Show All Answers
The Historic District is one of the top priorities of our City Council so this is a joint effort between the City and a private developer. As such, the City has initiated rezoning on the property in order to provide the initial zoning framework for the redevelopment to take place.
The Historic District is one of the top priorities of our City Council and extremely important to our residents and our history. Projects like this are expensive and complex. The City and developer will be maximizing the use of a variety of financial tools, including the Sugar Land Development Corporation, funded by a quarter cent sales tax restricted for economic development purposes, state historical tax credits, General Fund, and private financing to meet the vision for the site.
The City has tried for many years to create a working relationship with the private owner of the Imperial site. There is currently a new interested party and developer that has approached the City to jointly develop and preserve the Char House.
Five Regional Activity Centers (RACs), including Imperial, were approved by City Council in the 2018 Land Use Plan as a way 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 growth and ensuring that we have spaces that complement each other and ensure higher property values and tax revenues for the City.
The revised Land Use Plan policy document will provide for the ability to have up to 1,200 units of multi-family housing within the overall 201-acre Imperial Regional Activity Center. These 1,200 units includes existing multi-family housing as well as proposed and future housing throughout the entirety of the RAC.
The proposed Imperial Historic District GDP (General Development Plan) zoning ordinance would allow 660 additional multi-family units in the 40-acre PUMA Development project area in and around the Char House. These units are in addition to the 254 existing Imperial Lofts and the previously approved 274 units within the Sueba-owned property. All of these are part of the overall 1,200 units in the revised Land Use Plan for the Imperial RAC.
It’s important to remember that the Land Use Plan is policy guidance and not a regulatory document. It is a document that needs to be fluid enough to respond to changes in the market. Additionally, an amendment to the Land Use Plan is a part of Council’s consideration.
Any proposed development within Sugar Land goes through a full Traffic Impact Analysis (we call them TIA’s). All TIA’s are reviewed by City traffic and engineering staff and help us identify the effect of the proposed development on the City’s transportation services including capacity, level of service, and safety. At this point in the project, a TIA has not been completed however we anticipate substantial traffic related modifications required for the existing surrounding roads.
The target market for the proposed multi-family units are single income – no kids, double income – no kids, and empty nesters. Sugar Land is at a crossroads in its life cycle and we need to reimagine growth. We cannot continue to do things the way we did before and expect to be financially sustainable over time, so we have some choices to make. The 2018 Land Use Plan identified five (5) locations within the City that accommodate the growth and density we need to grow our population which also includes providing a diversification of housing. To attract more people, we have to offer a diversity of housing options so that younger generations can afford to live here and older generations can age in place and easily access the amenities they need and desire.
The Sugar Land Heritage Museum and the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center are aware of the details of this project and are being updated as it progresses. Both the Heritage Museum and the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center were originally placed in that location as part of the previously proposed project, Imperial Market. Both projects need people within proximity to thrive and be successful long-term so both would benefit from being in a mixed-use, walkable development.
The developer has been clear on the number of multifamily units needed to ensure financial sustainability of the project. If the developer does not receive approval for the entitlements, then the project will not move forward. Redevelopment is complex and will require tradeoffs. This tradeoff being more multifamily with the gain for the community being preservation of the Char House.