Kyle gets first look at Uptown development

A final decision on whether or not to implement a special taxing mechanism onto a proposed mixed-use development within Plum Creek could take place next month.

That move comes after Kyle city leaders Nov. 20 continued discussions on the Uptown project, located on a plot of land off Kohler’s Crossing in the Kyle area.

The last several months have proven groundbreaking for members of the Kyle City Council who are tasked with the responsibility of making multiple decisions for a project that could boost the economic success of Kyle.

The Uptown concept was first presented in 2015, according to City Manager Scott Sellers, and has been in the works since then. The project is a partnership between the city and Momark Development, who has visited various uptowns across Texas to determine a plan to fit Kyle and the city’s multi-use land.

Uptown Kyle, part of the Plum Creek Phase II project on FM 1626 near the intersection of FM 2770, calls for a mixed-use development that could have restaurants, retail, destination retail and Class-A office space.

On Nov. 20, the project was discussed publicly at Kyle City Hall. A presentation laying out possible designs and uses was publicly shown for the first time and city leaders discussed the various paths they may take to get there.

Sellers said officials are trying to put together a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), a financing mechanism meant to fund certain improvements within an area.

According to the Texas Comptroller’s office, a TIRZ is the real property that is taxed to fund a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) project. A TIF is an economic development tool created and governed by municipalities and governments to pay for development in an area. The TIRZ is created when the TIF project begins.

“The creation of the zone will be via ordinance and that ordinance will be brought to the next two city council meetings,” Sellers said.

The TIRZ will come with a letter of intent, or term sheet, which will lay out how the land will be used which will be agreed upon by the city and Momark Development.

Currently, the space will be used for residential and retail space, but also the develop could also house a production facility yet to be disclosed. The inclusion of retail buildings mixed with residential apartment homes is being built with the aim to attract more residents and spur spending within that area. Having a large business in the space responsible for production and manufacturing tends to stimulate jobs.

Terry Mitchell, president of Momark Development, said job growth in Austin since 2010 could help develop Kyle’s economy by attracting and retaining people to the area. The growth also means the city could possibly add to the market by offering such a development as The Domain in Austin.

“The young people of today … for whatever (reason) it is, they strongly favor a live-work-play environment,” Mitchell said. “They don’t want to drive an hour for something. We believe that creating this environment will attract jobs to Kyle and Plum Creek specifically.”

City council members will discuss the project and the TIRZ again Dec. 4 and Dec. 18 when citizens will have the opportunity to comment on the development.

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