South Sherman is one step closer to an estimated $400 million worth of retail and residential development after the city council greenlit a master agreement and multiple infrastructure projects Tuesday night.
Known as the Munson Development, the 620-acre site is located near the future Sherman High School on FM 1417 and has been a major focus of the city over the past several months. Council members unanimously approved the development agreement, drafted by the Munson Realty Group, as well as propositions to rehab Moore Street, install sewage lines, improve the West Travis Street-FM 1417 intersection, and conduct structural work on the South Travis Street bridge.
The combined projects are expected to cost the city an estimated $4.8 million and some of the engineering work is slated to begin within the next year.
“The roads and sewer lines are going to support these developments,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. “We know it may be difficult to to spend money on these things upfront, but we also know that the reward that we’ll reap in the long term is going to be many, many times what it cost to pay for these.”
Strauch said the Munson Development will offer mostly retail on the east side of FM 1417 in the hopes of complimenting and capitalizing on the traffic and activity near the new Sherman High School. And while the upcoming neighboring Bel Air Development is set to boast some 3,000 residential units on hundreds of newly-annexed acres on the west side, Strauch said the Munson Development will also have housing options.
“The Munson Development would be more akin to a (Sherman) Town-Center-like, development, but, absolutely, there will be residential components as well, with single-family and multi-family developments,” Strauch said.
But before houses and and stores can go up, the city will have to get it’s infrastructure projects rolling.
Under the $2 million Moore Street project, the city plans to build out the roadway roadway into two lanes between West Travis and FM 1417, and will shoulder the construction costs while Munson Realty contract’s through the planning phase. The council approved plans to widen the roadway to four lanes in the future and as development warrants. Hefton said the additional lanes would bring the total to $4-5 million.
Another $2.7 million will be spent on lengthening the lifespan of the South Travis Street Bridge. The project is expected to receive federal funds this year and in 2020 after meeting approval by the Texas Department of Transportation. The city has agreed to pay a 10-percent match or $270,000 for the project.
Dedicated turn lanes and traffic signals are set to go in at the intersection of FM 1417 and West Travis Street to the tune of $1.57 million. Funding will come from the city’s Capital Improvement Plan and work is scheduled for completion in 2020, before the new Sherman High opens.
And a $1 million sewage line is also set for installation between Travis Street and FM 1417. The Sherman Independent School District is expected to share in the cost as the utility would allow the district to cut sanitation lift services to the new high school.
Strauch said the city was hopeful that the initial infrastructure projects would get underway within 18 months and will likely help pave the way for at least five years of building on the development project as a whole.
“We’re talking about basically building an entire new portion of the city in an area where there really isn’t anything but a corn field right now,” Strauch said. “This absolutely has the potential to transform what Sherman is and what new shops and amenities, and offerings there are in South Sherman.”