FREEPORT — While the city approved a resolution to create Municipal Utility District No. 1 for the 327-acre urban renewal zone, it denied the developer’s request to include a separate 13 acres of land outside that tract, Mayor Brooks Bass said.
Council addressed the issue during a special meeting Monday and ultimately decided to create the MUD using its own terms, Bass said. Now, it will be up to the Texas Commission on Environ-mental Quality to approve the municipal district, he said.
The property was purchased in 2013 for $1.2 million by Skymark Development President Clinton Wong. He planned on creating an industrial park with the hundreds of acres, with a small area reserved for residential development.
Creating a municipal utility district will allow the developer to fund the project through bonds paid for by a MUD tax levied on home or business owners on the property.
“The next steps are to work on the utility agreement that we started negotiating last year, and then the zoning for the property,” City Manager Tim Kelty said. “It’ll go through a series of public hearings for the planning committee and city council, then the rest will be up to Mr. Wong. He has a number of investors interested in the site.”
The additional 13 acres of land on Second Street near Brazosport High School owned by Wong will not be included in the MUD, Kelty said.
“Those 13 acres have been platted and are ready to go,” Kelty said. We want people like Mr. Wong to come into the city and be successful. At the same time it has to be beneficial to city. And I think we made a mutually beneficial decision.”
After mostly sitting idle in the seven years since Wong bought the property, the site should now develop pretty rapidly once everything else is resolved, Kelty said.
“Freeport has always been for progress in the city, both residential as well as new businesses,” Bass said. “City council’s approval of our resolution for the property owned by Mr. Wong should be good for the city and his plans for the property.”
Wong is planning on developing the site into an industrial business park, but might still be considering some residential properties, Bass said.