Movie complexes race to open first in Kyle
by ANDY SEVILLA
A month after an entertainment complex – featuring a movie theater, bowling lanes, video arcade, meeting rooms and a restaurant – agreed to break ground in Kyle, a second similar project is now stealing its thunder.
A San Marcos group, Texas Cinema, submitted an application for a Conditional Use Permit for their proposed 75,000-square-foot entertainment center. The facility is proposed to feature an 11-screen movie theater, 14-lane bowling center, game area with 40-plus arcade and redemption games, multi-story laser tag, and full-scale restaurant and bar, according to Mitchell Roberts, who is heading the proposed project.
Roberts said the “unique” family entertainment complex would provide $8 million in taxable revenue to the city, as well as many employment opportunities for the residents and students of Hays County.
But can the Kyle market support two similar entertainment complexes?
Economic Development Director Diana Blank said the city’s market could “successfully” support one movie theater/entertainment complex, but it would be “difficult to support two.”
In a special city council meeting June 20, council members unanimously approved entering into a development agreement with Schulman Partners Ltd., for the construction of the first proposed entertainment facility – which features a movie theater, bowling lanes, video arcade, meeting rooms and a restaurant – scheduled to open its doors by next summer at the Villages of Kyle Shopping Center, adjacent to the Target store.
The owner of the second proposed project, David Roberts, submitted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application to the city’s planning department on July 18, according to city documents. That proposed project is slated to break ground in the Kyle Towne Center subdivision and also open its doors by next summer.
Mitchell Roberts said his office has been working on the proposed entertainment center for “quite some time,” and they have now obtained financing for their proposed $13 million project and are coming to Kyle with their plans.
The Kyle Planning and Zoning Commission will take up Roberts’ CUP application at its August 13 meeting.
In the development agreement the city entered into with Schulman Partners, LTD, which has not yet been made public, council members offered up financial incentives spanning over a 15-year period, according to a June 21 city news release.
The development agreement includes financial incentives in the form of property tax and sales tax rebates, as well as waivers for city development fees. City officials estimated the total value of the incentives to the developer at $1.1 million.
Blank told the Hays Free Press in June she spent the last six years negotiating a deal mutually beneficial to Schulman Partners and the city, and said that “it’s been a long time coming, but it was worth it.”
Blank said that in the past while looking for movie theater interests to come to town, Cinemark told her the Kyle market was not ready. Now, Texas Cinema, which is not part of Cinemark corporate but related through family, is ready to break ground in town.
Blank said Schulman Partners have not pulled out of their project, and instead are tweaking their plans to get moving faster.
Texas Cinema, owned and headquartered in Hays County, has been “providing quality entertainment for 35 years,” with theaters in San Marcos and New Braunfels, Roberts said, adding that he is “extremely excited to bring an entertainment venue of such quality to the city of Kyle.”
ANDY SEVILLA reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.