Despite the closure of the Emergency Center of North Texas earlier this year, an owner of the Sherman Crossroads development said there could further medical facilities planned for the location.


The freestanding emergency room, which was located at 115 West Travis Street at that roadway’s intersection with the U.S. Highway 75 service road, was abruptly closed Sept. 1. Jeff Harkinson, the president of Harkinson Investment Corp., which owns the majority of the land in the Sherman Crossroads development near the northwest corner of Hwy. 75 and FM 1417, recently said he was disappointed the emergency medical facility had to close.


“I was disappointed in that, and I know the doctors that were backing that were disappointed,” Harkinson said. “But we think that’s still going to have a positive ending because we think that’s an excellent facility and that it will be utilized in concert with some of the other planning that’s going on for the site.”


Harkinson said the ownership group for the Sherman Crossroads has been pleased with the medical development that has taken place so far — which includes a DaVita facility and a 41,056-square-foot medical office building — and said there are discussions going on that “could be a game changer.”


“It could be an emergency room as an ancillary service for other developments that are being contemplated,” Harkinson said of the facility that housed the Emergency Center of North Texas.


When asked whether those other developments being contemplated could include the construction of a full hospital, Harkinson said he couldn’t “really comment on that.”


When the Emergency Center of North Texas closed, all its exterior signs were covered and a sign was posted on the door reading “The ECNT is officially closed effective 9.1.2018 at 7 a.m. if you are experiencing a medical emergency dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.” The facility was open for less than nine months.


Director of Business Operations for Emergency Center of North Texas Steven Williams said in September that there were a lot of factors that led to the closure, chief among them some rather large, unforeseen expenses the company did not have sufficient cash flow to overcome.


Plans for the medical office building in the development were approved by the city earlier this year and it is currently nearing completion.


Retail, restaurants development


In addition to more medical development, Harkinson said the Sherman Crossroads could see the addition of a grocery store, restaurants, drug store and major big-box retailers in the next five years. He recently explained the planned Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store in the development is likely just the first of a whole host of retailers that could make a home in the area.


“We’re talking about a grocery and big box users like a Costco or a Target or a Kohl’s or any of the people who require larger uses,” Harkinson said of conceptual plans for the land on the west side of Crossroads Boulevard, which runs parallel to the Hwy. 75 service road in the development. “We see that happening down the road, not within 2019.”


Harkinson said his company has looked at the potential for a 175,000-square-foot retail anchor, which would likely be a Super Target or something similar, though he noted those plans are just conceptual at this point.


“It could change depending on market conditions and demand,” Harkinson said.


With the large pond the property has near FM 1417 on the land’s west side, Harkinson said that could be a place for a couple restaurants.


“We’ve looked at a couple of sit down restaurants that might have outdoor dining overlooking the pond, (to) create a little ambiance,” Harkinson said.


Harkinson explained his company is holding the land on the southwest corner of the West Travis Street and Hwy. 75 service road intersection for a potential Walgreens or CVS drug store. He said the planned Braum’s location will be immediately south of that property along the Hwy. 75 service road. Harkinson said there’s probably room for 11-12 separate businesses along the Hwy. 75 service road between West Travis Street and FM 1417.


“We’re working with one particular national retailer that I think when they come to the site — and we’re in an advanced stage with them — their research is relied on by a lot of other retailers and that creates kind of a domino effect, if you will,” Harkinson said. “A lot of people just rely on this publicly traded company to do the kind of research they rely on, so they don’t have to replicate the research. They just follow them wherever they go.”


With plans still just conceptual at this point, Harkinson said he thinks the development will happen over a multi-year period as Sherman continues to grow and there is more commercial demand on Sherman’s southside. He said the planned Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille development on the southeast corner of the FM 1417 and Hwy. 75 intersection could help drive traffic to the area and have a spillover effect that would be positive for Sherman Crossroads.


“If we have a slowdown in the national economy, then that’s going to slow down the pace at which this develops, but we’re thinking generally over the next five years,” Harkinson said. “And a lot of that’s going to be dependent on residential growth in the south side of Sherman. Any type of commercial development like this requires rooftops.”