The City of Allen announced (June 26, 2007) a joint venture with Global Entertainment Corporation (AMEX:GEE) and The MGHerring Group to build a $50-million event center. The event center will offer a venue for concerts, top touring shows, family entertainment and professional sports upon its opening set for fall 2009.
The Allen event center, to include 7,500 fixed seats and 26 luxury suites, will be part of The Village at Allen, a 181-acre mixed-use development of The MGHerring Group, located on the southeast corner of US 75 and Stacy Road. In addition to the event center and a full service hotel, the development features over 1.5 million square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space. The shopping center is scheduled to open October 2008.
“A regional event center has been on the Allen City Council’s strategic plan for many years,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell. “This multi-purpose facility will have a significant ripple effect through our local economy. The public-private partnership of the project will create a first-class entertainment and sports venue without creating an impact to local taxes. ”
Global Entertainment, an integrated events and entertainment company, has subsidiaries in sports management, arena and related real estate development, facility and venue management and marketing, venue ticketing and branded licensing. It operates the 17-team Central Hockey League from its headquarters in Phoenix.
“The Allen City Council approved a Letter of Intent, allowing us to move forward to develop agreements and design a facility that will be a tremendous asset for our community,” said Allen City Manager Peter Vargas. “This project is the result of a unique partnership that continues the council’s commitment to bring quality development and amenities to the Allen community.”
Global Entertainment anticipates approximately 150 revenue generating events in the center each year, with more than 600,000 visitors annually. This summer, Global Entertainment venues around the country are featuring concerts with Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Maroon 5, and The Fray. Family entertainment and top touring shows include Disney on Ice, Sesame Street, and Doodle Bops. Top sporting events include World Wrestling Entertainment’s SmackDown, International Fighting Championships, and the Globetrotters.
The facility will also be used for trade shows, community ceremonies, festivals, open rink ice skating, and high school sporting events and activities. Each facility managed by Global Entertainment caters to specific interests of the regional market.
“Adding a premier event center elevates The Village at Allen to the highest level,” said Gar Herring, president of The MGHerring Group. “We will offer a regional destination development for top retailers, office tenants, and visitors.”
“With more than 2 million people in the Allen trade area, the Allen event center will serve one of our largest markets,” said Steve Bielewicz, president of Global Properties I, a subsidiary of the Global Entertainment Corporation. “The demographics of the area are compelling, and the willingness of the City of Allen to work with us makes this location an obvious winner.”
The Letter of Intent (LOI), approved at the June 26 City Council meeting, outlines the funding of the project by the City of Allen and The MGHerring Group. The City’s portion of the event center and infrastructure costs will be funded through the issuance of ½ cent sales tax bonds generated by the Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and the Allen Community Development Corporation (ACDC). Herring’s portion of the up front costs will be reimbursed by the City of Allen as part of a sales tax rebate agreement with the City of Allen.
According to the LOI, Global Entertainment will manage the operations and operating costs of the facility.
“The event center will have a positive impact on Allen’s economic development, bringing new spending to Allen, filling restaurants and hotel rooms,” said Kurt Kizer, president of the Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC). “We see this project as an investment that will attract retail and office development, increasing the ad valorem tax as well as generating additional sales tax.”
Lee Howard, president of the Allen Community Development Corporation (ACDC), said, “This is the type of project that was envisioned when the community approved the 4B sales tax in 1996. We are excited to be involved in a project of this magnitude while continuing to support ongoing projects in the community as well.”
The Village at Allen will be developed in conjunction with The Village at Fairview, also an MGHerring Group development. The two projects will be separated by Stacy Road but will be designed and developed as one project. Upon completion, the 400-acre development will feature more than 3 million square feet of retail, restaurant and office space.
About Project Funding:
According to the Letter of Intent, the City of Allen and The MGHerring Group will fund the construction of the event center and associated infrastructure (including signage and parking). The City’s portion of the event center and infrastructure costs will be funded through the issuance of ½ cent sales tax bonds generated by the Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and the Allen Community Development Corporation (ACDC). Herring’s portion of the up front costs will be reimbursed by the City of Allen as part of a sales tax rebate agreement with the City of Allen. Section 380.001 of the Local Government Code authorizes municipalities to offer a range of incentives designed to promote state or local economic development.
Specifically, 4A and 4B sales taxes were created to benefit overall economic development initiatives as outlined by the Development Corporation Act of 1979. The specific uses for 4B sales tax includes funding support for professional and amateur (including children’s) sports, athletic, entertainment, tourist, convention, and public park purposes and events, including stadiums, ball parks, auditoriums, amphitheaters, concert halls, parks and park facilities, open space improvements, museums, exhibition facilities, and related store, restaurant, concession, and parking facilities in addition to all related improvements and infrastructure to , related area transportation facilities, and related roads, streets, and water and sewer facilities, and other related improvements that enhance any of those items.
About Global Entertainment Corporation:
Global Entertainment Corporation, headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is an integrated events and entertainment company. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, it is involved in sports management and the development of multi-purpose events centers and related real estate entertainment districts. Through a joint operating agreement a Global subsidiary company is the operator and franchisor for the Central Hockey League. The events center would be home to a CHL franchised team. The CHL is AA hockey with a total of 17 teams currently playing in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma. Other GEC subsidiaries that participate in the development and operation of events centers include International Coliseums Company, Global Entertainment Marketing Systems, Global Entertainment Ticketing and Encore Facility Management. For more information, Global’s web site is www.globalentertainment2000.com.
About The MGHerring Group:
With a reputation for design, quality and integrity, Dallas-based The MGHerring Group has developed more than 30 major shopping centers and regional malls in the United States and Mexico, totaling more than 24 million square feet of retail space. The MGHerring Group has been recognized with numerous industry awards and is considered by many to be among the top shopping center developers in the nation.