Under Construction

Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of January 2023

Facilities Management Advisor‘s “Under Construction” series highlights some of the latest, most interesting facility project announcements every month.

New Universal Theme Park in Texas

Universal Parks & Resorts has revealed plans for a “one-of-a-kind” theme park in Frisco, Texas, specifically designed for families with young children. Initial details are slim, but the company said the proposed park is intended to have a completely different look, feel, and scale than Universal’s existing parks and will appeal to a new audience for the brand.

Rendering courtesy of Universal

Company: Universal Parks & Resorts
Location: Frisco, Texas
Type of project: New build
Size: 97 acres
Estimated cost: N/A
Design-build team: N/A
Status: Proposed
Expected completion: N/A

Interesting tidbit: According to a FAQs sheet posted by Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, the project will be about a quarter of the size of Universal’s Hollywood and Orlando theme parks. The smaller design is intended to be more intimate for families and “put the ‘Park’ back in park.” Thirty of the 97 acres will be dedicated to the theme park and a 300-room hotel, with the remaining acreage dedicated to parking and potential expansion.

Quote: Page Thompson, president of new ventures at Universal Parks & Resorts, said, “We think North Texas is the perfect place to launch this unique park for families given its growing popularity within this part of the country.”

More details available here.

Healthcare Campus to Serve Population Boom

Project partners kicked off construction of new a health care campus that will bring together clinicians, researchers, and students to meet the rapidly increasing need for medical care in the Florida Panhandle. The FSU Health-Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Medical Campus will include an 80,000-square-foot medical office building and a 100-bed hospital with an emergency center and other inpatient services.

Courtesy: FSU

Companies/Organizations: The St. Joe Company, Florida State University (FSU), and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Location: Panama City Beach, Fla.
Type of project: New build
Size: 87-acre parcel of land
Estimated cost: N/A
Developer: The St. Joe Company
Status: Ground broken Jan. 17, 2023
Expected completion: Phases between 2024 and 2027

Interesting tidbit: The project has generated considerable interest in the Florida Panhandle and throughout the state. Estimates show that Florida will have a shortfall of 4,700 primary care physicians by 2030 and 60,000 nurses by 2035. At the same time, the state is growing. Florida was the fastest-growing state last year, with a population increase of 1.9%.

Quote: FSU President Richard McCullough said, “This area is experiencing an incredible boom in population, and the possibilities—and needs—have never been greater.”

More details available here.

World’s Largest Lab-Grown Meat Plant

Vegans, rejoice! As the cultivated (i.e., lab-grown) meat industry nears commercialization, one company has officially broken ground on what it claimed will be the largest cultivated meat production facility in the world.

Rendering courtesy of BELIEVER Meats

Company: BELIEVER Meats, formerly Future Meat Technologies
Location: Wilson, N.C.
Type of project: New build
Size: 200,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $123.35 million initial planned investment
Design-build team: N/A
Status: Ground broken Dec. 7, 2022
Expected completion: N/A

Interesting tidbit: Once operational, the facility is slated to have the capacity to produce at least 10,000 metric tons (22 million pounds) of cultivated meat, “without the need to slaughter a single animal.” It will also feature an R&D and innovation center, a contemporary kitchen to host tastings, as well as offices and conference rooms.

Quote: Liz Specht, Ph.D., VP of science and technology at the Good Food Institute, said the new commercial plant will help “pave the way for cultivated meat to come to market in the U.S. at scale and helps ensure as many consumers as possible have access to these groundbreaking products.”

More details available here.

Permanent Location for Hard Rock Casino

When Hard Rock International opened the Bristol Casino at a former local mall last July, it was the first full-service casino in Virginia. However, it is only temporary. Hard Rock recently held a ground-breaking ceremony at the site to build the long-awaited permanent casino.

Courtesy: Hard Rock International

Company: Hard Rock International
Location: Bristol, Va.
Type of project: New build
Size: ~300,000 square feet
Estimated cost: N/A
Design-build team: TN Ward and Berwil Construction
Status: Ground broken Dec. 7, 2022
Expected completion: Spring 2024

Interesting tidbit: The temporary location currently has 30,000 square feet of casino space featuring 870 slots, 21 tables, and a sportsbook. Once finished, the permanent location will be about 300,000 square feet featuring 1,300 slots, 50 table games, a sports book, multiple dining options, a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue, and more. It is also expected to create over 1,200 full- and part-time jobs.

Quote: Jon Lucas, COO of Hard Rock International, said, “From the very start, this property’s economic and community impact has surpassed expectations, and we are thrilled to unveil what’s coming next.”

More information available here.

Golf Club Champions Course Overhaul

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa has broken ground on the renovation of its famed Champions Course, one of its two 18-hole courses, as it prepares to host three consecutive NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships beginning in May 2024.

Company: Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Location: Carlsbad, Calif.
Type of project: Renovation
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: N/A
Design-build team: Hanse Golf Course Design
Status: Ground broken Jan. 20, 2023
Expected completion: N/A

Interesting tidbit: The project will make course design changes with the NCAA’s match-play format in mind. Other revamps are environmental in nature, such as transitioning irrigation lines that will continue to use reclaimed water, removing man-made ponds, and reintroducing natural barrancas composed of drought-tolerant and native species. Up next: upgrading the resort’s golf practice facility.

Quote: Architect Gil Hanse said, “Our design work will bring a bit more simplicity and elegance to course aesthetics. This will be accompanied by a strategic focus balancing enjoyment for everyday play by members and resort guests, with shot-making requirements that test the best of collegiate golf.”

More details available here.

Honorable Mentions

LEGO HQ Relocation

The LEGO Group announced plans to relocate its Americas headquarters from Enfield, Conn., to Boston. The company said the move would support the business’ long-term growth ambitions and noted Boston is ranked as “one of the best cities in the world to attract and retain talent.”

Courtesy: LEGO

The phased transition will start in mid-2025 and be completed by the end of 2026. Until then, employees will work across the existing Enfield office and the LEGO Education office in Back Bay, Boston. The company opened its Enfield location in 1975 and is searching for a new head office in central Boston.

More details available here.

Notably, LEGO also announced plans in June 2022 to build a $1 billion carbon-neutral manufacturing facility in Virginia. Construction will commence in April 2023 and is slated for completion by the end of 2025.

PepsiCo Speed and Sustainability

Cheers to PepsiCo Beverages North America. The company recently cut the ribbon on its new 238,000-square-foot facility in Goodyear, Ariz. According to a local report, it was the fastest such facility to have been completed in “the history of PepsiCo,” taking only 10 months to build.

At the ceremony, a PepsiCo exec touted some of the facility’s sustainability features. He said, “This building is actually designed from an energy efficiency standpoint to be able to keep the hot air out and the cold air in, but also more importantly is the HVAC fans and everything that were really high efficiency but low voltage. So, it doesn’t take as much to power this building, which we’re really, really proud of and want to continue doing.”

More details available here. 

Do you have a major project announcement you’d like considered for the “Under Construction” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com.

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