The Denison City Council helped lower some of the final roadblocks to Tom Johnson’s Gateway Village development on Monday by approving financing plans for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone which will repay infrastructure upgrades for the development.

The Denison City Council helped lower some of the final roadblocks to Tom Johnson’s Gateway Village development on Monday by approving financing plans for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone which will repay infrastructure upgrades for the development.


During its last meeting, the Council approved the annexation of the property, bringing it into Denison city limits. The development is expected to bring in about $114 million in private development during its first phase and $4 billion over the lifetime of the development, said City Manager Robert Hanna at a recent economic summit. Johnson’s plan for the development includes medium and high-income housing, and shopping and commercial districts.


TPJ properties, owned by Johnson, will invest $7.1 million in infrastructure upgrades and installations for the area. The TIRZ will repay Johnson up to 100 percent of his investment over 30 years. The TIRZ will be suspended when Johnson’s investment has been repaid, or the 30 year period has ended.


"This is where the heavy lifting occurs in this agreement," said Hanna.


The City will repay Johnson using the property taxes on the land in the development. Forty percent of the taxes collected through the City’s maintenance and operations tax rate will be put into the TIRZ fund to repay Johnson. After the Council approved a participation agreement, Grayson County will be allowed to assist in the zone by using 50 percent of its own rate to contribute to the fund.


The Council approved two amendments to the original agreement during the meeting. The first changes the boundaries of the zone to encompass parts of Loy Lake Road. This was done so that road repairs to Loy Lake would be covered by the infrastructure upgrades and will be repaid by the TIRZ.


The second amendment was a change to the TIRZ board. The board, made up of five members, was to be made up of four representatives from the City, and one from Grayson County. After a request by the developer, one of the city’s representatives will instead represent Johnson.


The next step towards implementation of the development will come after Johnson submits a plat to the City for the development.


Hanna said that he is optimistic about the entire project.


"It is an immediate boon to our economy," said Hanna. "People will look back in five years and see this as a good thing for the City."