closing our location in Lewisville,” said Robert Lin, president of Food Concepts International. “We are very thankful to our guests and employees for their loyal patronage and service over the past 15 years in Lewisville. We invite everyone to visit us at any of our other DFW locations, and we are looking forward to a new opening in the Colony area soon.”

This story contains material from a submitted report. Photo by Nick Weaver.

Read Story at Lewisville Texas Journal

Nebraska Furniture Stocking Shelves

Nebraska Furniture Mart Begins Stocking Shelves for Customers

Candace Carlisle | ccarlisle@bizjournals.com | Dallas Business Journal

After promises that shelves would begin to be stocked at Nebraska Furniture Mart’s new North Texas store in The Colony, work began Wednesday on filling the 560,000-square-foot retail showroom with appliances, furniture and electronics.

The retail showroom will anchor the $1.5 billion, 433-acre Grandscape development and is part of the larger 1.9 million-square-foot Nebraska Furniture Mart, which includes a distribution center.

The showroom at the southeast corner of the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Plano Parkway in The Colony is expected to open to customers by this spring, with Nebraska Furniture Mart organizing their development tenant mix for the rest of the massive project.

The 77-year-old retailer, an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, plans to take its time recruiting other tenants to its Grandscape development, said Grandscape President Jeff Lind.

“The biggest thing that differentiates us from other developers is that we are under no financial pressure to sign tenants,” he told me. “We can tweak anything that we need to tweak and as we open the store, we’ll take our time and do it right.”

Thus far, the following tenants have been confirmed: Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, Hard Eight BBQ, Mi Cocina and Rock & Brews.

Lind said he expects the Texas showroom is expected to be one of the largest grossing retail stores on the planet.

Read more at www.bizjournals.com

Nebraska Furniture NBC5

Nebraska Furniture Mart Gives DFW Shoppers a Reason to Look Around

Deanna Dewberry | @Deanna_Dewberry | NBCDFW.com

Nebraska Furniture Mart, the largest home furnishing store in North America, is opening its biggest retail space to date this spring in The Colony.

Nebraska Furniture Mart, the largest home furnishing store in North America, is opening its biggest retail space to date this spring in The Colony.

The 560,000-square-foot store with be situated in the same complex with its gigantic distribution center. The two combined are the size of 31 football fields. The store sells furniture, flooring, electronics and appliances all under one roof.

To give DFW area consumers a sense of what to expect when it opens, NBC5’s Consumer Specialist Deanna Dewberry traveled to the company’s flagship store in Omaha and sat down with NMF’s President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Blumkin.

“We have a lot of people counting on us to do well,” said Blumkin, who calls those who work for him teammates rather than employees.

The store will have 2,000 employees and has already hired hundreds to prepare for the grand opening. With Nebraska Furniture Mart being a family business, Blumkin feels the pressure.

In 1937, his grandmother Rose Blumkin founded the company in the basement of her husband’s shop in Omaha. She spent the next several decades growing the business. Then in 1983, with a handshake and a $60 million deal, NFM joined Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway empire.

The company has locations in Omaha, Kansas City and Des Moines. The location in The Colony will be the company’s first venture out of the Midwest. Ron Blumkin and his brother Irv, sit at the helm.

“As Mr. Buffett so eloquently puts it, ‘the Blumkin kids, we won the ovarian lottery,’ ” said Ron Blumkin. “It’s true.”

And grandma had a golden rule. “The founder’s mantra was we’re going to sell cheaper than our competitors, period,” Blumkin said.

It does so by constantly monitoring the competition, which includes big box stores like Target and Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Internet retailers, and scores of local, regional and national furniture stores.

In electronics and appliances, NFM even has digital price tags so with the flip of a switch it can change prices. Blumkin also said if consumers see a product cheaper elsewhere, NFM will often beat that price.

“That’s the goal,” he said.

Stores like Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy also have price matching policies. That means when NFM opens in The Colony, DFW-area residents should shop around because the competition will be good for consumers.

But Blumkin believes the store in The Colony has one very big competitive advantage: Its colossal distribution center.

It holds 500,000 pieces of merchandise, everything from electronics to furniture and has 13 miles of aisles when placed end to end.

“Some of my competitors think that it’s one of the stupidest moves every attempted,” said Blumkin. “I think they’re wrong.”

The on-site distribution center offers consumers the convenience buying a couch, mattress or computer, and in many cases, bringing it home the same day, according to Blumkin.

The store is organized in sections. Next to furniture is flooring. Appliances and electronics are in a separate area. Doors will access each so consumers don’t have to walk the entire space to find what they need. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear comfortable shoes.

As for the grand opening, Blumkin is giddy with excitement, like a kid in a candy store, or in his case, a mega home furnishing store.

“Wow. How excited do I appear to be?” he said with a smile.

