The Sapphire Bay mixed-use development has broken ground on I-30 in Rowlett. The $1 billion project, designed by Dallas architect Omniplan and funded by SBM LLC and Dallas’ Retail Street Advisors, is located on Lake Ray Hubbard and will offer guests various options for housing, business, dining, and entertainment.

Sapphire Bay’s extended project will include a surf village and water park, more than 1,500 residential units, 1.7 million square feet of mixed-use restaurant, retail, entertainment, office, and hospitality space, more than 20 acres of parks and trails, and a 1,000-slip marina.

The massive Fountains at Sapphire Bay will be a dynamic piece of public art featuring choreographed dancing water effects, animated lights, and 3-D visuals.

Another exciting feature of the Sapphire Bay development will be the Baywalk, a collection of casual-concept food establishments. The waterfront restaurants, offering both indoor and outdoor dining options, will serve as an all-season entertainment area. Randy Stone, a partner at Omniplan architects, said that guests will be able to “unwind in a casual environment with friends and family, which is exactly what consumers and restaurateurs are both seeking in today’s environment.”

Supporting access to Sapphire Bay, a $150 million TxDOT project will extend outer roads along I-30 from Bass Pro Shop to the development. An overpass for the bay will be constructed and include on-the-water driving lanes, walk and bike trails, and a pedestrian and biking crossover bridge connecting the North and South peninsulas.

The current marina will be upgraded and redeveloped, refurbishing seven and adding ten new dock houses. Sapphire Bay Marina will feature a state-of-the-art fueling system and offer boat sales and rentals.

The Florida-based Floridays Development Company has announced its plans to build a five-story rental community within Sapphire Bay development. Floridays has been in business since 1990 and has been involved in multiple huge projects, including the Floridays Resort Orlando hotel, the Margaritaville Hotel & Resort, and the 32-story Oasis condo tower in Fort Myers.

Plans are also underway to construct a Hyatt resort in the lakeside complex, which will feature conference facilities and more than 500 hotel rooms.