Developers are seeking $19.2 million in tax increment funding from the City of Waco to support their plans to build housing, as well as retail and office space, on the former site of Floyd Casey Stadium.
Cody Turner, Director of Development for Turner Brothers Real Estate, formerly known as Turner Behringer, filed the application for funding with the new 4 Tax Increase Reinvestment Zone. The Zone Board of Directors will vote on the request Friday. Turner Brothers proposed to build 26 brownstones, 72 townhouses, 47 cottages, 80 small single-family homes, and 15 large single-family homes on 72 acres of the 105-acre site. The site will also have a park and some commercial spaces.
The City of Waco selected Turner Behringer in 2020 to develop the former city-owned stadium site. The city acquired the property in a land swap with Baylor University after Baylor built McLane Stadium and in 2016 demolished Floyd Casey, its longtime football stadium.
A tax increase zone or reinvestment zone sets aside a portion of property taxes that come from new developments within its boundaries, and these revenues can only be used within the boundaries. In the case of the downtown Waco TIF area, money is often given as an incentive to private developers, covering the cost of public improvements they would normally have to pay to complete their development. It was also used on public projects, including the construction of a square on Bridge Street.
People also read…
The new area expands to include large swaths of the city and received city council approval last year. The new area’s board of directors will vote Friday on whether to recommend the requested grant for Floyd Casey’s development. The board will meet at noon in the third floor conference room of Waco City Hall. The Waco City Council has the final say on how the area’s money is spent.
A draft agenda for Friday’s meeting does not give an estimated cost for the project. However, city staff expect the Floyd Casey development to create an assessed value of $100 million, Waco Economic Development Director Kent George said.
As the council prepares to meet the funding request, it is unclear how much revenue the new area will have to work with.
Preliminary tax assessments give the city an idea of how much assessed value will increase this year, but those numbers could change, George said.
“We don’t even know yet because everything is still new and things are still being protested,” George said. “I hold on to certainties in life, and I don’t like it when things are fluid like that, but unfortunately it is.”
TIF zones derive a portion of taxes only from the taxable value added to the zone after the year of its creation. In the case of Zone 4, that was $616 million in 2021. The business that added the most assessed value to the zone this year was The Enclave Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, according to the data. from Joe Don Bobbitt, chief assessor of the McLennan County Assessment District.
MCC has agreed to contribute 50% of its new area tax revenue above baseline, while the City of Waco and McLennan County have both agreed to contribute 70% of property value taxes in the area above that benchmark of $616 million.
However, McLennan County commissioners have yet to pass the required ordinance. County Administrator Dustin Chapman said the item will be on the agenda for an upcoming commissioners’ court.
The TIRZ began in 2021 and will exist until 2051. The newer area includes a large swath of Waco, including the Floyd Casey site, the former site of the now-demolished Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, and commercial corridors along La Salle Avenue, Franklin Avenue, East Waco Drive, Lake Shore Drive and Highway 6.