The Baker Katz shopping center in Brenham has brought in strong sales tax revenue since opening the doors to its first stores this year, but is behind schedule when it comes to bringing new stores in.
That was the report presented to Brenham City Councilmembers today (Thursday), as they took action on items relating to the shopping center at Highway 290 and Chappell Hill Street.
Brenham | Washington County Economic Development Director Susan Cates said when looking at the stores that have opened, the shopping center has been performing at or slightly above Baker Katz’ expectations, a boon for the local economy.
At the same time, Cates said not as many stores have come to the center as planned.
Cates said there are two more projects at the center that are “in the pipeline.” Kenneth Katz of Baker Katz confirmed to KWHI that Great Clips and James Avery are set to come to the center, along with Buff City Soap.
Items approved by the council include a resolution to accept the public infrastructure improvements made on Chappell Hill Street, including the widening of the road and the addition of two turn lanes, one on each side of the street. It also agreed to reimburse Baker Katz for the cost of the road upgrades and the cost of enhancing the facades of the shopping center’s anchor buildings, as stipulated in the Chapter 380 agreement between the city and the developer.
The agreement outlines the reimbursement amount for the road improvements as up to $520,000, but the total expenses for the widening project are $145,620. Any difference in the cost of the road infrastructure will be reimbursed for the cost purchasing and installing primary building materials for the anchor buildings.
The difference of $374,379 cannot be paid using certificates of obligation as the road improvements are paid with, and will instead come from the city’s general fund. That being the case, the city will reduce sales tax reimbursement payments, which are scheduled to begin on December 1, 2023 for sales tax receipts from retailers within the shopping center, by the $374,379 until that amount has been satisfied.
Also at today’s meeting, the council:
- Held an executive session to consult with an attorney regarding Aviators Plus, LLC v. City of Brenham; Cause No. 37896; 21st Judicial District Court, Washington County. Executive session discussion also covered the lease between the city and Washington County concerning the 911 Communications Facility at 301 North Baylor Street.
- Unanimously approved a Chapter 380 agreement between the city and Brenham CFA Series, LLC for a Chick-fil-A in Brenham. The agreement would provide the developer with $250,000 in incentives, including $150,000 from the Brenham Community Development Corporation, $50,000 from the city and $50,000 from Washington County.
- Approved a professional services agreement between the city and Strand Associates, Inc. related to Fiscal Year 2022-23 on-call engineering services for an amount not to exceed $120,000.
- Approved the Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) grant agreement with TxDOT for Fiscal Year 2023.
- Took no action on purchasing audio visual equipment for the Brenham Police Department from Avinext in an amount not to exceed $67,334.
Click here to view the agenda packet for Thursday’s meeting.