ARLINGTON -- There is a steel-framed structure rising up at the corner of Randol Mill Road and Nolan Ryan Expressway, and a sizable hole in the ground next to it. Across the expressway, on the south side of Randol Mill across from Globe Life Park, the pastoral tree-covered hill has
ARLINGTON -- There is a steel-framed structure rising up at the corner of Randol Mill Road and Nolan Ryan Expressway, and a sizable hole in the ground next to it. Across the expressway, on the south side of Randol Mill across from Globe Life Park, the pastoral tree-covered hill has completely disappeared in the excavation of the Rangers' new ballpark.
The sounds of construction were heard everywhere on a cold Wednesday morning as the Rangers joined together with their new business partners to officially break ground on a new luxury hotel scheduled to open in 2019.
"It's hard to look around with the steel going up and the hole in the ground without getting excited," Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis said. "If you don't get excited, you need to go check your heartbeat. It is really exciting to see the construction of this amazing project."
The Live! by Loews will be a 14-story, 302-room flagship hotel to be built as part of the Texas Live! entertainment complex being built between the future site of the Rangers' new ballpark and AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Rangers' partners in this project are the Baltimore-based Cordish Companies -- overseeing the construction of Texas Live! -- and New York-based Loews Hotels. Executives from both companies as well as civic leaders from Arlington were on hand Wednesday for the hotel groundbreaking.
"This is one of the most exciting projects our company and my family has been a part of, and we have been around for about 110 years," said Blake Cordish, vice president of the Cordish Companies. "I love the distraction and the noise behind us. Sometimes you have groundbreaking for show and sometimes they are for real. This one is very real."
The new hotel will feature unique spaces for events and entertainment, including a centrally located Tower Terrace, a multi-use event lawn, an outdoor swimming pool and a Grand Event Center.
"The hotel will have the quality and service of a full-scale, four-star resort combined with the local flavor of Arlington, Texas," said Loews vice president Alex Tisch. "We believe it will be a true immersive destination. A destination unto itself surrounded by a Texas Live! district, two world-class sports stadiums and one of the best adventure parks [Six Flags Over Texas] in the world."
Texas Live! is scheduled to open in 2018, with the new hotel opening in '19. The Rangers expect to move into Globe Life Field in time for the '20 season.
"This is a place of opportunity that can become a true capital of tourism and destination," Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said. "That can be a remarkable thing. We are on a sprint right now to build this. And stay tuned, we have other chapters to go."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.