Palmview unveils business development project

Retailers, restaurants and other businesses could find a home in Palmview as the city plans to launch a development project that would generate more revenue in the area.

Last week, the city unveiled its “Main Street” project that is meant to create space for businesses and retailers and will serve as the city’s downtown area.

City Manager Michael Leo said the Palmview Municipal Development District had been working on this project for about three years and it was spurred by a comprehensive demographics study and a retail leakage study that showed shoppers going to other areas to do their shopping.

“We’re basically sending sales tax dollars to other cities when there’s a demand for it here,” Leo said.

So the city purchased an 8-acre property that sits across city hall and right along the expressway for $1.4 million.

There, the city is going to build a street that connects from Frontage Road, goes a mile north to Farm-to-Market Road 495/Veterans Blvd., and leads right to city hall.

The future development there could have businesses lined up in the vicinity, whether they be retail, restaurants, mixed-use office spaces, medical services, boutiques, or market-like vendors.

“As we continue to work on the vision and talk to entities that were interested in coming to Palmview, we further learned that not only there was a demand but there was an interest,” Leo said of the possible businesses that could set up there.

Because they are still in negotiations, Leo said he couldn’t disclose which businesses were showing interest, but he said the layout of the proposed development is largely dictated by what kind of businesses are expected to be there.

Off the expressway, there’s an area dedicated to medical services such as an urgent care clinic while on the other side, there’s an area reserved for a large dine-in, franchise restaurant that has expressed strong interest.

Through talks with people in the medical field as well as owners and developers in the franchise industry, MDD officials learned that many wanted to set up in the city but were waiting on the right infrastructure.

A previous limitation for the city was its lack of a sewer system. However, a project by the Agua Special Utility District to build a sewer system for the city of Palmview has finally become a reality and is in its final stages of connecting residents to the sewer lines.

“It’s wrapping up, they’re making connections as we speak so it’s kind of all coming together now,” Leo said.

For the Main Street project, the city will be responsible for the utility lines, making sure that the sewer connections are there, drainage, any other utilities that would be required, and then the road itself, according to Leo. That infrastructure is estimated to cost the city just under $1 million.

In the next three months, the city is expected to demolish the old event center that currently sits on the property, which was formerly Greg’s Restaurant & Ballroom.

After that, it will take about six months to construct the road and the utilities so that the area will be ready for the actual development.

Leo said the city is excited about the project, especially with the interest he said they’ve received from the business community.

He noted that even during negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused on the economy, sales tax revenues in Palmview has continued to increase.

For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the city set a six-month target of $502,386 in sales tax revenue while their actual six-month deposits totaled $504,842.92.

They also exceeded their eight-month target of $669,848, depositing a total of $687,965.10 in sales tax revenue.

“We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do up until now,” Leo said. “I think that shows that the demand is here in the city of Palmview.”

“We’re really looking forward to this project to take us to the next level,” he said.

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