New hotel coming to Willow Park

A new hotel will be constructed in Willow Park later this year.

Wilks Development, the company that built the Shops at Willow Park, announced plans to build the first-ever hotel in Willow Park on Thursday. 

It will be a SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Wilks Development announced in a news release.

“This will be the first hotel in Willow Park and we are set to break ground later this year. The goal is to be open for guests in late 2019.”

The hotel will be located behind The Shops at Willow Park and will back up to the river, Marketing Director Kristin Peaks said.

“The goal is to have the back of the hotel with the balconies and the pool overlook the river,” she said. 

Willow Park Mayor Doyle Moss said the new hotel marked a step forward for the city’s economic development. 

“Wilks Development has been working on this for a while, and we couldn’t be more excited about a hotel coming,” he said. “The development that’s coming in to that racetrack area, I think it will be a bright spot for the city and the county.”

In summer 2016, Wilks Development purchased the land where Trinity Meadows Raceway operated for decades before it went out of business in the 1990s.

The Willow Park City Council approved a plan by Wilks Development to build a 230-acre, mixed-use development – to be called Willow Park North – on the land in October 2016.

A hotel is one part of the commercial development planned for the area, in addition to an amphitheater and a community events center, Peaks said.

Willow Park North will also have residential buildings, including 110 townhomes, 208 multi-family apartments and 97 single-unit homes.

With the creation of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone in 2016, Willow Park will realize revenue from the development over time.

A TIRZ is a section of land where the assessed value of all property in the zone is frozen at its current value, and taxes collected are used to fund public works projects and “other projects benefiting the zone,” Misti Ventura, Wilks Development attorney, said.

For the first 10 years that the TIRZ is in effect, the city would receive base taxes, with 25 percent of revenue from the project to go into the city’s general fund. Wilks Development would keep the other 75 percent.

For the next 15 years after, the city would still keep base taxes along with 50 percent of the project’s revenue going into the general fund.

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