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$1B TX Lagoon Complex Breaks Ground

Thursday, December 5, 2019

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Late last month, ground was finally broken at the $1 billion waterfront mixed-use project in Rowlett, Texas.

The Sapphire Bay Crystal Lagoons development, located on a 117-acre piece of land, is now spearheaded by Sapphire Bay Land Development—the third team to lead the project.

The History

Rowlett has been working in the public-private undertaking since 2015 to bring the mixed-use development to Rowlett and the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

The City of Rowlett filed a lawsuit at the beginning of the year against developer Bayside Land Partners LLC over allegations that the firm defaulted on agreements for the development.

Courtesy of the City of Rowlett

Late last month, ground was finally broken at the $1 billion waterfront mixed-use project in Rowlett, Texas.

The two had entered into a series of development agreements for the then-262-acre project, including an eight-acre Crystal Lagoon, one-acre show fountain, 1.75 million square feet of commercial space, an open-style bench trolley, 45 acres of programmed parks, 4+ miles of hike-and-bike trails and a 500-room resort and conference center.

In June 2018, the city issued a pre-default notice to the developer with the hopes that the obligations for the project would be fulfilled. However, according to the city, in July 2018, the developer proposed significant changes to Rowlett City Council, including eliminating arguably the biggest features of the project: the lagoon, fountain and trolley.

In September, Rowlett City Council officially voted to reject the revisions.

Because of the initial agreed-upon vision, the city has adopted a tax increment reinvestment zone to support the project, created a public improvement district and secured state tax support for a convention center, reports the Dallas Business Journal.


According to the city, construction of Phase One has begun, which includes the Crystal Lagoons amenity and an island entertainment component with an incredible synchronized water and video show, a resort and conference center, a world class marina and the Surf and Beach Club.

Phase One is expected to be complete in late 2023, to coincide with the completion of the Texas Department of Transportation’s IH-30 improvements from Bass Pro to Dalrock Road.

“The citizens of Rowlett, the Mayor and the entire City Council can now clearly see on the ground what was long ago promised on paper,” said Marc S. English, the project’s co-developer and President of Sapphire Bay Land Development, LLC.

“We look forward to building all of the quality amenities that will include a resort hotel, convention center, surf park and public trail along the beautiful shores of Lake Ray Hubbard. It will be a game changer for Rowlett.”


Tagged categories: Business matters; Commercial Construction; Good Technical Practice; Lawsuits; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Public spaces

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