The Sherman Economic Development Corp. is planning to add 57.3 new acres to the city’s Progress Park industrial area.

The SEDCO board of directors approved the $450,000 purchase of the land, which is to the west of the Panda Power plant on the city’s south side, during its meeting Tuesday. SEDCO staff said the new purchase is part of an effort to acquire more land to market to companies looking to relocate or expand in Sherman as much of the land in Progress Park has been earmarked for incoming projects.

“Recently, we purchased Progress Park VI — that’s at the end of Progress Drive,” Vice President of Business Retention & Expansion Stacey Jones said. “There’s a piece of property between that piece and Flannery Road and we purchased that.”

SEDCO added Progress Park VI in November when the corporation closed on 63.6 acres immediately to the west of the Panda facility. The SEDCO board voted to purchase that land in September of last year for $450,000.

Jones said once SEDCO closes on the land it is in the process of purchasing, it will be Progress Park VII.

“I think it’ll make a very nice site,” Jones said. “It means we have more available sites to offer when we receive proposals from the state and just inquiries in general.”

Jones said SEDCO receives inquires about the land in Progress Park often, but the corporation only sales land in the city’s industrial area when there is a company involved that will help improve Sherman’s tax base and benefit the community. She said developers frequently contact SEDCO seeking to purchase land, but a viable project has to be tied to it before the corporation would move forward.

SEDCO also recently approved a right of first refusal agreement with Thea Development LLC for the marketing of Progress Park I to data center companies. Jones said the right of first refusal agreement, which clarifies that land in Progress Park I is available for development, will simply give Thea Development 30 days notice before the land is sold.

“Thea Development markets the benefits of Sherman to prospects,” Jones said via email. “The agreement shows that Thea Development has expended considerable time and resources in consideration of the development of Progress Park I and will be notified and given the Right of First Refusal before the property becomes unavailable. This agreement provides Thea Development additional credibility when marketing Progress Park I to prospects.”

In addition to approving the land purchase and the right of first refusal agreement, the SEDCO board also approved its financials and investment report for the quarter that ended June 30. The board then approved the investment report for the same quarter.