Sugar Land joins Placing Property to Paintings initiative


Sugar Land is pretty much built out, with little vacant land available for new development. That’s why you see developers working on adaptive reuse projects that redevelop sites no longer in use by the owner or previous occupant.

That includes Houston-based Puma Development’s planned mixed-use district on the historic Imperial Sugar site and Sugar Land-based Planned Community Developers’ future waterfront district on the former Fluor campus.

Those sites seem like obvious opportunities for redevelopment, but there are many more pieces of land that could have similar potential.

That’s why the city of Sugar Land has joined a program by the Chicago-based Government Finance Officers Association to help identify city-owned land that has potential to make the city money.

It’s called Putting Assets to Work, or PAW.

“Our goal in this project is, because the (Texas) Legislature (in 2019) put that 3.5% revenue cap on property taxes, we’re looking for alternate revenue streams,” said Jennifer Brown, special projects director for the city of Sugar Land. “So in our case, we’re looking to put that property to work for us either through a land lease and then generating property taxes from the development that happens on top of it or some other way.”

To complement the Imperial Sugar project, the city identified two properties it owns across U.S. Highway 90 Alternate from the site as top priorities for redevelopment: 123 Brooks St. and 200 Matlage Way.

“It could be (a situation) where the city just leases the land to a developer and the developer builds a building or facility, and then the city gets not only the lease revenues, but we then get the property taxes on whatever is built,” Brown said. “Right now, we’re getting nothing on that land.”

PAW map

Map appearing two homes close to the Imperial Sugar redevelopment website online

Courtesy metropolis of Sugar Land

Altogether, the asset mapping procedure recognized 4.7 sq. miles of city-owned land in Sugar Land. Just about part of that, 2.28 sq. miles, is parks, and nil.81 sq. miles is airport belongings. Water and utilities take in about 0.6 sq. miles, leaving 0.68 sq. miles — or 435 acres — for imaginable business use.

Sugar Land joined the PAW program in its 2nd 12 months, in conjunction with Austin; Evanston, Illinois; and Mount Vernon, New York.

It’s the second one Houston-area jurisdiction to take part after Harris County joined as a part of the inaugural workforce final 12 months. Others come with Atlanta; Cleveland; Lancaster, California; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Resilience Authority in Maryland.

Officers with Harris County, which applied a grant to take part in this system, haven’t begun to get a hold of suggestions for one of the most parcels that had been recognized on its PAW asset map and provide them to the Commissioners Court docket, stated Scott Spiegel, senior adviser to Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

Sugar Land paid $130,000 for the asset map and to sign up for the initiative.

“We love to suppose that we all know the place all of our land is that we personal,” Brown stated. “However there is at all times the (probability), with the way in which that we have now grown thru annexation, that possibly there used to be a (municipal application district) belongings that used to be owned that were given installed our title that we aren’t acutely aware of.”

Kyle Wedberg, senior supervisor of study on the GFOA, discussed Atlanta for instance from every other metropolis the place a chief downtown belongings didn’t display up at the metropolis’s asset map as it had transferred from the state to the town within the Nineteen Eighties for $24, smartly underneath the town’s mapping threshold of $25,000.

“There (are) incidents that we have now exposed in nearly each jurisdiction that has a kind of moments the place (they notice), ‘Oh, the varsity district gave this again or we gave this to the varsity district’ or then again the switch came about again within the day,” Wedberg stated. “And it simply is on nobody’s actual property or asset maps.”

Sugar Land PAW map

Asset map appearing metropolis of Sugar Land-owned land by means of class

Courtesy metropolis of Sugar Land



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