See more at: www.nbcdfw.com

Jackson Shaw Breaks Ground

Jackson-Shaw Celebrates Marriott Courtyard Groundbreaking

Dallas.citybizlist.com

Jackson-Shaw marked the construction of the Marriott Courtyard in The Colony with a groundbreaking ceremony and luncheon on October 30. More than 50 guests joined on-site at the final phase of Cascades at The Colony, located along Sam Rayburn Tollway and two miles west of the Dallas North Tollway. The Jackson-Shaw Foundation is making a major contribution the Friends of The Colony library to demonstrate its commitment to early childhood literacy as well as the City of The Colony. Jackson-Shaw is a national real estate development company headquartered in Dallas that develops diversified commercial properties. For more information visit www.jacksonshaw.com. –

See more at: http://dallas.citybizlist.com

Marriott At The Cascades

Developer Jackson-Shaw starts construction on third Marriott hotel near Nebraska Furniture Mart

Candace Carlisle | ccarlisle@bizjournals.com | Dallas Business Journal

Dallas-based real estate development firm Jackson-Shaw plans to begin construction on its third Marriott hotel at Cascades at The Colony — a five-story, 125-room Marriott Courtyard.

This new hotel on the Sam Rayburn Tollway, about two miles west of the Dallas North Tollway, signals the final phase of the Cascades at The Colony, a 100-acre master-planned commercial and residential community in The Colony.

The Marriott Courtyard is a flag of success for the Cascades and the community in The Colony, said Michele Wheeler, president and COO of Dallas-based Jackson-Shaw.

Along with the hotel, Jackson-Shaw plans to develop three restaurants — which are scheduled to break ground in spring 2015 — for the final phase of construction. The Marriott Courtyard is scheduled for completion in fall 2015.

Key Construction Inc. is the general contractor for the project. Merriman Associates Architects Inc. is the project architect. Sovereign Bank is the construction lender on the hotel.

Jackson-Shaw is currently developing projects throughout the United States, including Texas, Florida, Maryland, Arizona and Colorado.

Read the Full Story at www.bizjournals.com

Grandscape 5,000 Jobs

Grandscape to bring 5,000 new jobs to The Colony

By Heather M. Goodwin | hgoodwin@starlocalmedia.com | Lewisville Leader

The Colony has already seen an economic benefit to bringing the Nebraska Furniture Mart to the city, but that is just the beginning of what it and the entire Grandscape development has to offer.

“We’ve already seen a huge benefit of the development, including the addition of Top Golf, to The Colony,” said Tod Maurina, assistant city manager. “We’ve already seen an economic impact from having the construction people in town. We don’t have numbers to quantify that now, but we know it’s there.”

Keri Samford, economic development director, said to her knowledge every piece of vacant property along State Highway 121 is either under contract or being developed, including Specks, Rooms to Go and Peter Piper Pizza.

“We also have office condos coming in, and developers are rebuilding the Marriott hotel,” Samford said.

Maurina said he believes that is a direct result of the investment the city made to bring Grandscape to fruition.

Once Nebraska Furniture Mart opens, March 4, 2015, it will have about 2,200 employees. It has already hired more than 400 people.

“They are actively hiring and have held a couple job fairs,” Maurina said. “The big push will be this fall. They’ve brought in a certain amount of people from other locations to help teach the culture, but they have also hired a high number of local people in prominent positions in the organization.”

Maurina said initially the city estimated that the mart would bring 1,900 new jobs to the area and the Grandscape as a whole, about 5,000 new jobs. He said the city’s goal is to hire at least 50 percent of people from The Colony and Denton County.

“Our goal is to keep it as local as possible, and I think that’s good for them [the businesses] too,” Maurina said. “Businesses don’t like people commuting 45 minutes to work. There’s a certain area they want their employees to be in to make sure they’re reliable.”

Maurina said the mart is good at maintaining its employees. He said they have more than a 94-percent retention rate over five years.

“It’s very common to meet employees of the mart that have been there more than 10 years,” Maurina said. “At this location, a couple who works as the project manager and distribution manager have both been with the mart more than 20 years. They’re very conscience of keeping people, and they’re going to be a great employer.”

The mart will employ both part time and full time positions. Maurina said the jobs will span from warehouse distribution, which itself will have more than 800 people, to entry level cashiers, to craftsman who will make repairs to the furniture, to high-end sales positions.

In addition to bringing in new jobs, Maurina said the city is projecting that the mart will generate $50 million dollars a year in sales tax.

“This is bigger than The Colony. I don’t think it’s an accident that some headquarters have been coming into area cities such as Plano. There’s been development all along the 121 corridor, including Lewisville and Frisco,” Maurina said.

Maurina said area cities are seeing development where there was none before. He said that’s what The Colony always envisioned, that Grandscape was a regional wide opportunity.

“We’re glad to see our neighbors benefit as well as we are because it helps create traffic and make Grandscape be successful,” Maurina said.

