Development

Gambit Social House, Inc. will fill the land seen here where Cedar Knob Road intersects with FM 2410.

The Harker Heights Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a 380 Economic Development Incentive Agreement with Gambit Social House, Inc., which will construct and operate an entertainment venue for the city along FM 2410.

The project improvements that Gambit agrees to build will be in the area where Cedar Knob Road ends then connects to FM 2410 and will be completed on or before March 31, 2022, as stated in the agreement.

This family entertainment center type of project will include a 12,000-square foot entertainment venue that will house a beer taproom, restaurant, nine-hole miniature golf course that uses Top Golf technology; eight escape rooms and a 400-square foot event space.

Gambit has also agreed to include three outside axe throwing lanes, beach volleyball facilities, other games and seating areas on the premises.

City Manager David Mitchell said, “This was the kind of project that surfaced during our “Exploring New Heights” research conducted several years ago and it was number one as to what families wanted.

“Secondly, we don’t have anything like this so it could easily become regional and bring in people from other parts of the county.”

Mitchell added, “The cumulative amount of grant payments to be made under this agreement will not exceed $150,299. Once the cumulative amount of economic development grants (real property economic development grants plus sales related economic development grants) equals the $150,299, the city will have no further obligation to pay grants under the agreement and the agreement will end,” according to Mitchell.

What the Council did with this 380 is performance based. The City is not giving the developer any money upfront. Any monies will be rebated back to them that they produce.

“In other words, right now the property value is whatever the dirt is worth,” Mitchell said. “Gambit will build a structure on it, so it’s going to increase the value of that property. The council agreed to rebate half of the increase of the taxes that come into the city over a period of five years as well as half of the sales tax.

“That means that citizens and the city gets half of the property tax they produce as well as half of the sales tax during that period up to the $150,299,” said Mitchell.

The city used 380 agreements to lure Market Heights shopping center and Seton Medical Center to Harker Heights.

Mitchell, said, “It’s important to repeat again that this is rebate and performance driven. The city is not handing out dollars from the treasury to entice a business to come into town. These are dollars that will be produced by the business and we will rebate a portion of what they generate to lure them to this spot.”

In consideration for the economic development grants provided for in this agreement, Gambit agrees to make a minimum investment of $2 million in the project improvements which will add $2 million of appraised value (over the 2021 appraised value of the premises) for ad valorem property tax purposes, as certified by the Bell County Appraisal District, to the City of Harker Heights tax rolls beginning in the tax year 2022.

Gambit further agrees to maintain taxable property of a total value of at least $2 million on the premises for each of the five years through 2026.

So-called 380 agreements are authorized by the state and allow cities to establish and provide for the administration of one or more programs for making grants or loans of public money to promote economic development.

Mitchell told the Herald, “It’s called 380 for no other reason than it’s found in Chapter 380 of the Local Government Code.

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