Wal-Mart breaks ground in Kyle

By Andy Sevilla

Wal-Mart’s planned $12 million, 156,000 square-foot facility in Kyle is expected to be finished by January, according to the construction project manager.

Bobby Ferguson, of Emerson Construction, said work on the project began in May and he expects it to be finalized in January. An updated project timeline presented to the city indicates the project should be done by Jan. 7.

“We want to make sure we work alongside the city of Kyle to get this project completed as soon as possible,” Ferguson said in a telephone interview Tuesday. 

Ferguson said the project construction for the entire site is estimated between $11 and $12 million, which includes the building, a parking lot, a traffic light on Kyle Parkway and drainage, among other things. 

City officials have long awaited Wal-Mart’s construction with the hope that the national retailer will spur additional commercial development in the area. 

“We welcome Wal-Mart to the booming retail community in Kyle,” Economic Development Director Diana Blank said. “The store will enhance our local tax base and accelerate development of surrounding properties.”

And tax-generating development is one of many things Kyle needs most. Already the highest property tax rate of any other Hays County municipality, Kyle could expect more ad valorem rate increases as the city issues new debt to cover capital and infrastructure improvements. 

Kyle Finance Director Perwez Moheet said his office did not have figures identifying what sales tax revenue Wal-Mart could be expected to create. But City Manager Lanny Lambert said some Wal-Mart Super Centers across Texas have been known to produce up to $1 million in annual sales tax collections.

But not all sales tax revenues generated by Wal-Mart will go into the city’s coffers. 

Under a 2007 economic development agreement between the city and Seton/SCC Kyle Partners, the developers of commercial property along Kyle Parkway where Wal-Mart will be constructed, the city each month remits a portion of sales tax allocations collected within businesses inside the development.

Under that Chapter 380 Agreement, Kyle returned 67 percent of sales tax revenues generated by businesses inside the Seton/SCC Kyle Partners development for years 2010 through 2012. Beginning in 2013 and through the life of the agreement, which expires Dec. 31, 2024, Kyle will remit 33 percent of sales tax revenues generated within the development.

Kyle does, however, collect 100 percent of the property taxes generated within the development. Once Wal-Mart is completed, Kyle will add that property to its tax rolls. Storm water controls and excavation work on the project began in May. Completing the building pad and starting foundation work is next and expected to begin in early July, Ferguson said. 

Earlier reports indicated Wal-Mart would create 300 jobs in Kyle. It is not clear if that figure remains the same, as Wal-Mart representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

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