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Southlake Style

Welcome to The MARQ

Jan 02, 2016 11:08PM ● Published by Dia

Gallery: Inside The MARQ photos by Bludoor Studios [10 Images] Click any image to expand.

If you've spent any amount of time at Bicentennial Park over the past 15 months, you've seen the cranes, tractors and construction hat-clad workers bustling about. And you’ve no doubt noticed the spectacular structures that have been going up as a result of all the activity. Together, these buildings encompass what has been called “a modern marvel in the making.” You could call it that, or you can call it by its official name: The Marq. It’s Southlake’s very own community center, and it’s now open for residents to come enjoy.

The Marq is the area’s newest destination for just about everything: weddings, concerts, business meetings, birthday parties and more. And that’s just Phase 1. Because of the sheer magnitude of the project, it’s being constructed in two phases.

Phase 1, named Legends Hall, opened last month and boasts 23,000 square feet of space that includes a ballroom, multipurpose conference and meeting spaces, a club lounge, senior activity center, catering kitchen and an outdoor amphitheater and events space.

All meeting spaces are equipped with audiovisual support and offer a variety of room configurations. Plus, each room is equipped with big-screen TVs that can be used for showing presentations, slideshows and movies. So whatever event or gathering you have in mind, The Marq can easily accommodate.

Construction on Phase 2, called Champions Club, is slated to begin this fall with an estimated open date in early 2018. Currently under design, it will be approximately 84,000 square feet with spaces for fitness, performance training, a gym, indoor jog/walk track, indoor aquatics, indoor playground, party rooms, child watch and multipurpose classrooms for programs.

'The second phase of the facility will encompass all of your traditional recreation components with a few unique enhancements,” says Danielle Nelson, Sales Specialist with The Marq. “When all is said and done, The Marq will be a special place for the Southlake community to come together and spend time with one another. There is something for everyone of all ages here.”

The Marq is a community center not just in Southlake, but for Southlake. “What makes The Marq unique is that it was specifically designed to meet the needs of the Southlake community,” says Nelson. “It is unlike any other facility.”

MAKING THE MARQ

Residents asked for it, and the city delivered. A community recreation center has been in the City of Southlake’s Parks Master Plan since 1996. But it wasn’t until more than a decade later that the project took top priority after it frequently appeared in citizen surveys.

“In 2010, Southlake hosted a series of public meetings to determine what components residents wanted to see in a multipurpose community center,” explains Nelson. “From that feedback, the City Council narrowed the scope of the project to a Community Recreation Center that would encompass event and meeting spaces, an outdoor amphitheater, a new senior activity center and a state-of-the-art recreation center.” 

In August 2013, plans for a community center officially got underway. City Council approved $1.72 million to design Phase 1, and the site plan was approved in June 2014. A ground- breaking ceremony was held in September 2014, with City Council declaring an official name for the facility a month later.

Emotions run high for Mayor Laura Hill just thinking about everything that went into The Marq – and continues to go into it. “There is a deep sense of pride that is hard to put into words,” she says. “I remember attending my first meeting about a recreation center in early 2000 as an interested resident. If you had told me then that the day it opened I would be the mayor, I could have never imagined it.”

What makes it even sweeter is that this $15 million facility is completely paid for, funded by a half-cent sales tax. The expected revenue is just over $470,000, and Phase 1 is expected to create 20 jobs, according to Vicky Schiber, Communications and Marketing Manager, Community Services Department, for the City of Southlake.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

The beauty of The Marq is that it’s here to be what the community wants and needs it to be, whether residents are seeking a unique venue for a business function or a place to relax with neighbors and friends. The venue is open to all, and if you want to reserve a room for a meeting, party or event (rental fees vary), there’s a 20-percent discount for any resident, business or nonprofit in Southlake.

Even before The Marq’s grand opening, Nelson had 35 events already on the books including weddings, a quinceañera, a bar mitzvah, school fundraisers, community luncheons, corporate seminars and a sports banquet. 

These don’t include the many upcoming city-sponsored events such as the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dance, Monster Mash and Breakfast with Santa, all which will be held in Legends Hall this year.

Community members who have eagerly awaited The Marq’s arrival have already embraced their new community center. “It’s been wonderful to experience the true excitement the residents of Southlake have for The Marq,” Nelson says.

