The Dallas investment firm created by RealPage founder Steve Winn is betting on immersive technology as a major draw for entertainment and mixed-use venues, with Grandscape in The Colony among the pioneering sites.
Cosm, a company founded in 2020 by Winn’s Mirasol Capital, said Wednesday that it plans to build a 65,000 to 75,000 square foot location in the massive entertainment and shopping complex along State Highway 121 that includes a giant Ferris wheel, sprawling specialty stores like Nebraska Furniture Mart and Scheels and an Andretti indoor go-kart track.
The Grandscape announcement follows a venue planned for the Hollywood Park development adjacent to SoFi Stadium and Intuit Dome in Los Angeles. When Cosm announced the Hollywood Park venue, it said the location would showcase a 26.6-meter in diameter LED dome in a 65,000 total square feet facility that can hold up to 1,700 guests.
The facilities will live stream sports, arts and entertainment events in a way that promises to create lifelike experiences.
“Cosm is leveraging its technology to create a new category of immersive entertainment called ‘shared reality’, working with partners globally to stream live content to physical venues and to virtual worlds alike,” Winn said in an announcement. “We are just getting started and have plans to open venues around the world.”
Cosm was formed through a series of acquisitions of spatial computing, specialty design, engineering and immersive video production businesses. Several were longtime providers of dome-shaped IMAX screens and planetarium projection technology. The Los Angeles-based company also operates out of an office at the Old Parkland campus in Dallas where Mirasol is headquartered.
Grandscape, part of Warren Buffett’s expansive Berkshire Hathaway, spans more than 400 acres and includes a mix of unique stores, restaurants and entertainment venues such as an outdoor stage and lawn close to where Cosm will be built. Grandscape was recognized last year as Retail and Leisure International’s most innovative project.
Dallas-based architects HKS will design Cosm’s Los Angeles and North Texas locations.
“Consumers will be embedded into these events without having to travel to them, which is a fantastic evolution in the fan experience,” said Mark A. Williams, HKS’ global director of venues.
Winn built his fortune – estimated at $1.7 billion by Forbes – in real estate property management technology, turning RealPage into the nation’s dominant provider of rent-setting software for landlords. The North Texas property management-tech giant has a presence across 22 million apartment units.
He was the company’s CEO until 2021 when private equity firm Thoma Bravo bought it for $10.2 billion. His Mirasol Capital still invests in real estate, recently selling a site in Irving to Wells Fargo for a new regional campus and announcing plans for a mixed-use development on adjoining property.
At a recent Venture Dallas event, Winn talked about how he got involved with Cosm. It started with meeting Jeb Terry, now Cosm’s CEO, at a wedding in California while Terry was looking for his next endeavor after selling a streaming business to Fox Sports.
“We bought a planetarium company, in fact the largest planetarium company in the world, because we were intrigued with the dome” and projection technology used in them, he told entrepreneurs and investors attending the event.
“We started to envision what this would look like if we converted it to LED so you could see it in the day, and we rotated the dome on its side. We then believed we could put you in the front seat of a live-streamed NFL, NBA, UFC, European soccer, cricket (event) and you couldn’t tell you weren’t there,” he said.
The company built a 65-foot-tall half-dome test venue in Salt Lake City and invited more than 2,000 broadcasters, league owners and large-screen cinema executives to experience it.
“Without exception, they all agree this is a new form of experiential, immersive education and entertainment,” Winn said.
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