Irving Entertainment Update

Irving inches closer to longed-for entertainment complex called Music Factory

Irving inches closer to longed-for entertainment playground

The City of Irving is one step closer to an entertainment complex in Las Colinas. ARK Group, the North Carolina developer of what will be called the Music Factory, has hired design firm Gensler as the architect.

Located between State Highway 114 and Las Colinas Boulevard near the Irving Convention Center, the Music Factory is slated to have at least 25 "high quality" restaurants and shops, an 8,000-seat concert hall, an outdoor event plaza and an office building.

Other planned-for features include a bowling alley, cinema, shops and entertainment venues. There is no mention of a massage parlor, poncho store or microbrewery, but surely those are on the table as well.

Irving has been working to get an entertainment center in Las Colinas for a decade. In the late 2000s, it entered an arrangement with Billy Bob's founder Billy Bob Barnett to plan and run a similar project that ended in a legal fight.

Gensler design director Ross Conway says that music played a role in the design: "Inspired by music lyrics, we used many textural materials like brick and stone and Corten steel along with glass to give the buildings a warm, casual, yet refined aesthetic."

The site is described as being accessible to the DART Orange Line, and it will also be serviced by Las Colinas' Area Personal Transport (APT) people mover system.

Gensler is a global design firm founded in 1965, with 46 offices and more than 4,000 employees worldwide. The Dallas office was established in 1997. The project will break ground later this year and is supposed to be finished in 2016.

ARK Group previously built a $30 million Music Factory in North Carolina. Funding sources for the $165 million project include a bond issue and tax increment financing reimbursement from the city, as well as internal equity from the Ark Group.

Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas
The upcoming Music Factory will adjoin the Irving Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Irving Convention Center