Sherman recently moved one step closer to the relocation of its Blalock Fire Station No. 4 to Northgate Drive in order to allow the development of a Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille entertainment complex at the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 1417.

The Sherman City Council recently approved a site plan for the new location of fire station No. 4 at 3117 Northgate Drive, which is in the city’s industrial section. The new station will be a 12,606 square foot building with a brick veneer exterior and insulated metal panels.

“The council has a duty to approve site plans in Blalock (Industrial Park),” Director of Developmental Services Scott Shadden said of why the site plan was before the council. “(The) Planning & Zoning (Commission) has already voted on it 7-0 in favor, subject to the staff review letter.”

The council also approved the site plan unanimously, as well as a replat of 29.8652 acres at 3117 and 3209 North Gate Dr. for the new fire station and industrial development. In a document prepared for the council, city staff said the new fire station would allow Sherman Fire-Rescue to better serve expected growth in the the southwest portion of the city.

The P&Z Commission approved a site plan and specific use permit last month for Schulman’s planned entertainment complex, which will include a movie theater, bowling alley and arcade. The specific use permit will next have to be approved by the council. Schulman’s will be part of a full development of the more than 22-acre tract at the southeast corner of the intersection of FM 1417 and Hwy. 75.

“We’re excited about bringing a high-level, first-class entertainment project to the city of Sherman,” developer Mark Schulman said during the commission’s meeting.

The Schulman’s complex is expected to encompass 72,995 square feet with multiple bowling lanes, eight movie screens offering dine-in viewing, arcade and dining options through a Billy’s Grille and Bar. The second phase of the Schulman’s development will add a hotel and conference center to the east of the Movie Bowl Grille.

When the development was announced in October, Schulman said building a Movie Bowl Grille typically takes 15 months to 18 months to complete, but his people will be working as quickly and efficiently as possible, so he didn’t rule out opening before the end of 2018. Schulman did not give any update on when the complex is expected to open during last month’s meeting, but city staff said construction should start soon.

The city approved an economic development program agreement with Schulman for the entertainment and retail development last year. The agreement will provide a cash grant of 50 percent of the sales tax generated by the planned commercial 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 said the commercial and retail center 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.