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Construction of Sugar Land’s New Performance Venue Hits Milestone

The Houston suburb is expecting the spot to bring more arts, culture, and money to the area.

Bundled in winter coats and scarves, a crowd of more than 100 people gathered on a construction site near US 59 and University Boulevard. They were watching as a giant crane lowered the final steel beam to the top of what will be the new Smart Financial Centre.

Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson says the new performing arts venue has been ten years in the making, but expects a good return when it’s complete.  

“We projected this would be a little over a $26 million impact to the city over the next 30 years,” Thompson says.

The $84 million project will include about 6,400 seats, but they’ll be able to tailor the space for smaller audiences.

“The walls on both sides can actually close in and the curtains can drop down,” Thompson says. “So we can change the configuration to a little over 3,000 seats in just a matter of minutes.”

He adds that the city’s general tax fund is not being used to pay for the place.  Instead, much of the funding comes from sales and hotel occupancy tax revenues, plus a $10-million contribution from ACE Theatrical Group.

The venue is set to open in fall 2016.

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