Rumors of a Walmart Supercenter moving in where the Texas Thunder Speedway once stood were confirmed this week after the Killeen City Council unanimously approved a Houston-based developer’s request to rezone the property.
The rezoning called for about 62 acres at the southwest corner of Stan Schlueter Loop and Bunny Trail to accommodate the retail giant, other commercial retailers and restaurants.
The development, which was dubbed the Killeen Town Center, will house 431,486 square feet of developed retail space, including a Walmart Supercenter, five junior anchors — retail space typically less than 40,000 square feet — and six out parcels.
Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman, said the city and representatives from the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce began negotiations with Northwest Tidwell LTD. earlier this year regarding the multimillion-dollar development.
Shine said the rezoning at Tuesday night’s council meeting allows retailers and restaurants. She said apartments are part of the plan, but the rezoning for that hasn’t been approved.
According to city documents, the developer originally requested 21 acres be zoned multifamily apartment residential but later withdrew that request.
Once the development is complete and spaces are occupied, taxable sales are expected to exceed $125 million annually. The development also is predicted to create about 777 direct jobs in its first five years.
According to city documents, Northwest Tidwell LTD agreed to several requirements upon the council’s approval.
The developer agreed to a minimum of a $48 million capital investment to create a minimum of 500 new full-time jobs in its first year and maintain that many jobs throughout the terms of the agreement. The agreement also states the development will generate a minimum of $1 million in sales tax revenue annually.
In exchange for the city’s requirements, the developer requested several incentives, which Shine said are in negotiations and have not been finalized.
The developer wants the city to issue an annual sales tax rebate of 1 percent, which the city would collect until $2 million has been rebated.
According to city documents, the rebate would be structured as $250,000 annual payments for no more than eight years.
The developer requested the extension of a sewer line to the development and the installation of a traffic signal at Stan Schlueter Loop and Bunny Trail. The Killeen Economic Development Corporation agreed to fund both.