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  • Friday, September 22, 2017
    Developers pitch shopping center proposal to council

    Brad Combs, director of real estate for the Hutton Co., told Brenham City Council members Thursday that Hutton is looking to develop property on Highway 36 South near Salem Road.

    Called Woodridge Crossing, Combs said stores in the shopping center would range in size from 3,000 square-feet to 55,000 square-feet and would include “some well-known retail names.”

    He projected it would provide 200 permanent jobs when completed and would be a catalyst for other retailers looking at locating here.

    “It puts Brenham on the map from a major retailer standpoint,” Combs told council members.

    He declined to identify potential leasees.

    The city is being asked for financial incentives for the proposed shopping center. Council members discussed those in an executive session following Combs’ presentation, but City Manager Terry Roberts said details are still being worked out and no action would be taken.

    Combs said Hutton has completed more than 900 development projects in 37 states, including in Hempstead and Bastrop.

    The project here has a projected trade area of 85,000 people, which Combs said is within a “minimum threshold” of 75,000-100,000 people.

    In smaller markets, he said, developers must offer lower occupancy costs that what can be charged in larger cities, creating what he called “a gap to be filled for us to achieve modest returns,” referring to a need for economic incentives.

    Combs called for an agreement “to ensure the success of Woodridge Crossing.”

    The city, he said, would see a boost in its tax base that would also benefit other governmental entities like the Brenham school district. It would also help the city’s sales tax revenues, Combs added.

    “Right now, that property is generating zero sales taxes,” he told the council.

    Combs said Hutton’s investment would total $21 million. The company hopes to have the shopping center ready by the fall of 2019.

    Source: Brenham Banner Press