The Legacy Village development at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 1417 in Sherman could bring two new restaurants to the Texoma area.
Developer Mark Schulman said in addition to his 72,995-square-foot Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille entertainment complex that will anchor the Legacy Village development and a large Lone Star Food Store gas station and convenience store at the corner where Sherman Fire Station No. 4 currently sits, there are two spots for two smaller businesses along the Hwy. 75 service road that will likely be restaurants.
“The first, highest and best use in this application is probably restaurants — sit-down eateries or fast food eateries,” Schulman said. “We have guys looking at them (the open spaces). Since they’re not final, I can’t tell you it’s going to be X, Y or Z, but we’ve got a lot of interest in them and we’re working with several people.”
Schulman said the restaurants he’s talking with about the open spots are eateries that are not currently in the area, but he added there’s also banking and retail options that are being considered.
“We’re looking at several choices and once those things are finalized and those things are done, we’ll be able to let that out,” Schulman said.
With work currently underway on the Movie Bowl Grille entertainment complex that will lead the first phase of development, Schulman said the beginning of the second phase, which will include the construction of a hotel and convention center on the south side of the development, is not too far off.
“We’re looking on it right now for that to be a spring 2019 start,” Schulman said of work on the hotel and convention center. “We’re working with guys right now and once those final selections are made, then you start to do all the things you have to do with the city and planning and all that.”
City Manager Robby Hefton said earlier this year the city was considering getting involved in the planned hotel convention aspect of the development.
“Most of the hotel convention products that come to towns our size, the way that those deals get done is many times cities will help build a convention aspect to a project under a Convention and Visitors Bureau-kind of model and then a private developer would come in and build a hotel,” Hefton said. “So you’ve got the city utilizing and building the convention space, a complimentary hotel that feeds into that convention center being built by private dollars and then the two can operate the facility jointly.”
With a construction contract of just 10 months, Schulman said the goal is to have Sherman’s Movie Bowl Grille location open by the middle of May, so the organization will likely start hiring in earnest a couple of months before that.
“I expect we’re going to start hiring some key admin folks for this location as early as August because we’ve got to bring them into the fold because of the training time,” Schulman said. “Hiring time (for other position) will probably start March at the earliest for general help and April at the latest.”
In addition to all the positions that will need to be filled at the Movie Bowl Grille, Schulman said his company will also be hiring for its new Billy’s Grille and Bar catering service. He said that service is expected to begin operations this month, but the catering page on the Bay City and Corsicana Schulman’s websites just says “Catering coming soon!”
“The citizens of Grayson County and beyond can expect first class entertainment and first class service,” Schulman said of the Movie Bowl Grille experience as a whole. “To put one of these projects together takes thousands of hours, months of planning, months of preparation. We’re just glad to be a part of this community and be able to finally bring this vision to reality.”
The Sherman City Council approved a development agreement with Schulman’s 58 Aggie Development LLC last year that will provide a cash grant of 50 percent of the sales tax generated by the development over a seven-year period. However, the agreement puts a $1.5 million cap on the cash grant, and the agreement expires once the seven-year period ends.
City staff previously said the entire Legacy Village development is expected to bring around $25 million in capital investments to the location and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual sales tax revenue for Sherman.
When the city approved the site plan for the Schulman’s development earlier this year, it showed the entertainment complex will include multiple bowling lanes, eight movie screens offering dine-in viewing, arcade and dining options through Billy’s Grille and Bar.
During the groundbreaking ceremony for the entertainment complex last month, Sherman Mayor David Plyler compared the Schulman’s development favorably to past projects that have had major impacts on the city, such as the Panda Power plant, Finisar Corp. announcing plans to begin production of components for Apple’s iPhone line of products locally and more.
“The Schulman’s development will do as much to solidify Sherman’s future as any of those other projects and in some cases maybe more,” Plyler said. “This corner will become an entertainment mecca for North Texas and Oklahoma. Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille will draw people not only from Durant, Gainesville and Bonham, but from Anna, Melissa and McKinney as well.”