Township of Woodlands Reaches Agreement to Expand The Woodlands Shopping Center

THE WOODLANDS, TX — The Boards of Directors of The Woodlands Township and The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone (EDZ) have each approved entering into an economic development agreement with The Woodlands Mall Associates, LLC, for the redevelopment of part of The Woodlands Mall. The agreement was reached at a special joint meeting of the township and EDZ, held on November 16, 2022.

The proposed redevelopment project would create new restaurants, retail spaces, hospitality venues and multi-level parking, all located on the south side of the Woodlands Mall area.

After several months of discussions, the Township Council and the EDZ Council voted to modify the existing project and EDZ financing plans to accommodate the redevelopment project, contributing economic development funds from 1% retail sales tax and 1% hotel occupancy tax. new income generated by the project.

“At a time when malls are struggling, we appreciate the owners of Woodlands Mall who want to continue to improve its viability as a great place for our residents and visitors,” said the chairman of the board of directors of the Township, Gordy Bunch. “This is a long-term revitalization plan for our city. Total net project revenues for the Township of Woodlands over a 30-year period could range from $131.3 million to $197.7 million if this development proceeds. This would provide an average of up to $6,590,000 in additional sales and hotel tax revenue per year that could be used to reduce property taxes for residents and businesses, while incurring $0.00 in debt or capital commitments from the Township of Woodlands. This is a win-win scenario for all parties, ensuring our community remains the #1 place to visit, work, play and pray for decades to come.

More information can be found in this presentation.

“Woodlands Mall has been an important economic engine for the community for nearly 30 years, and we are grateful for the Township’s support and partnership. This agreement represents an important step in allowing us to advance our preliminary plans towards a vision that will allow us to take our shopping center to new levels,” said Jim Varsamis, senior vice president of development at Brookfield Properties.

The Township’s commitment does not impact existing sales tax or hotel tax revenues throughout The Woodlands, as revenues to fund the redevelopment project will come solely from new sales taxes and hotel tax revenue generated in the area of ​​the proposed new construction. Funding from the Township of Woodlands and the EDZ would only be realized if the project was built. There is no upfront money provided for in the terms of the deal.

The Woodlands Mall said the development will be carried out using a two-phase approach. Phase I includes a minimum of 45,000 square feet of new commercial space, a new hotel and a parking garage with at least 1,200 spaces. Phase II includes a minimum of 35,000 square feet of new commercial space and a second hotel.

“We are delighted that this project includes the addition of new hotel rooms to be able to create the capacity to serve larger convention groups,” said Bruce Rieser, President of Visit The Woodlands, the organization that promotes The Woodlands. for conventions and leisure travel. “In addition, the proposed project also includes specialty retail types and great dining experiences, all of which generate a positive sales tax that helps maintain a low property tax rate for our residents.”

Economic Development Zones have been an important economic development tool over the years with the Township of Woodlands and its predecessor, the Downtown Improvement District (TCID). Other projects included:

• Economic Development Zone 1 – expansion of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion from 10,000 to 13,000 when it was created in 2000. This $1,350,000 project was paid off in 2011.

• Economic Development Zone 2 – development of Market Street Parking Garage and Town Green Park in 2002. This $10,600,000 project will be paid off in 2035.

• Economic Development Zone 3 – Woodlands Mall exterior expansion development in 2003. This $7,500,000 project will be paid off in 2034.

• Economic Development Zone 4 – development of Woodlands Fire Emergency Training Center and Woodlands Fire Station No. 6 in College Park.

Each of Economic Development Zones 1 through 4 were consolidated into the Township’s EDZ in 2007, which continues to perform the functions of those previous zones and will continue to help achieve the economic development goals of Woodlands Township through this new mall redevelopment project.

Additionally, TCID entered into a public-private partnership with The Woodlands Land Development Company, the predecessor of The Howard Hughes Corporation, to develop and construct the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center. The Convention Center portion of the development is now owned by the Township of Woodlands. The Palais des Congrès will be sold in 2028.

Members of the public were able to address Council at the start of the meeting.

Woodlands Township Council meetings can be followed in person, watched live online or viewed later via recording on www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/meetingvideos. The agenda and attachments can be viewed at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/991/Agendas-Minutes-and-More.

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