A public meeting to discuss a draft plan for 95 acres near University Boulevard and U.S. Highway 59 is scheduled for Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m., at the University Branch Library, 14010 University Blvd.
The masterplan will show draft land-use concepts on property owned by the city of Sugar Land and Newland Communities. Collectively known as Telfair-Tract 5, the public is encouraged to attend the meeting and provide input.
City staff and Newland Communities have been working since 2015 to develop a cohesive plan between the two parcels that encourages walkability, shared parking and the development of plazas for the community to enjoy and takes into consideration public input received on previous proposals.
The draft plan, which will be made available publicly at the meeting, seeks to provide an office-and entertainment-centric development that protects the city’s investment in the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land by surrounding the property with a mixed-use destination activity center that is both compatible with the nearby single-family residential development and an economic generator. As such, the proposed masterplan contemplates significant development of Class A office, two hotels – including a hotel/conference center – additional retail/entertainment uses and medical uses.
The masterplan also includes a 250-unit senior independent living facility, which is not anticipated to have any impact on enrollments in local school districts. Consistent with the previous commitment by Newland Communities, no standard multi-family units are proposed on the site.
The plan also allows the city to reserve property for the location of future economic development opportunities – including a community arts venue that was identified in the citizen-led 2007 Visioning Task Force. While the community arts venue will need more refinement in future years, the masterplan includes three of the five destination venues identified by the Task Force -– the performing arts center, a hotel-conference center and a community arts venue.
A focus on tourism and commercial sources to reduce the property tax burden on homeowners has been a key to maintaining one of the state’s lowest property tax rates while funding the high level of services that residents expect.
The goal of the meeting is to allow Newland Communities to receive feedback prior to moving forward with a formal planned development zoning application for the property in 2018. That application will also require multiple meetings from the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council that will include additional opportunities for public input.
For more information about the upcoming public meeting, contact the Office of Economic Development at 281-275-2229 or Sugar Land Planning Department at 281-275-2218.