ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene City Council said it was considering the creation of a new Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), encouraging private development in North Abilene and yielding additional tax revenue.
David Pettit of Economic Development out of Fort Worth is the private developer looking to put in a 911 home subdivision, made up of single-family residences. It is slated to be located on Abilene Christian University-owned property behind Taylor Elementary School.
The 420 acres is just west of the Jake Roberts Freeway and splits North 10th Street and East Highway 80.
Abilene City Councilman Weldon Hurt said the vacant development land currently brings in $957.80 annually in taxes, but at full development, it could bring in $11,053,608.93 in taxes paid to all jurisdictions.
Councilman Hurt said one of City Council’s main goals is to increase infill development, meaning increasing housing within Loop 322.
“When we can have an opportunity to help in a way, that’s what we’re here to do: Help develop these areas that haven’t been done,” Councilman Hurt said.
The proposed development has the potential to bring in $436 million in incremental taxable value.
“75% of the money of this TIRZ will go into the general fund of the city. The other 25% goes back to pay for the infrastructure,” explained Councilman Hurt.
That 25% equals out to $13.6 million a year going back to the developer for infrastructure payments, while also going towards sewage and drainage improvements in the area.
The City of Abilene would receive roughly $41 million over the course of the 20-year agreement, while Abilene ISD and Taylor County would receive a collective of $126.7 million.
Councilman Hurt said the 20-year agreement could end sooner if the infrastructure gets paid off before then.
As for ACU, the institution currently owns the property, but is said to be discussing the option of selling the land to the developer in its entirety, or recouping the money as lots are sold.
Vice President of Abilene Christian Investment Management Company, Kelly Young released this statement:
“We’re grateful for the city’s interest and support in this residential development. When realized, this development will provide substantial new tax revenue for the city, create a unique neighborhood option for Abilene residents and support the city in recruiting companies to Abilene.”
City Council won’t officially vote on it, because councilmembers were absent during the Thursday meeting, but City Manager Robert Hanna said in a media briefing; council must vote to approve the development in November to make it a ‘done deal.’