The Tomball City Council and the Tomball Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) recently began discussions on financing for a new business park in Tomball.
The park, which will be located at the corner of Hufsmith-Kohrville and Holderrieth roads, was moved into the design stage late last year.
"When I came on board the TEDC in March of 2011, we started doing analysis on the economic development side to see where we were and what we found was that costs associated with developing in many areas were challenging because of the lack of infrastructure," TEDC executive director Kelly Violette said.
Violette said that Tomball has lost a lot of potential business because of a lack of build-ready site locations.
"We are losing a lot of potential clients because we have a minimal amount of sites that are ready to develop," she said.
The TEDC recently approved $1.7 million in funding for the sites planning and design stages and recently met with council members to discuss financing options for the construction of the park. Violette said that they estimate the total cost for the site to be around $14 million, including the money already spent for design.
"We have had a number of discussions to talk about what is available as far as financing goes," she said. "We want to make sure that the amount we borrow and the cost to borrow are affordable."
Violette said that preliminary discussions are leaning toward the city issuing bonds, that TEDC will be responsible for paying back. The bonds will be of the type that will not require property taxes to go up.
"The next step is that the city's financial advisor and bond counsel will come and give council and TEDC a checklist of what's needed to make sure the responsibility of paying is on the TEDC," she said, adding that the process will take about four months.
The planned 102-acre park has already received interest from numerous companies, according to Violette. Current designs outline potential lots and Violette said that companies can purchase any size lot they desire, as long as it is a minimum of 5,000 square feet.
Current interest in the park has come mainly from oil and gas companies.
"The indications are that it will sell out quickly," she said. "What is exicitng is that we can be somewhat selective and find companies that fit with Tomball. We are looking for companies with good track records."