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Colorado firm launches $350M Poconos attraction with aquarium

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Alberta Development is in the final stages of conceptual development for its $350 million Pocono Springs Entertainment Village in Tobyhanna Township. (Courtesy of Alberta Development)
Alberta Development is in the final stages of conceptual development for its $350 million Pocono Springs Entertainment Village in Tobyhanna Township. (Courtesy of Alberta Development)

A Colorado-based development firm said it would build a massive entertainment-based attraction in the Poconos with a $350 million project funded by a public/private partnership.

Officials revealed the details of the Pocono Springs Entertainment Village in Tobyhanna Township at a press conference today.

Alberta Development Partners LLC, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo., and state Sen. Mario Scavello joined local and state leaders for the announcement at the township’s government center. Alberta Development is collaborating with JEMB Realty of New York City on the project.

Today’s announcement is for the conceptual plan and groundbreaking set for next spring, said John Jablowski, manager for Tobyhanna Township.

The township submitted several applications for state grants to help fund the project. Once it opens, 1 percent of all gross sales on the site will go toward a public improvement fund, which goes toward infrastructure such as roads and sewers, he added.

The project could bring in more than $400 million annually in statewide economic impact, officials said.

The first part of the Pocono Springs project, set to open in 2021, will create more than 1,200 full-time jobs and 2,000 construction jobs and develop one of the largest entertainment destination projects in North America, officials said.

The project includes a 90,000-square-foot, $100 million aquarium, themed restaurants, helium balloon ride and movie theater. The development also will include an interactive water fountain to entertain tourists and customers.

“Pocono Springs will have a multitude of tenants and a really transformative project that we feel enhances the Poconos,” Jablowski said.

The setting will incorporate recreational, dining and entertainment venues with more than 10 acres of hiking and biking trails.

The first part of the project will have about 76 acres and nearly 600,000 square feet of destination/entertainment-based anchor retailers. The total project will have about 1.4 million square feet of leasable space on about 175 acres. The developers will build the site around an existing 1-acre tree grove.

Alberta Development has yet to submit requests for proposals for a general contractor for the project, Jablowski said. JPRA Architects of Farmington Hills in Michigan designed the conceptual plans.

The village will go up next to the 977-room Kalahari Convention Center Hotel and Waterpark.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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