Months of deliberation and planning led Kyle city leaders Dec. 4 to approve a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) by a split vote to support economic growth in what will be known as Uptown Kyle.
Kyle City Council members and developers are looking to bring more businesses and residents to the community and have explored various means to do so. That includes recent moves to build commercial pads and office space that can be filled, and discussing downtown renovations with stakeholders. With Uptown, more retail and residential services will be offered with the help of the TIRZ.
The TIRZ will be implemented by a group designated to preside over the project and implement tax increment financing (TIF) for the construction of large walkways, street amenities and higher-end lighting.
“A TIRZ, while it is a zone, is a financing tool,” said City Manager Scott Sellers. “That is expended upon the public area for public improvements. This will be a destination for those within Kyle and outside who can use an improved environment.”
Sellers said the area would not be adequate without the public improvements provided by the TIRZ. Sellers said he determined this after surveying citizens, who he says want to see upscale amenities and space.
“Without anything, we could certainly provide services to the community,” said Terry Mitchell, president of Momark Development. “What we hope to do… is we would like to create a lifestyle location that would predominantly provide lifestyle retail. It’s part art. That art is creating a pleasing environment.”
According to the Plum Creek Creation Ordinance, the city and county are projected to garner more than $100 million in tax increment revenue by 2043 as the space is projected to value $ 1.16 billion annually after 15 years.
However, concerns were raised over how the development will serve current residents. The TIRZ item passed with a 4-2 vote, with council member Alex Villalobos absent and unable to vote.
Council members Shane Arabie and Daphne Tenorio, who cast the two dissenting votes, rejected the TIRZ, citing concerns over the affordability of any possible retail that moves into Uptown for current residents. They also questioned whether Uptown needed a finance mechanism.
“What I’m trying to figure out is if this will be applicable for Kyle,” Arabie said. “Other town centers are in areas with much higher disposable incomes.”
Arabie cited Momark’s example of town centers in Southlake and Legacy, which are located in the Dallas area. Both areas have home values that are above $xxxxxx.
Mitchell said destination in Kyle could extend to specialty restaurants and retail at a higher price point, but not including luxury retail. Construction is estimated to begin in 2019 and last over a decade including all phases of retail, residential and amenity space.