The Killeen City Council voted Tuesday to sell a 15-acre property on the western boundary of Skylark Field to the Killeen Economic Development Corporation.
Selling the $150,000 property will allow KEDC — a city-funded economic agency — to negotiate directly with the developers of La Cascata, a major retail center planned for the site for the past five years.
The proposed 210-acre residential and retail development is the largest contiguous undeveloped real estate tract in the city, according to the website of the developer, the Retail Connection.
Sixty-four acres are planned for retail use.
Austin-based developer Gary Davis of First Advisors Inc. said he was not able to offer information on specific retailers planned for La Cascata.
“The development is continuing to pursue a plan of development, and we anticipate announcements through the remainder of the year,” Davis said.
Selling the property to KEDC will allow the city to sell the property on shorter notice, City Attorney Kathy Davis said.
“By transferring the property to KEDC, it gives them the ability to transfer the property when the time is right for the developer,” Davis said.
If the property remains under the city’s ownership, it would take a council vote to sell the property, which may be too late, she said.
Mayor Dan Corbin said the area, when fully developed, will be an important commercial center for the city. “It’s going to increase our sales tax revenue, our property tax revenues and improve the quality of life because of better shopping opportunities for residents,” he said.
The property is bound on the south and west by Farm-to-Market 2410, locally known as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
FM 2410 is set to expand by two lanes in the state-funded U.S. Highway 190 widening project. The U.S. 190-Rosewood Overpass will open traffic from South Killeen to the planned shopping center.
Both projects, currently under construction, are estimated to be complete by fall 2015.
Corbin said the road projects will greatly increase La Cascata’s economic viability.
“It is really a large piece of property that is strategically located,” he said.
“When you get Rosewood up to 2410, it will allow not only residents in the north part of the city but also the south part of the city to shop there.”