As the next wave of growth approaches Texoma, Sherman officials are eyeing a pair of developments on the city’s south side as the beginning of the next big growth corridor. The two proposed developments, which cover more than 600 acres, are expected to bring a mixture of residential, commercial and retail along FM 1417 and the city’s southern gateway.
“It is absolutely a major impact when we are talking about these two major projects, one of which is about 200 acres, and the other of which is about 400 acres,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. “You are talking about land that takes up a large portion of the city that is undeveloped right now. They are projects that have the potential to greatly impact huge portions of the city.”
The first development will feature mixed-use projects ranging from residential of all densities to commercial and retail opportunities. The 200-acre project will be located just east of the Legacy Village development, which is the future home of Schulman’s Movie Bowle Grille, near the corner of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 1417.
Strauch said preliminary plans for the project included a potential city park and elementary school. However, he said, the conversations with the Sherman Independent School District were in their infancy.
“It was merely something where the city approached the school district to determine the feasibility of doing that,” Strauch said.
Sherman ISD Superintendent David Hicks said it is not uncommon for developers to speak with districts ahead of plans for new residential developments, especially if the development might impact district capacity. As part of studies for the 2017 bond election, Hicks said the district conducted similar studies that led to realignment of elementary schools within the district to meet the projected classroom needs.
“If the parameters change, we would reassess our elementary school capacity,” he said.
The second development would feature close to 400 acres of land just south of the proposed Sherman High School site near FM 1417. Sherman City Manager Robbie Hefton said this was expected as development is already planned north of the high school site. Hefton said details were light on the projects as neither had gone before the city council with requests. However, he said this could change within the next few months.
Strauch said both developments would be mixed use and feature retail and residential uses in close proximity. As an example, he said it would be possible for a parent to walk to their child’s school, stop for lunch and return home by foot in the development.
Both developments fit within the city’s immediate development plans, with the projects expected to see work in the next decade.
“What we do know is the plan is to start work on both of the developments in the next year,” Strauch said. “Certainly, when you are talking about that amount of land, it is a multi-year project, unquestionably. When you are talking 10 to 30 years, these both would fall closer to the 10-year side.”
What separates the two will be the make up of the developments, as Strauch said the development near Legacy Village will be more aimed at residential uses while the development near the high school would lean closer to retail.
Hefton said the two developments were made possible by recent changes to city ordinance aimed at planned developments. These changes, which went into place earlier this year, allow Sherman the mechanisms to handle larger developments that have a more nuanced or specialized look and requirements.
“That really provided the framework and structure from which we could accept more detailed plans for development,” he said.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at email@example.com or @mhutchinsHD on Twitter.