By Elsa Maxey
Project updates…that’s what Shay Shafie, General Manager of the Imperial Project with Johnson Development, has been providing to residents expressing an interest in knowing what will be taking place on the redeveloped Imperial Sugar Factory site, and there’s a lot of interest.
He recently met with those attending a Sugar Mills home owners association meeting and reports that he was given a list of questions for which they wanted answers…like what is the scope of the development effort and how many phases are there? The project includes a multi-family section that will be built in phases of about 300 homes each, he said. Multi-family housing in the Ballpark District will be developed in two phases with about 300 homes each. The first phase will be built on the western half of the land next to the ballpark starting next year and it will take 36 months to complete the improvements and lease the properties.
The second phase is estimated to start in mid-2015 and it should be completed in 2018, according to Shafie. He said the Historic District plan now includes only one phase of 325 multi-family homes on the northern portion of the site and next to a proposed hotel and conference center. This area will be in close proximity to restaurants, retail shops, offices and civic and cultural facilities.
“Pending market conditions, total build-out of the three phases of multi-family housing in Imperial is expected to take 9 to 10 years and be completed in 2020-2021,” advises Shafie. The other land uses are for residential, office, retail, hospitality, and others to be developed over the same timeframe.
Questions about traffic, the project’s impact on public schools, explanations about the estimated taxable value of the Imperial project at build out projected at $800 million with estimated taxes to FBISD paid per year totaling $10.72 million are all being weighed in by those wanting to know more about what’s in store for the area. Additional railroad crossings and options, these are all considerations in the making with possible elevated roads going over U.S. Alt. 90A and the rail lines.
For quality assurance, an Imperial Property Owners Association with authority to enforce quality standards is being proposed. The Imperial project continues to undergo refinement and once plans are completed and are reviewed by the city, it will undergo a public hearing. For now, Shafie continues to meet with residents and has been soliciting their input.