Amidst an already ongoing remodeling project at the Four Corners Shopping Center in Tomball, owners have approached the city and the Tomball Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) for help.
With over 114,000 square feet of retail space and sitting near a high traffic area, much of the center has sat vacant and deteriorating since it’s previous anchor store, Kroger, moved across the street.
Local retail brokers Jason Baker and Kenneth Katz created a firm, BK 2920 Ltd., with the purpose of purchasing and redeveloping much of the site. They then began negotiating with city officials for public financing options.
‘They have some major challenges in redeveloping the area,” TEDC executive director Kelly Violette said.
Negotiations have ended with TEDC, Violette said and its board members have approved an agreement. The agreement will provide up to 75 percent of new tax revenues generated within the site for the next 13 years, to help BK 2920 Ltd. offset some of the proposed costs.
“The group wants to attract new retail to the site, but many of the bigger and more prime sites are taken,” Violette explained. “They will incur a cost to provide relocation incentives to those tenants, as well as costs in attracting new tenants.”
“They are trying to free up the prime areas,” she added.
The agreement, called a 380 agreement, will provide the dollars only if there is an increase in sales tax revenue and even then it will be limited. Violette said the agreement calls for caps of $300,000 in reimbursements per year and $1.5 million over the life of the agreement. The agreement also calls for the developer to make a minimum investment of $3.4 million on the site.
‘The beauty of this type of agreement is that the city and the TEDC don’t front any money,” she said. “It is based on performance.”
Violette said the agreement and redevelopment is an important step in the continued growth of Tomball.
“(The shopping center) is at a key intersection in the city --- alonst a gateway --- and it’s been in such disrepair for so long,” she said. “If the term ends and he hasn’t yet been able to recoup the maximum reimbursement, it doesn’t matter, the agreement still ends.”
The plan presented by the developer calls for more than $9 million in building and tenant improvements, site work and signage.
The agreement will now go to the Tomball City Council for final approval.