Irving OKs disputed $44 million payment to Toyota Music Factory developer; new restaurants named

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The city of Irving and its developer partner at the Toyota Music Factory smoothed over a $44 million difference of opinion this week and moved on by announcing five new restaurants for the $180 million Las Colinas entertainment district.

With certification that the developer, ARK Group, had finished concrete and framing work on a final storefront, payment was released this week, as authorized by the City Council on Oct. 18. 

“Conditions specified by the Irving City Council have been met, and the $44 million was released to the lender Thursday,” Meribeth Sloan, the city’s communications manager, said in an email. “New restaurants continue to open, and the city is pleased to move on to the next phase of this exciting and vibrant entertainment venue.”

ARK Group split the cost of Toyota Music Factory with the city. Irving paid the first part of its share with bonds and collected the final $44 million with a tax-increment financing district created for the development. 

ARK Group officials said in September that the money was due, contending that the final storefront wasn’t part of the original deal. The city said the project was incomplete and refused to pay. It took three council votes to provide the path for payment. A Dec. 31 contractual deadline added to the tension.

Toyota Music Factory opened in late 2017 and has brought the likes of Kirk Franklin, Reba McEntire and ZZ Top to Las Colinas.

On Friday, ARK Group named five restaurants to be added to Toyota Music Factory in early 2019.

Rayleigh Underground and Violet Room will be an upscale restaurant and bar with seasonal menus and a large stage as focal point.

Kitchen 101 will be a fast-casual concept eatery, offering freshly grilled, made-to-order meals for weeknight grab-and-go. It’ll offer coffee in the mornings and dinner after a show at Music Factory. 

Reservoir will be modern and patio-driven. It’ll feature a bar, Southern favorites and brick oven fired pizzas.

At Burgerim, mini burgers will be offered in various gourmet offerings, like Wagyu beef. Diners will choose among three buns, six sauces and nine toppings to create their own flavor profiles.

And at The Green Gator, Cajun and American classics will be served in a family-friendly, casual atmosphere with sports and live music.