By Betsy Dolan
The Sugar Land City Council unanimously approved an ordinance extending a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) for the Imperial Sugar Redevelopment project. The extension runs through 2042.
Originally approved in 2007, the TIRZ No. 3 is an agreement between the City of Sugar Land and Cherokee Investments Sugar Land to create a special tax generating district to fund the Imperial Sugar redevelopment project. Fort Bend County has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the project.
The plan is to develop 840 acres which includes the prison farm property and the Imperial Sugar refinery site.
“We need the extension to make up for some of the lost time that this project suffered during the economic downtown,” said James Calloway, Sugar Land’s Executive Director of Community Development.
The City Council also approved a nearly $150 million final project and finance plan for the TIRZ No. 3.The Imperial Redevelopment District’s Board of Directors gave their approval back in December. Sugar Land City Council members Amy Mitchell, Bridget Yeung and Himesh Gandhi are among those serving as board members.
“The TIRZ No. 3 will work in conjunction with the Imperial Redevelopment District which does not have ad valorum taxing authority in the zone,” said Calloway. “So what you see is a combination of the approximate $150,000,000 in projects that can be implemented by both the district and the TIRZ within the zone.”
Both plans call for improvements and projected costs for public infrastructure and facilities including the preservation of certain historic structures at the Imperial Sugar site.
The plan also supports the future extension of University Boulevard north across the Union Pacific railroad tracks and reimburses the city for public infrastructure necessary to support the initial phase of development in the zone.
With the approval of the final plan and the financing plan, the MOU with the county and a so-called tri-party agreement can now move forward.
The tri-party agreement identifies which improvements will be financed by the Redevelopment District, the TIRZ and the City, said Calloway.