El Campo’s proposed rail-supported warehouse project hit another delay last week with city council tabling the requested voluntary annexation of its 130-acre Phase 1.
Rail park attorney Duane Brignac of Miklos Cinclair told council “minor hiccups” had occurred between the current property owner and the developers of the Southwest International Gateway Business Park.
Requesting a delay until the Monday, Dec. 9 council session, he told city leaders it would not effect construction time lines. Council approved the request unanimously.
The city will not extend water and sewer lines until land for the rail park is annexed. Annexation can’t take place per the development agreement, however, until the land transfers from the current local owners to developers.
The request to create a Municipal Management Services Agreement on the proposed rail park site received approval at the last session.
The Municipal Management District, coupled with a Public Improvement District, will allow developers to levy a quasi-tax within the boundaries of the project only. Collected funds would then be used to pay for park infrastructure like streets, rail and utilities.
The approved agreement is between the city, Z&B Partnership and SFG SWIG Master Devco, LLC.
The SWIG or rail park is a 540-acre development at the intersection of County Road 421 and U.S. 59.
The project has been more than three years in the making. Its Phase 1 is estimated as a $125 million effort with the first construction permits projected to be pulled before the mits projected to be pulled before the end of the year.
It’s an effort city leaders have said they are confident will come to fruition. City Councilman John Hancock, however, has continued to express concern over the non-disclosure of developers financial information.
When built, the rail park is projected to add $1.5 million in tax revenues to the local school district although less to the city because tax dollars in the target area have been redirected to a Tax Reinvestment Zone funding freeway frontage roads.
Developers are Stonemont Financial Group, Ridgeline Property Group, Kansas City Southern and NAI Partners.
The city has spent about $500,000 so far in trying to make the SWIG a reality, looking at the possible long-term economic gains from the jobs it could create.
The City Development Corporation of El Campo has further pledged an additional $3 million for infrastructure costs.