Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.
The city of Denison will soon be home to a new entertainment complex, as Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille announced plans Wednesday to open a location in the city by next fall.
The entertainment center and 23-acre development site is slated for construction on the northwest corner of the intersection between Crawford Street and U.S. Highway 75. The facility is expected to encompass 66,000 square feet and will feature 24 bowling lanes, eight movie theaters, an arcade, multi-level laser tag arena and dining options through a Billy’s Grille and Bar. The Denison location will join Schulman’s two other Texas venues in Bay City and Corsicana.
“We feel like Denison is a perfect location for what we do in the entertainment world,” Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille owner Mark Schulman said. “When we look at a market, we look at what’s missing — if we’re a good fit and the current growth and future growth of that community. For all of those things, the boxes were checked for Denison.”
In addition to the Schulman’s, the development project will also include 100,000 square feet of retail and office space. Sara Jerome of Kusch Land and Realty helped broker the deal for Schulman’s Denison site and said the added space will house two retail pad sites, a possible hotel and six restaurant pad sites. Jerome added that the locations available commercial space and proximity to U.S. 75 has generated interest and talks with several fast food chains.
“We’re talking to Dairy Queen, Whataburger and we’ve been talking to Chick-fil-A through brokers,” Jerome said. “Nothing has been confirmed and I want to make sure to say that. But those are the kind of folks who are coming here and looking for an area to set up.”
Denison Development Alliance Vice President William Myers said the DDA was excited to learn of Schulman’s decision to build in the city. More and more, Myers said, entertainment options have become integral to the popularity and longevity of retail centers and she said Schulman’s arrival could well usher in such a business center for Denison.
“We’ve seen trends over the last three, four, five years that entertainment is the new anchor for shopping centers and retail centers,” Myers said. “It’s a quality of life amenity for the community. Everybody says we need more things for the kids to do. Well, you need more things for the kids and the adults to do. So we’re thrilled for opportunities that allow Denison to have this type of regional draw.”
The Schulman project largely falls in line with Denison’s intended push to expand its entertainment offerings under the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The first draft of the citywide improvement plan was unveiled in August and in addition to it’s emphasis on new entertainment, it focused on education, housing, park spaces and downtown improvements.
Myers added the DDA and city plan to make an announcement on Friday regarding another entertainment-focused business which is planning to open in Denison.