After years of planning, the groundbreaking is finally here for an entertainment center in Las Colinas.
The Irving Music Factory will be built by the Irving Convention Center off state Highway 114 and Lake Carolyn Parkway.
“Irving is a destination for the business traveler. It's the destination to get business done. Now our businesses get to have an opportunity to enjoy an entertainment amenity,” said Beth Bowman, President and CEO of the Greater Irving - Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
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City leaders have been dreaming of building an entertainment center on the empty field for seven years. Come 2016, the space will come to life with high-end retail, more than 20 different restaurants and a giant amphitheater.
“It's going to become a destination where people are going to come here from Dallas and Fort Worth and all around the region to come to this world class entertainment that we're going to be able to bring here,” said Ken Thomas, vice president of entertainment at ARK Group. “We’re going to have world class entertainment, DJs, fantastic restaurants and nightlife, so we will be the destination where people if they live in Fort Worth or Dallas and you have people come to town, we’ve got to go to the Music Factory, there’s always something going on.”
One of the main tenants will be Alamo Drafthouse.
“First run Hollywood movies, true to our middle name drafthouse, we usually have 32 beers on draft, all of our food is made fresh in house and then we do over the top events,” said Bill DiGaetano, owner and chief operating officer for Alamo Drafthouse DFW. “What we have here is the perfect demographic for an Alamo. We look at three mile and five mile radiuses, and within that radius we have almost 80,000 to 90,000 people that live in the area, which is plenty just to make that theater thrive.”
With more than 100,000 people coming to work in Irving every day, Bowman hoped many of them will stick around after hours. She also said the new development will create roughly 1,000 new jobs.
“This project brings their needs to life, and we're excited to celebrate that. It'll be the first of many entertainment options that comes into the urban center,” she said.
The groundbreaking celebration takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. It’s free to the public and will have food trucks, craft beer, bounce houses and even a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark, courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.