BAKER KATZ SHOPPING CENTER PERFORMING GOOD, SAYS BRENHAM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Brenham | Washington County Director of Economic Development Susan Cates presents a report to Brenham City Council on Thursday on the performance of the Baker Katz Mall.

The Baker Katz shopping center in Brenham has generated strong sales tax revenue since opening its first stores this year, but is lagging behind when it comes to opening new stores.

That was the report presented to members of Brenham City Council today (Thursday), as they took action on matters relating to the Hwy 290 and Chappell Hill Street shopping centre.

Brenham | Washington County Economic Development Director Susan Cates said in reviewing the stores that opened, the mall performed at or slightly above Baker Katz’s expectations, a boon to the local economy.

Pupils and teachers from First Baptist Church School were present at Brenham City Council’s meeting on Thursday, as the council issued a proclamation recognizing the 2022-23 school year as the school’s 45th anniversary.

At the same time, Cates said fewer stores came to the center as planned.

Adam’s Angels Ministry board members Alesia Whaley (centre) and Lance Weiss (right) hold a proclamation read by Brenham City Council on Thursday declaring September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Cates said there are two other projects at the center that are “in the works.” Kenneth Katz of Baker Katz confirmed to KWHI that Great Clips and James Avery are set to come to the center, along with Buff City Soap.

Items approved by council include a resolution to accept improvements to public infrastructure on Chappell Hill Street, including widening the road and adding two turning lanes, one on either side of the street. It also agreed to reimburse Baker Katz for the cost of road improvements and the cost of improving the facades of the mall’s landmark buildings, as stipulated in the Chapter 380 agreement between the city and the developer.

Stephanie Kinghorn (right) of the Daughters of the American Revolution holds a proclamation read by Brenham City Council on Thursday which declares September 17-23 Constitution Week.

The agreement provides the reimbursement amount for road improvements up to $520,000, but the total expenditure for the widening project is $145,620. Any difference in the cost of the road infrastructure will be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing and installing the main construction materials for the landmark buildings.

The difference of $374,379 cannot be paid using bond certificates since the road improvement work is paid for with and will instead come from the City’s general fund. That being the case, the city will reduce sales tax rebate payments, which are due to begin December 1, 2023 for mall retailer sales tax receipts, by $374,379 until this amount is satisfied.

Also at today’s meeting, Council:

  • Held an executive session to consult with counsel regarding Aviators Plus, LLC v. City of Brenham; Case No. 37896; 21st Judicial District Court, Washington County. The executive session discussion also focused on the lease between the City and County of Washington regarding the 911 Communications Facility at 301 North Baylor Street.
  • Unanimously approved a Chapter 380 agreement between the city and Brenham CFA Series, LLC for a Chick-fil-A at Brenham. The deal would provide the developer with $250,000 in incentives, including $150,000 from the Brenham Community Development Corporation, $50,000 from the city, and $50,000 from Washington County.
  • Approved a professional services agreement between the city and Strand Associates, Inc. for on-call engineering services for fiscal year 2022-23 for an amount not to exceed $120,000.
  • Approval of Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) grant agreement with TxDOT for fiscal year 2023.
  • Took no action regarding the purchase of audio visual equipment for the Brenham Police Department from Avinext for an amount not to exceed $67,334.

Click here to view Thursday’s meeting agenda.

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