Read the Full Story at www.starlocalmedia.com

Cheddars Restaurant

The Colony P&Z Recommends Approval of Development Plan

By Heather M. Goodwin | hgoodwin@starlocalmedia.com | The Colony Courier-Leader

The Colony could soon be home to a Cheddar’s restaurant following a vote by the planning and zoning commission.

On Tuesday, commissioners approved a development plan for Cheddar’s restaurant that specializes in homemade dishes. Developers are planning a 8,066-square-foot restaurant that would be located on the south side of Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive and 400 feet east of Bargain Way directly west from the Nebraska Furniture Mart parking lot. The planning and zoning commission approved the preliminary plat Feb. 26. The item will now go before the city council.

The Savant Group completed a traffic study on the proposed site and recommended several roadway improvements meant to ease the projected increase in traffic in the area. The improvements include adding a double diverging diamond over State Highway 121 at South Colony Boulevard, which will divert much of the Nebraska Furniture Mart development-bound traffic from the intersections of State Highway 121 at both Paige/Plano Parkway and Spring Creek.

In addition, roadways on the site will include Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive, which extends from Plano Parkway at Tittle across the north side of the Grandscape site and connects to both the South Colony Boulevard overpass and Grandscape Boulevard, which continues east to connect with Headquarters Drive at Spring Creek and a cross street, called Bargain Way that connects the State Highway 121 frontage road with Plano Parkway.

Mike Joyce, director of planning, said due to the anticipated number of people visiting the Grandscape site, roadway improvements were necessary.

“The road improvements are part of the infrastructure package that was agreed upon by the city and the developers,” Joyce said. “The roadway improvements are based on the anticipated number of vehicles and visitors, which is eight to 12 million visitors per year, to the Grandscape site.”

The site plans calls for the restaurant to have direct access off of Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive. There will be no cross access to the Nebraska Furniture Mart. Developers are planning to provide 170 parking spaces, which is more than the required 41 spaces.

In order to adhere to landscaping requirements, developers are planning to use a combination of Shumard Oak, Eastern Redbud, Sea Spray Juniper and Elderica Pine. Developers would also use Tuscan Blue Rosemary, Knock Out Roses, Dwarf Fountain Grass, Big Blue Liriope and other plants to screen the parking spaces along Nebraska Furniture Mart and surround the building.

See original news post at The Colony Courier-Leader

Nebraska Furniture Mart One Year Later

Progress moves along in The Colony, TX. Just one year after the official ground breaking, NFM’s Grandscape is starting to take shape.

TopGolf-The Colony earns another award

The city’s partnership with one of the nation’s premier entertainment and dining venues has again been honored by the business media with an annual award.

On a night that featured dignitaries from the city of Dallas, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and the Dallas Cowboys, The Colony’s own TopGolf facility was recognized as the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Retail/Restaurant Deal for 2013.

The award was presented during the Dallas Business Journal’s 22nd annual Best Real Estate Deal of the Year Awards on April 29 at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas.
Diane Baxter, Director of Communications and Tourism for the City of The Colony, said the city was proud to partner with TopGolf and excited to see a member of the local business community be honored alongside the best of the best in Dallas-Fort Worth.

“The leadership at both City Hall and the Economic Development Corporation were very aware that TopGolf would be a fantastic addition to our community and draw visitors from all over the Metroplex,” she said. “Continued recognition by the region’s business analysts goes to show this deal was a hole-in-one.”

The award comes on the heels of TopGolf-The Colony being recognized by D CEO Magazine in March as the Best Retail Deal of 2013.

For more information, contact visit www.topgolf.com/us/the-colony and www.bizjournals.com.

TopGolf – The Colony awarded Retail Project of the Year from D CEO Magazine’s Commercial Real Estate Program for 2014!

D CEO magazine’s Commercial Real Estate Awards program for 2014 chose TopGolf, The Colony as the winner in the Best Retail Project category.

With business booming at its two other North Texas locations, TopGolf began looking for a third site in 2012. It tapped Luke Wilson and Terry Syler of The Retail Connection to help. The brokers evaluated 15 locations, culling through piles of market statistics and demographics. The trick was to find something in the northern path of growth, but not so close as to cannibalize TopGolf’s existing facility in Allen.

Negotiations were underway on a site when TopGolf hired a new real estate director, Zach Shor. The search ultimately was refocused to the State Highway 121 corridor, particularly a stretch near where Nebraska Furniture Mart’s massive DFW store is under construction. The Colony stepped forward with a compelling incentives package, and a decision was made.

Shor says working with The Colony was a breeze. “If I could copy and paste them all over the country, I’d do it,” he says. “They’re incredibly easy to work with and a very fun group. I’m in 40 markets, and they are atypical.”

TopGolf’s venue in The Colony—its new prototype—opened in November 2013, and performance is already exceeding expectations. Along with Nebraska Furniture Mart, TopGolf is helping to create a brand new retail trade area, Shor says: “The whole area is just continuing to grow, and can only get better.”

Read the full article online at dmagazine.com.