Developers of a proposed multi-million dollar outlet mall and the city of Robstown have reached a tentative agreement on an infrastructure incentives package.
City council members emerged May 21 from a near two-hour long executive session to approve a preliminary $14 million infrastructure financing agreement with San Antonio-based developer Dolphin Ventures I LLC.
City Councilwoman Anissa Zilka made the motion to approve the preliminary agreement and Councilwoman Sybil Tipton seconded.
The city will assist the developer with putting the necessary infrastructure, such as drainage, sewage and other on-site work, in place.
Robstown Utilities superintendent Roy Gutierrez said last week that the improvements were originally estimated to cost about $14 million, but that number ended up increasing to well over $16 million.
"They came back with this larger number and we said, 'No, we have to stick with ($14 million),'" Gutierrez said. As a result, developers may be responsible for any costs over $14 million.
There are also about $675,000 in off-site improvements that must be made as well, such as the installation of left-turn lanes on Terry Shamsie Boulevard and the installation of a new on-ramp for Highway 77. But Gutierrez said that work will have to be paid for by developers as well.
The 315,000-square-foot outlet mall, called The Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay, will sit on about 50 acres of land adjacent to the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. The $60 million mall is expected to bring about 1,000 jobs to the area, while also pumping millions of dollars in property and sales tax revenue into the city and school district.
Developers have previously stated that they hope the mall will be open by fall 2009.
Nueces County Commissioners approved a 30-day extension for the developers to complete a feasibility study. The deadline is now set for December, instead of November.
Negotiations will continue towards an Aug. 1 deadline to execute a final infrastructure finance agreement, followed by a goal of adopting an ordinance on all agreements by Aug. 15.
City Secretary Paula Wakefield said last week that discussions should proceed much more smoothly now that a tentative deal is in place.
"I think both parties have amicably settled the issues they brought to the table," Wakefield said.