Editor’s note: This project was abandoned in early 2016. See: Luxury hotel still coming to Flower Mound.
Plans for an $80 million hotel in Lakeside DFW were announced Monday night at a Flower Mound town council meeting.
Located on the southern 25-acre peninsula of Lakeside DFW, the 12-story, 220-room luxury hotel and conference center is designed to offer views of Lake Grapevine from every conceivable angle, including a hotel bar, restaurants, and an infinity pool atop the 32,000 square-foot conference center.
Flexible meeting spaces and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom also figure into the plans.
According to developers, The Pearl on the Peninsula™ Hotel & Conference Center will offer guests a luxury destination experience on par with hotels like the Four Seasons, The Mansion, and The Crescent.
Meanwhile, the public will have the opportunity to enjoy the facility’s two lake-view restaurants. Current plans call for a European market and a full-service upscale signature restaurant and bar.
The hotel is expected to spur development of the southern end of Lakeside DFW where additional lake-view restaurants and public spaces are planned.
L. Scott Tarwater, president of New Era Hotels & Resorts, will lead the hotel’s development team that includes Tim Lavender and Daryn Eudaly, and Alan Stewart (representing the Peter P. Stewart family’s Sunset Legacy, LP).
New Era Hotels & Resorts is also the developer of the 146 room/suite Courtyard by Marriott and conference space in River Walk at Central Park (near FM 2499 and FM 1171), which is expected to break ground in September.
The Pearl on the Peninsula™ appears to be a labor of love for Tarwater, a veteran of the hotel industry who was born, grew up, and was married on the site of the planned hotel.
Tarwater’s ancestors first settled on the acreage in the 1890s, long before excavation of the lake began in 1948. Tarwater himself handled negotiations to sell the land to Peter P. Stewart’s company in 1984.
“We believe this hotel will appeal to the upscale traveler who will appreciate the connection with the lake, the quality of service, and the short drive to and from DFW Airport,” Tarwater told the council Monday night.
That drive should not exceed 12 minutes, Tarwater pointed out, once construction on the below-grade section of FM 2499 at Grapevine Mills is completed.
Milton Anderson, VP and director of design for Merriman Associates/Architects (MAA) shared details of the hotel’s design with council members.
“We’ve tried to create a sense of arrival,” explained Anderson, as he showed a slide of the hotel bar and lobby featuring a 24-28 ft. glass wall that opens up to the sky and lake. “Everywhere you go in the hotel, you will have a connection back to the lake.”
Rooms will feature balconies that allow guests “to step outside and become part of the sunset.”
The restaurants open up to the terrace level, which features a lawn slopes down toward the water’s edge.
Even the pre-function area (i.e., lobby) of the conference center will be offer lake views.
Council members asked a variety of questions as they considered an incentive package that will reimburse approximately $25 million in hotel and occupancy (HOT) taxes over a 21-year period.
They included questions on the design, certainty, and the use of the dollars reimbursed by the incentive package.
Design: MAA’s Anderson pointed out that the warm, modern design connected with the lake and incorporated materials and colors that “respected elements of the surrounding land.”
Certainty: Mayor Tom Hayden pointed out that in 2005, a hotel was announced for Lakeside that was never built. Tarwater shared with council members his excellent track record of building hotels. I was The incentive package requires that a building permit be issued no later than July 2016.
Dollars: Mark Wood, economic development director of the Town of Flower Mound, explained to council members that the monies reimbursed to the hotel must be used to promote the hotel and may not be used for construction, development, or “to line the pockets of the developers.”
Several council members noted that the town would not be required to write a check, but simply to reimburse money.
“It is important too,” said Council member Steve Dixon. “that this money will be used to promote Flower Mound. This will be a Flower Mound business that will be an asset to all other Flower Mound businesses.
“A lot of people might ask, ‘What’s in this for me?’” he said. “I see restaurants and spots to see the lake, and to provide access to the trail.
“But there is also the benefit of the sales taxes generated by the money people will spend here. There is an economic ripple effect.
“And the large convention center will be a huge driver of business to town that will bring people here to spend their money.”