by Liza Winkler
December 3, 2014
With Magnolia officials moving forward to extend water and sewer lines along the FM 1488 and FM 149 corridor, Trey Halberdier, founder of Halberdier Holdings and Halberdier Real Estate, said his company has secured a new 16-acre land tract along FM 1488 near Spur 149 for possible future retail development.
“This is a very big project for a small community,” Magnolia City Administrator Paul Mendes said. “It’s a very bold step on the part of council to move the city forward like this. The development between FM 149 and Spur 149 will be a major impact on the area and open up the entire area up there.”
As part of the project, water and sewer lines will be extended an estimated 5 miles from the city limits and likely serve as the catalyst for a flurry of new developments and construction in the area, Mendes said.
A few future residential and retail developments in the FM 1488 and FM 149 area are expected to benefit from the city water and sewer utility lines, including a portion of the 1,138-acre Legacy Trust parcel and the recently annexed 306 Montgomery Limited 163-acre tract, he said. The city’s agreement with Legacy Trust includes providing water and sewer services to the first 600 homes constructed on the property, which is expected to feature an estimated 3,000 houses and retail space upon completion in the coming years, Mendes said.
“It’s just so much easier for anybody— whether residential or commercial—to hook onto our system rather than trying to find another water source,” Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana said. “As far as I understand, you can’t throw a large retail store on an aerobic water and sewer system. It’s an automatic attraction that our services are there.”
The city plans to apply for $5 million in bonds in early December to fully fund the utility extension project within 30 to 45 days, Mendes said. The bonds will be factored into the city’s annual budget and repaid through sales tax profits generated from the potential big-box grocer, home improvement store, movie theater and more than 15 other retail stores planned for the new land tract at FM 149, Kana said.
“With certificates of obligation, you are pledging property taxes, but our intention is to pay it with sales tax like we do everything else,” Kana said. “There are people that think every time you go for bonds you see an increase in property taxes. We lowered them three years in a row—we’re not going to start going in the other direction.”
Trey Halberdier, founder of Halberdier Holdings and Halberdier Real Estate, said his company has secured a new 16-acre land tract along FM 1488 near Spur 149 for possible future retail development.
“Magnolia is definitely becoming a hotbed of activity,” Halberdier said. “We believe in the general community, the city of Magnolia and structural projects coming to fruition—[growth is] in all directions.”
When the project begins, residents may encounter some roadway construction delays along Kelly Street depending on the final path selected for the water and sewer line extension, Mendes said.
“We’re looking forward to the project and getting things going for Magnolia,” Mendes said. “It’s just part of what’s on the horizon, and if it comes to pass, there’s going to be a very bright future for Magnolia.”