Marble Falls EDC looks to buy land, spur growth downtown

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF 

The Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. approved making a request to city council to purchase lots adjacent to the historic district for a potential private-public partnership development project. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

The Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. approved making a request to city council to purchase lots adjacent to the historic district for a potential private-public partnership development project. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

MARBLE FALLS — Economic Development Corp. officials are eyeing a tract of land between historic downtown Main Street and Lakeside Park for potential development such as a performing arts center, a hotel and conference center or a retail, eatery and lodging complex.

“We see this as a community-wide benefit. If we can create open-space opportunities, meeting space opportunities, there will be business development involved, additional sales tax generated, we have an added amenity for people who live here,” EDC executive director Christian Fletcher said. “We see it as taking the best components of all the projects we’re working on and boiling them down into one area, one set of parameters for development in a very key area of Marble Falls.”

Six houses and five mobile homes currently sit on the land bordered by Yett Street, south Main Street and Avenue H. The Economic Development Corp. on April 2 approved taking steps for about $4 million in sales-tax bonds to purchase the land from property owners.

“We have agreed to terms with seven of the eight property owners in that area,” Fletcher said. “We’re paying better than fair-market value for that property in that area.”

Officials hosted a public hearing and posted a public notice, launching a 60-day window prior to the issuing of bonds.

During that time period, Marble Falls City Council will review the recommendation by EDC.

“The downtown master plan calls for amenities such as hotel and conference center, performance arts center, entertainment venues and things of that nature,” Fletcher said. “The EDC wanted to be proactive in trying to spur some development in that area that would help connect the historic Main Street area in that district to Lake Marble Falls to, in essence, connect two of our greatest assets in the community.”

EDC plans include a public-private partnership to develop the tract once crews clear the structures.

“If approved by council, EDC could close on the property by mid-June,” Fletcher said.

“That process will begin more in earnest after our bond process goes through in the 60-day window.”

connie@thepicayune.com

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