Economic Development San Marcos has made a proposal to the city council concerning redevelopment of the now-desolate Springtown Center. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Economic Development San Marcos (EDSM), the city’s economic development board, is forwarding a new proposal to the city council regarding incentives for the redevelopment of Springtown Center.
The new proposal calls for the city to lend the Springtown developers, Lamy-Springfield Mall, Ltd., $3.9 million over a six-year term. The developers would make no payments while interest accrues in the first two years. During the next four years, the developer makes quarterly payments on the interest only.
From 2011 through 2016, the center would receive back 50 percent of the sales taxes it generates beyond its present levels, which are next to nothing, given the lack of tenants. That money would defray the cost of the developer’s interest payments.
EDSM did not indicate approval or denial of the terms to the San Marcos City Council, which will take up the matter next Tuesday night. EDSM met for more than two hours in executive session Thursday before announcing the proposal in open session.
Last Tuesday, after meeting in executive session for 90 minutes, the council unanimously turned back economic development incentives for Springtown Center. EDSM had made a recommendation about a $5 million interest-free loan to be paid within 23 years. EDSM did not indicate if it recommended approval or denial. But the council also turned back other proposals that emerged between the EDSM June 30 meeting and the council’s July 7 meeting.
After Thursday’s meeting, EDSM Director Amy Madison said staff was directed to draft a letter to council with the boards’ recommendation.
The board’s open session provided the specifics of the new proposal which were read aloud by EDSM Chairman Don Nash. The board concluded the open session part of the meeting in a brisk ten minutes and declined to call the final item on the agenda, entitled, “Question and answer session with press and public.”
During the citizens comment period, Sylvan Learning Center Director Theresa Knight spoke on behalf of the redevelopment, citing “selfish reasons” and an “overall good for the community.” Sylvan Learning Center is located at Springtown Center.
“I do really support the redevelopment of the Springtown Center,” Knight said.
A presentation from the developers on the redevelopment of the Springtown Center is scheduled for next Tuesday’s city council meeting. The agenda calls for council to take into “discussion, consideration and possible approval” the incentives for the redevelopment. along with authorization for staff to finalize contract negotiations.
The developers appeared relieved to hear the development board’s new proposal and personally thanked Mayor Susan Narvaiz quietly “for all (her) hard work,” after Thursday’s meeting.
Replied Narvaiz, “You’re welcome.”
After Thursday’s meeting, Narvaiz and the two developers present walked out of City Hall engaged in conversation.Email | Print