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Ultimate Great Wolf: 700 rooms?
City may create 9 more soccer fields, 2 baseball fields
soccer FEZ
Manteca may create nine more youth soccer fields. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

Manteca may be adding up to nine more youth soccer fields and two baseball fields to the west of the Big League Dreams sports complex as part of the first phase development of the family entertainment zone also known as the FEZ.

The recreational sports fields could be funded with $2 million in redevelopment money the city still has set aside specifically for community park improvements.

The sports fields as well as the 30-acre Great Wolf Resort are part of the first phase of the 187-acre FEZ being pursued on city owned land bordered by Costco and BLD on the east, the wastewater treatment plant on the north, McKinley Avenue on the east and the 120 Bypass on the south.

The City Council on Tuesday is considering hiring 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 in the first phase.

Manteca is current 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 EIR is expected to go to public hearings by July. A final decision on whether Great Wolf will move forward is expected prior to November.

The city is also pondering constructing the two baseball fields and a multi-purpose turf playfield complex. 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 architects of the Spreckels Sugar plant site’s rebirth into Manteca’s biggest economic engine are working with city to help transform 141.22 acres adjacent to the city’s wastewater treatment plant into a family entertainment Mecca. ANF entered into a contract in January to serve as the exclusive negotiating agent to snare private investors for the FEZ.

ANF Development is devising a conceptual site plan complete with elevations of proposed structures, types of entertainment concerns, approximate construction costs, project phasing, needed  offsite improvements needed and a market analysis.