(Houston Business Journal) -- The Grand Texas Sports and Entertainment District in New Caney has secured additional funding for projects underway.
North Avenue Capital in Dallas announced March 12 that three USDA Rural Development Business & Industry loans have been completed for Grand Texas. Grand Texas’ Big Rivers Waterpark received a $10 million loan, and its Gator Bayou Adventure Park and Trio Parking each received a $5 million loan, per NAC’s press release.
SME Advisors, a government-guaranteed lending advisory firm based in Dallas, originated the loans and worked on the effort for more than two years, per the release. Joe Geisler, vice president of Guaranteed Lending at AmeriState Bank, was a major contributor to the overall financing structure, and Drew Louisserved as lead lender for NAC.
NAC Managing Partner Alex Louis said in the release that the USDA’s “support of the projects has been unwavering.”
“The area north of Houston is ripe for growth, and Grand Texas is leading the charge,” he said in the release. “The new parks will create more than 300 full-time and part-time jobs in this community. It's rewarding for NAC to partner with USDA, SME Advisors and AmeriState Bank in the financing of the projects.”Grand Texas held a groundbreaking ceremony for Big Rivers Waterpark and Gator Bayou Adventure Park in December. Both parks are expected to open this summer, according to a December press release from Grand Texas.
The water park will have a lazy river, interactive play structure, wave pool and waterslides plus other activities. The adventure park, meanwhile, will have zip lines, challenge courses, nature trails, a seven-story free-fall tower, a petting zoo, a maze and more. Both parks will occupy a total of 80 acres on the 630-acre venue and will include educational aspects to help guests learn about Texas rivers and wildlife.
The general contractor for the water and adventure parks is Huntsville, Texas-based Solid Bridge Construction LLC, and the architect is Sugar Land-based Van Horn Reed & Associates. Engineering and design work has been provided by Jacksonville, Florida-based WET Engineering; Houston-based Ward, Getz & Associates; Conroe-based Bleyl & Associates; and Minneapolis-based Quest Engineering.
Once Big Rivers debuts, the Grand Texas Theme Park and Grand Texas Sportsplex will begin their two-year construction process, Grand Texas CEO Monty Galland said previously. When finished, the theme park will have five roller coasters, dozens of rides and live entertainment.
Other parts of the entertainment development, located at Highway 242 and Interstate 69, have already debuted. Grand Texas RV Resort opened in August 2016, and the SpeedSportz Racing Park held its soft opening in December 2016. Plans for Grand Texas also include Grove Factory Outlets and four hotels.
Grand Texas has faced significant delays since its master plan was first revealed in 2013. Some delays were due to a lender backing out, the energy downturn and construction delays on infrastructure projects surrounding the project.