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$246K keeps Manteca in the hunt for Great Wolf

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POSTED July 14, 2014 12:15 a.m.

Arguably the most ambitious private-public partnership ever undertaken by the City of Manteca — the proposed 187-acre family entertainment zone that could be anchored by a Great Wolf Resort — is about to get another player.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin is recommending the City Council Tuesday retain T.Y. Lin International to provide program management services for the preliminary stages of the FEZ development.  The goal is to keep all work moving forward, make sure it is delivered on time, that it is brought in under budget, and is as transparent as possible while working with at least seven different public and private entities. Staff has secured approval from the state to use $246,190 in leftover redevelopment agency funds to pay T.Y. Lin International.

McLaughlin earlier this year told the City Council the goal is to have all the elements in place from the environmental studies to the financial analysis and other elements finished so elected leaders could make a decision by November whether to proceed with allowing a 500-room Great Wolf Resort with an indoor waterpark and conference center to be built on part of the city-owned land west of Costco and the Big League Dreams sports complex.

The City Council in December hired Sacramento-based De Novo Planning Group at a cost of $183,482 to conduct an environment impact report for the FEZ master plan that includes specific development of the Great Wolf Resort in the first phase. The EIR is expected to go to public hearings within the month.

Design work is getting ready to start for the piping of drains and the French Camp outlet canal, collection systems for sewer and storm run-off, water distribution system, dry utilities, extension of Daniels Street to McKinley Avenue, and the creation of the central lake feature. Also getting ready to start is work on the extension of Milo Candini Drive to Yosemite Avenue. While it is not a part of the project and is designed to jump start development of other municipal land for business parks, it will tie in to traffic circulation for the FEZ project.

Manteca is currently in negotiations with Colorado-based McWhinney Development to build a 500-room resort hotel encompassing 290,000 square feet, an 85,000-square-foot indoor water park, 20,000-square-foot conference center and public parking on 30 acres immediately west of Costco.

A future expansion is envisioned that would add 200 more rooms as well as a 76,000-square-foot addition to the water park and double the size of the conference center.

The first part of the Great Wolf project represents a $139 million investment. Great Wolf projects a $9.4 million annual payroll with 414 permanent jobs and 156 part-time jobs. They also expect 400,000 annual visitors.

The city is pondering constructing the two baseball fields and a multi-purpose turf playfield complex as part of the FEZ. The conceptual plan has it accommodating three international soccer fields and two Under 12 size fields along one Under 8 field. The international soccer fields could be divided into two U-12 fields each creating 8 Under 12 fields plus the one Under 8 field. Facilities for restrooms, maintenance, storage, and administrative offices may also be built.

The conceptual plan for the rest of the FEZ includes:

a destination restaurant.

a new west entry to the BLD complex.

an indoor all-seasons sports and expo center with four basketball courts that would allow alternative use for volleyball, cheer competitions, badminton, gymnastics, wrestling or exhibit space.

an outdoor soccer/concert stadium, with 500 fixed seats and space for expansion.

a retail food and beverage zone.

an immersive outdoor retailer.

an outdoor amphitheatre with stadium-style seating for competitions and performances.

ESPN-style microbrewery.

manmade lake with boardwalk with kayaks, canoes paddle board and paddle boat rentals.

beach volleyball.

destination playground.

outdoor performance space including a band shell stage or gazebo with lakeside seating for 500.

party pavilions and party boats.

a family entertainment zone including go karts, Lazertag, ball crawl, arcade, mini-golf, black-light bowling, and refreshments.

an adventure zone with zip lines, rope course, rock climbing wall, whitewater course primarily for rafts and kayaks, stunt BMX race course and hard surface skate park for competitions complete with spectator bleachers, and a FlowRider (a device that generates waves you can surf).

There would also be RV and bus parking complete with a bus terminal. The complex also would involve the placement of a tour center to direct people to tours in the Delta, Yosemite area, wineries and agricultural attractions.

The site would include bike trails and landscape berms.

The FEZ would require 4,281 parking spaces.

The city expects to use leftover redevelopment agency funds to pay for infrastructure for the city owned land including the creation of the central lake. RDA funds were also set aside to extend Milo Candini Drive.

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