Las Colinas Entertainment Center Project Delayed

Irving's partner development company needs to raise $80 million in private funds


Irving has given its development partner half a year to secure its portion of the funding for a proposed entertainment center.

Last week, the Las Colinas Group failed to meet a deadline for $80 million in private funding.

"In simple terms yes, it most definitely is delaying the groundbreaking for this project," said Paul Gooch, the city's director of community services. "Today's resolution does not provide any options for any future extensions or any other options for the Las Colinas Group to pursue."

Las Colinas Group spokesman Bill Beuck said changes in the company's net contribution amount -- from $50 million to $80 million -- as well as structural and organizational changes requested by the lenders led to its need for the extra time.

Plans for an entertainment center has been under way since voters approved it in 2007.

The city and the Las Colinas Group are working on a project that includes a boutique hotel, a performance hall and a string of shops and restaurants across the street from the Convention Center at Las Colinas.

Mayor Beth Van Duyne, who criticized the project when she ran for election last year, and two other council members wanted to terminate the city's contract with the Las Colinas Group when it missed the deadline.

"They have concerns over the over city's bond indebtedness," Gooch said.

He also said they are concerned about whether the project can truly produce the expected revenues.

Longtime Irving resident Sharon Littrell, who voted against the entertainment center five years ago, said she still opposes it.

"I just think it's too expensive," she said. "I think we're biting off more than we can chew."

But David Waddell, who works in Las Colinas, said some things are worth waiting for.

"The more variety I can have from different vendors, the more the better," he said.

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