City, county officials approve deal to attract tenants to nearly-vacant Springtown Shopping Center

Special to the Star
A sign on the doors of the Spirit Halloween store in the Springtown Shopping Center Sept. 16 announces the upcoming store opening.

New investors are developing the nearly vacant Springtown Shopping Center with the aid of a tax rebate deal proposed by city officials. 

When Endeavor Real Estate Group purchased the Springtown Center located on IH-35 and Springtown Way in November, only a few locales of the 200,000-square-foot plaza were occupied. Endeavor plans to redevelop the center, investing as much as $25.7 million into it, said Cody Buck, principal of Endeavor Real Estate Group. 

New additions to the Springtown Center include Spirit Halloween, Gold’s Gym and The Spot, an entertainment venue, Buck said.

Gold’s Gym and The Spot will occupy the former location Target abandoned when they moved to the Stonecreek Crossing Center in March 2009. Gold’s Gym will take up 42,000 square feet, while The Spot will take up 34,000 square feet. Along with the already-established locales, the two tenants will make the center half-occupied.

City and county officials agreed to rebate sales and property taxes from Springtown over a 10-year period. For the first two years of the agreement 100 percent of any property taxes and 90 percent of any sales taxes generated by the center will be rebated.

Both figures will drop to 80 percent for the third and fourth year, and decline by 20 percent every following year until they reach 20 percent in the final two years of the agreement, according to the article.

Scott Gregson, Place 5 city council candidate said reenergizing the center will attract more tax dollars. However, he is opposed to rebating Springtown’s sales and property taxes.

“We have other needs as a city and I want to make certain that as we give away our sales and property tax dollars we continue to fund the things we must have like public safety and EMS,” Gregson said.

Funding for EMS comes from general city revenue, which is supplemented by sales and property taxes, he said. Instead of the money being used for needed services, tax rebates will be pumped back into developing Springtown, he said.

Gregson said $6 million in economic incentives was offered to the developers of the Stonecreek Crossing Center back when the project was proposed.

“We’re a growing city with growing needs and because of that we have a changing landscape with respect to where our money is coming from,” Gregson said.

His opponent Frank T. Arredondo, said the tax rebates will perpetuate economic development within by pumping dollars back into the shopping center.

“We’re not getting any (taxes) now as it is,” Arredondo said. “We’re not getting the value that we should be getting from it, because it’s vacant.”

He said any property taxes collected are going to be something the city didn’t have anyways.

“The mere presence of things happening in the part of town is a benefit to the community,” Arredondo said.

Shane Scott, incumbent candidate for Place 6, agrees with Arredondo regarding the tax rebate agreement.

“We need Springtown developed,” Scott said. “It’s the gateway to our city, so if it’s just empty it makes our city look rundown.”

The agreement allows investors to feel confident they’re building something that’s backed by city and county officials, Scott said.

“I’d like to see it bustling with activity,” Arredondo said. “It’s going to be good because there’ll be not only activity but there’ll be revenue coming in—property taxes, sales taxes and the additional consumption within the surrounding area.”

Representatives from Endeavor Real Estate Group are very excited about the direction and momentum the center will have, Buck said.

“Both tenants are large traffic drivers and will be bringing customers into the project on a regular basis,” Buck said.

The real estate group is continuing to attract other business to revive the nearly vacant shopping center, Buck said.

“We continue to market the project to the best-in-class operators and look forward to continued success while also understanding that projects like this take time,” Buck said.

Follow Lesly De Leon Chavez on Twitter @leslyd28.