The Imperial Sugar site was the start of what would become Sugar Land and once played a vital role in our city’s economy. Imperial Sugar created jobs, and then homes and as it grew this economic engine was the corner stone of our community, our “company town”, for generations. Today, Sugar Land is still a “company town” serving as a major employment hub in the Houston region with over 70,000 jobs. And although the Imperial Sugar site is no longer operational, the resolve to preserve and honor the City’s history is as strong as ever.

The proposal

On December 1, 2022 the City and PUMA development announced PUMA’s interest in redeveloping the Char House and developing the surrounding area into a walkable, mixed-use project comprised of experiential retail, dynamic entertainment, unique food and beverage, multi-family and single-family residential, commercial office space, outdoor parks consistent with the city’s vision for “regional activity centers.”

Charhouse-2020_4
Charhouse-2020

Actions taken by the Sugar Land City Council

At the start, PUMA outlined several incentives and zoning approvals needed to make this project a reality.  To date, the City has approved a $5 million reimbursement agreement for pre-development and construction costs to redevelop the Imperial Char House and an office lease agreement for future space in the Char House to secure private financing for the Char House project.

In addition, the City Council has amended the Land Use Plan and approved a General Development Plan as the first step in a 2-step zoning process.  The Land Use Plan amendment increased the number of multi-family units necessary to make the project financially feasible and the General Development Plan approved a framework of land uses for the project. Previous plans, which included fewer multi-family units, were not financially feasible and therefore did not come to fruition.

Charhouse-2020_2
Charhouse-2020_3

Where we are now

Now, PUMA and the City have begun more detailed development plans and various technical studies like traffic, drainage, and school impact.  Once complete, these plans and studies will be presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council for the second step zoning approval and will include public hearings. This second step zoning approval is required before PUMA can start construction.

From the start, the City’s top priority has been the preservation and redevelopment of the Char House and for the first time we have a developer that shares that same priority.  Completion of the Char House will be prioritized in the first phase of the project. The actual timing and sequencing of the remaining project phases are unknown but will be controlled by the City Council through future zoning approvals and a development agreement.

City milestones

Image 1

Lease agreement between City and PUMA Development

Image 2

Approval of $5M Reimbursement Agreement for preservation & restoration of the Char House

Image 3

Approval of Historic Tax Credits

Image 3

Pre-submittal work for the Final Development Plan

Image 3

Approval of Development Agreement

Image 3

Final Development Plan to Planning & Zoning Commission

Image 3

Final Development Plan to City Council

Image 3

Approval of Final Development Plan #1

About multi-family units

The increased number of multi-family units is necessary to make the project financially feasible. Previous plans, which included fewer multi-family units, were not financially feasible and therefore did not come to fruition.

The units will be luxury and anticipated to attract single and/or dual income empty-nesters and young professionals, likely without children. This development is within a much larger, 201-acre Regional Activity Center. See the map below for a more complete explanation, but here's the breakdown of the entire Regional Activity Center:

  • Imperial Historic District (Proposed PUMA Project Area): A requested 660
  • Imperial Lofts: 254 units
  • Sueba Site: 274 units

IHD_Map


Five Regional Activity Centers (RACs), including Imperial, were approved by City Council in the 2018 Land Use Plan as opportunities to create walkable areas that have a mix of several land uses, including office space, entertainment, retail, hotels, civic areas, and residential housing. RACs are important to Sugar Land's future growth, creating spaces that complement each other and a strong tax base to sustain the City’s high-quality services and amenities.

Meetings & Information

The rezoning process has been initiated and is now underway. Below are the meeting dates where the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council have or will take action related to the zoning. Also included in the timeline below are other related action items being considered to support the redevelopment. All are subject to change and will be updated as the project progresses.

Date Meeting/Activity
December 1, 2022 Public Announcement
December 8, 2022 Town Hall [watch meeting video]
December 15, 2022 Town Hall [watch meeting video]
December 20, 2022 SLDC/CC Workshop– Financial Assistance [see meeting agenda | watch meeting video]
January 3, 2023 SLDC/CC Approval– Financial Assistance [see meeting agenda]
January 24, 2023  Joint Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council Workshop on rezoning and Land Use Plan Amendment [see meeting agenda | watch meeting video]
February 7, 2023 Char House Lease Agreement [see meeting agenda | watch meeting video]
February 14, 2023                     Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing, Consideration & Action on rezoning and Land Use Plan Amendment [see meeting agenda | watch meeting video]
February 21, 2023  City Council Public Hearing and 1st Reading on rezoning and Land Use Plan Amendment [see meeting agenda]
March 7, 2023  City Council Public Hearing and 2nd Reading on rezoning and Land Use Plan Amendment 
September 5, 2023 City Council Workshop - City staff, project consultants, and PUMA development [watch meeting video]

Next Steps

Opportunities for public input will available via community meetings and public hearings. You can also send us your feedback through our online form and sign up to receive regular email updates.

users

Attend a community town hall

Stay tuned for future community input opportunities as the project progresses.

message

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns you would like to share?

We want to hear from you - please reach out to us with your questions, comments or concerns.

Please note

Residents who desire to address the City Council, Board and/or Commission regarding matters on a specific agenda item must complete a "Request to Speak" form, in person, and give it to the City Secretary, or designee, prior to the beginning of the specific meeting.

inbox-alt

Sign up for email updates

Sign up to receive news and developments about this project. You may update and change these details at any time.