We’re getting in on all the excitement, too. We’re hosting our “Best Of” party at The Marq later this month, making Southlake Style the first to hold a non-city event. The timing of the venue’s grand open- ing couldn’t have been better for our annual event celebrating great people and milestones from the past year. The Marq is certainly a tes- tament to greatness.

“I want to thank our former mayors, councilmembers and Board and Commission members who volunteered thousands of hours on this project. They have truly left their ‘Marq’ on Southlake,” says Mayor Hill. “The honor of opening The Marq with City Manager Shana Yelverton and our incredible city staff is one of the high points of my time as mayor. Every resident is going to be in awe. This is the first step on the path to many wonderful community memories.”

If you haven’t stopped by to see what the facility is all about, The Marq offers guided tours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s so much fun to be able to show the actual beautiful spaces within Legends Hall instead of renderings and floor plans,” Nelson says. “Legends Hall can host events as small as a two-person meeting to an event as large as a 300-person wedding. It’s a very versatile event venue.”

A LOOK INSIDE

The Marq is all about offering something for everyone in the community, including seniors. Now housed inside The Marq, Southlake’s Senior Activity Center offers a variety of events and programming for adults 55 and older. Whether seniors want a place to gather with friends to exercise, relax with a good book, or even bake some home- made treats, the space is a go-to destination. It features a large lounge area, a kitchen with café-style seating and a cozy alcove library with a fireplace.

“Two of the most anticipated spaces at the new center include the Wellness Room and Parlor,” Nelson says. “The Wellness Room is a dedicated fitness space with treadmills, elliptical machines and strength-training equipment. The Parlor is a game room that features two pool tables, a pok- er table and lounge-style seating in front of big- screen TVs.”

The space is also open for various city- sponsored community events and classes. “The City will be working with various organizations such as the Community Band, Apex Arts League and Arts Council Northeast to host art-related programs and performances,” Nelson says.

If you’re looking for a spot to host a corporate happy hour or unique birthday party, check out the Club Lounge. This space, which accommodates up to 50 guests, has a built-in bar, wall-mounted TVs, a faux-tin ceiling and opens onto the Terrace for a private indoor/outdoor venue.

And then there’s the majestic Traditions Ball- room, a 5,000-square-foot space that’s ideal for nearly any event, from weddings to charity galas and corporate events. It can accommodate up to 300 seated guests, and for a more intimate gath- ering, the ballroom can be divided into three sepa- rate rooms.

“It is equipped with direct access to the catering kitchen, a built-in dance floor with stage, has a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and opens onto the Terrace overlooking the promenade and Aria,” explains Nelson.

Aria is The Marq’s outdoor amphitheater. With the ability to accommodate more than 1,000 guests, the space is perfect for outdoor events ranging from concerts and performances to a magical wedding beneath the stars.

A VENUE TO LOVE

For those planning a wedding, The Marq is a gem – and it’s easy to see why. It’s set in an award-winning park and features dramatic architecture, meticulous landscaping, and even fire and water elements. Combine all this with the option of an indoor or outdoor ceremony, and The Marq is a beautiful spot to say “I do.”

“The versatility of The Marq is what makes it stand out as a premiere wedding destination,” Nelson says.

Not only can the venue accommodate all sizes and styles of weddings, but it offers unique options as well. For example, if a bride and groom want to put a creative twist on catering or late-night snacks, there are parking spots on the promenade for food trucks.

The Marq also has an open vendor policy, allowing couples to choose their own caterer and provide their own alcohol when renting the facility. “There are of course rules associated with this,” Nelson says, “but it helps our guests with their budget and it allows them to truly personalize their events.”

Last August, the venue geared up for its grand opening by giving away a free dream wedding. The giveaway, called “Married at the Marq,” invited couples everywhere to enter for a chance to win a ceremony and reception at The Marq for up to 180 guests, as well as a plethora of services and surprises sponsored by local businesses.

The winning bride, Lindsey, is a Carroll grad who’s marrying her fiancée, Kyle, in April. “I feel so lucky and am excited to spend our big day in Southlake where I grew up,” she says. “It means a lot to me.”

From brides making wedding wishes to neighbors gathering together, The Marq is a dream realized for an entire community. A city that prides itself on its community focus and hometown feel needs a central spot to come together. Now it has one.

“The Marq will take your breath away,” says Mayor Hill. “It’s the icing on the cake for our great city.”

When you consider all that the venue is bringing to the community, we have one more reason to be proud to call Southlake home.

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