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GRAPEVINE, TX-Great Wolf Resorts Inc. will invest upward of $50 million into developing a 51-acre destination location with a Canadian outdoors theme. The Madison, WI-based developer will close in the “next month or so” on the site acquisition from Trencor Inc., which has already shifted its manufacturing operation to its homeport in Loudon, TN.

“We believe all the major hurdles have already been accomplished,” John Emery, Great Wolf Resorts’ CEO, tells GlobeSt.com. He confirms talks are under way with City of Grapevine officials for development incentives, but the outcome isn’t likely to alter the plan to break ground in the spring on a 400-suite, 400,000-sf entertainment destination.

Seller Trencor Jetco Inc., a division of Astec Industries Inc. of Chattanooga, TN bought the tract, with a 175,539-sf industrial building at 1400 E. Highway 26, in 1994. The upcoming sale is being handled by the Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. team of Tom Pearson and Lizzy Pappachen. Tarrant County Appraisal District has the site assessed at $6.5 million.

Emery says his team’s been “looking all over Texas for quite awhile.” At least a year has gone into the search. “There are a lot of great places down there. From a community standpoint, there are lots of good locations,” he says.

The Grapevine advantage over other Texas cities is the Trencor property has a hard-corner foothold on a prime intersection. “We like the visibility of the site,” Emery stresses.

In addition to negotiating an incentive package with city officials, Emery is in the process of lining up design and construction contracts for a project that’s expected to easily exceed $50 million to develop. Emery says nearby neighbors like Bass Pro Shops lend to Great Wolf’s Canadian outdoors theme. “It does fit well,” he says.

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