CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — Burnet Economic Development Corp. officials are considering the purchase of a 21-acre tract to coax potential national retail chains and other commercial ventures to the community.
“What we’ve seen over the last several years is a significant level of interest from retailers and other businesses in looking at one- to three-acre tracts,” said City Manager and Burnet EDC Executive Director David Vaughn. “The problem is, by the time a retailer comes in and has to deal with permitting, water quantity and water-quality issues … we found that to be a hurdle that is really inhibiting our ability to attract businesses.”
Officials have offered $572,000 for the property, owned by the Frank Fickett estate.
The property is located across from the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office within the eastern edge of the city limits.
“We’re looking at developing it into a commercial lot with a turn-key lot where a developer or a builder could come in and simply buy a lot, take off and go and not have to worry about all the regulatory issues someone else has to deal with,” Vaughn said. “We feel very strongly that it’s one of the best developable tracts in town.”
During the aquisition phase, developers have expressed interest in the site.
“We have three different parties that we’re talking to right now,” Vaughn said. “I can’t disclose who those parties are, but it has already shown a great deal of promise early on.
“The development of it will depend on the needs of the potential buyer,” he added.
Utilities are available on the land; however, the Burnet EDC has plans to mitigate any water-quality or detention issues as well as extend city roadways into the heart of the tract before making deals with potential commercial developers, Vaughn said.
Officials expect to close on the property within the next 30 days.