- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
HKS, Inc., the Dallas-based firm that designed Cowboys Stadium, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and American Airlines Center in Dallas will be the architect for the Paris Lakes hospital and 1930’s-era shopping mall scheduled to begin construction soon.
“These are the big boys, guys that can build anything. They’re very high on the food chain, and we’re fortunate to get them,” developer Ron Parker told eParisExtra.com.
Parker, who has developed upscale resorts around the world, announced last July his plan to build a $300 million project in three phases that will include an 84-bed state-of-the-art hospital, shopping mall, and a combination hotel and conference center overlooking a lake.
Construction for the hospital should take about 16 months, he said.
In two later phases will come a retirement community, a lighted par-3 golf course, and residential subdivision.
After months of planning, things are moving “very rapidly” on the front 40 acres of a 500-acre site along Loop 286 on Paris’ southeast corner, Parker said.
“HKS is the architect that we hired. Thompson Engineering is the engineering firm doing the work, and SWA is the structural engineer,” he said.
“We worked very diligently to get the right group. HKS has built 120 different ‘green field’ hospitals – hospitals built out in the middle of a green field, from the ground up, Parker added.
“They’ve got a tremendous amount of experience at it. They’re the same architect that did the Atlantis in Nassau for us.”
In an appearance Friday before the Rotary Club of Paris, Parker announced he is close to agreement with an operator for the hospital.
His workers got onto the property this week and began clearing away many of the trees that had hid the site from traffic along Loop 286.
“It’ll be pretty open,” he said. Although many trees are being cut down, many will remain, keeping a rustic setting. Buildings will be scattered around the oak trees.
“We’ve got the surveys done, and we’re getting all these roads laid out on paper,” he said.
There will be three entrances to the property from Loop 286 and Farm Road 905 – one opposite Covenant Christian Church and two farther south.
Parker bought land 12 miles east of Paris a few years ago and established Wildcat Creek Quail Hunting Resort off Farm Road 410 south of Detroit.
He said the Paris Lakes development will be “the nicest thing I’ve ever taken on as an individual,” he said. “I’ve done this all over the world, it’s my first time to ever do it at home.”
Construction will take about 16 months to complete, which will enable the hospital to open its doors to patients by the third or fourth quarter of 2014, he said.
“The hospital will be state of the art. We’ve already specified more than $30 million worth of equipment to go in it,” he said.
“I will assure you of this – we will have a 15-minute emergency room. You will be seen within 15 minutes at the emergency room. You will be in a bed and you will be taken care of,” Parker said.
The hospital will be a full trauma hospital, he said.
The land on which Paris Lakes will be built is a rolling, wooded tract with two ponds.
“We want to use chip-and-seal roads, so it will look like it did back in the 1920’s and 1930’s. No curbs, no concrete. The mall will be an indoor-outdoor mall. Street lights will be on wooden timbers, with the old lamps that hang down,” he said.
“There will be a lot of stone, a lot of wooden structures, a lot of fountains, the old water well-looking fountains, stuff like that. It’s going to be a park setting, so that when you’re strolling through you can just walk into a shop from either side of the building. Outside, you can walk up and under covered walkways, or you can walk out in the sun if you want to.”
The mall will have “lots of restaurants,” he said.
A feature of the shopping mall will be a clock tower off of the entrance with four faces visible to travelers on Loop 286 in any direction as well as to people at the mall.
Another interesting feature of the property is a barn that was built in the early part of last century, Parker said.
“It was part of Paris when Paris was not Paris, and so we are building around that and making a park setting for kids to play in. The barn will be refurbished and stay there. What we’d like to do is set it up for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Brownies – all the different kid groups – for our schools to utilize for field trips and that sort of thing.”
A medical office building will sit right beside the hospital. The hospital has been designed for 125 beds, but will begin with 84 and room for expansion.
The Paris Lakes project will bring in approximately 1,500 jobs, he said.
“I’m not talking construction jobs. That’s 1,500 permanent jobs at the end of the day, including 650 at the hospital,” he said.
Just the first phase alone will require about 1,000 construction workers, which shouldn’t take over two to three years, Parker said.
. Construction jobs alone over the next 10 years for all three phases
“That’s in addition to about 1,000 construction workers.
“The first construction will be on the roads and infrastructure, and then clinics or the hospital, depending on which one is ready at the time,” he said.
There will be numerous opportunities for local contractors to become involved in the building of the Paris Lakes project, he said.
By CHARLES RICHARDS