By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - The Shops at Five Hills is getting closer to becoming a reality as the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation is about to submit the plat for the commercial development to the city.

"This plan may be done and redone several times along the way ... but it will help determine where stores are going to go," CCEDC Executive Director Polo Enriquez said Friday.

The organization has worked on the roughly 128-acre retail development, in which 34 Copperas Cove Bulldawg football stadiums could fit, for more than a year. Last week, the board approved the submission of the plat.

"We are asking the city to move forward with this," Enriquez said. "It is not the developers, but us."

The organization is handling the submission because it owns the land. The site's potential developers, C-Cove Partners, designed the plat and plans to purchase the site.

"The intent of all of this process is when the developers do purchase the property, they will have nothing in front of them that would prevent them from doing what they want with the land," Enriquez said.

The organization's board also took actions that would allow the CCEDC to borrow $1.5 million for future capital improvement projects and land swap deals. The funds could contribute to construction or infrastructure improvements around the Shops of Five Hills, improvements to Old Copperas Cove Road and other projects.

The organization's revenue source is a percentage of the sales tax collected in the city. Its proposed 2011-12 budget projects revenue at about $1 million for the year and it currently has a fund balance of about $2.6 million.

To complete the upcoming projects, Enriquez said it is in the organization's interest to look at a loan. "It is more prudent for us to look at borrowing some of that money than it is to use all of it from our reserves."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.

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