440-acre development, possible arena heads to next phase

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission approved early plans for a new 440-acre mixed-use development on the Northeast corner of the FM 1417 and U.S. Highway 82 intersection.

For the past two years, the city of Sherman has looked south for future growth in the city. With the development of a new high school, entertainment and other large-scale developments, the FM 1417 corridor has positioned itself to be the epicenter of that growth.

Now, the city is turning its gaze north along that same corridor.

The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission approved early plans this week for Heritage Ranch, a new 440-acre Planned Development along the intersection of FM 1417 and U.S. Highway 82. The new development is expected to bring with it a combination of residential, commercial and entertainment options.

"Heritage Ranch would focus on a really important piece of Sherman real estate, with tons of frontage on both Highway 82 and FM 1417," Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. "This kind of mixed-use development is an increasingly popular way to build walkable communities within a given city, and adding an entertainment component to the mix has already proven highly successful in other Sherman and Sherman-adjacent projects."

During Tuesday's meeting, developer Ryan Johnson presented the blueprint for the planned development. While specific details of the development remain largely unknown, the document gives an overview of the expected uses that will be seen in Heritage Ranch.

"We are excited to present for your consideration tonight the PD for Heritage Ranch," he  said. "Over the past year, we have worked extensively with the city staff for development."

In many ways, Johnson compared the development to the work being done in Denison at Gateway Village, another project is involved with. Gateway Village covers about 600 acres, making the two projects fairly similar in size, he said.

"This will be what we call a master planned community and really an integrated-type community that has many types of land uses," Johnson said. You are going to see single-family residential there and within even single-family, different kinds of single-family," he said, adding in other types of development.

Early site plans for the site show a mixture of entertainment, commercial and residential zoning surrounding green space and park land near the center of the development. 

Nearly one-third of the land will be dedicated to residential uses and will primarily be situated near Travis Street. The document indicates that single-family multi-family and townhouses are likely to be the primary uses in this district.

The second largest use will be for the entertainment district, which will feature 112 acres of land. The document does not give any definitive uses for the district, but does refer to the area as the arena district.

The plan references an arena amenity multiple times, including mention of possible stable and horse space and seating.

"We  are looking at a multi-purpose venue there that would be available for community events, trade shows and sporting and equestrian events," Johnson said, describing it as the anchor for the development. "We are early on in the stages now and hope some time in the new year to share more information on that."

About 105 acres of land will be dedicated to commercial space. Finally, about 60 acres will remain open as park or green space. Johnson said the space will be similar in design and feel to Pecan Grove Park East and West

The development represents the third use of the city's recent planned development ordinance, following The Village and Bel Air, both of which are along FM 1417. The ordinance was created in early 2019 to help support larger developments that feature a variety of uses across a large footprint.

"Sherman’s new Planned Development ordinance has become one of our city’s best tools to manage large-scale growth, as Heritage Ranch is already the third master plan to come before City Council in the last 18 months," Strauch said. 

"While the specifics of the project still need to be defined and addressed in the coming months, Heritage Ranch has the potential to be game-changer for northwest Sherman and the surrounding communities," he added.

Work on the project is slated to begin some time in 2021, with full build out optimistically aniticipated in five to seven years.

"This is an imminent project. This isn't something that we are going to put up on the shelf and hope it goes," Johnson said. "We have many parties active in its time frame starting next year."