A Dallas-based developer is trying to nail down approval of a proposed development in McKinney that would bring more than 10,000 new homes and roughly $2 billion in taxable value to the Collin County city.
Republic Property Group presented a proposal in December to McKinney City Council for Honey Creek, a property west of Highway 75 and next to the future U.S. Route 380 bypass. Along with the proposed homes, the development would include commercial and office space.
“The goal would be to have future commercial [space], corporate relocations, and business parks in the future,” Republic Property Group co-CEO Jake Wagner told McKinney City Council in a work session Dec. 6, the Dallas Morning News reported. “It really all starts with a proper framework up front and quality residential, and that’s what we would be focused on when starting the project.”
The company said that it has been talking to the property’s owner for several years and appears bullish despite a slowdown in the North Texas housing market in recent months.
“Communities of this nature are complex and take a long time to come to fruition,” the company said in a statement. “Republic Property Group believes in the future growth and demand for homes in DFW and McKinney.”
Republic is pursuing projects in Frisco, Celina, and Walsh as well
Republic Property has a strong record in developments in North Texas. It recently bought land in Frisco’s 2,500-acre Fields development to build rental homes. The company also developed the 7,200-acre Walsh community southwest of Fort Worth and the more-than 1,000-acre Light Farms in Celina.
Wagner told the city of McKinney that the developer has an agreement with the landowner to develop a 400-acre southwest portion of the site but is considering broadening its partnership. The company said it is seeking to create a financing district for the entire site that would allow for future development, the Morning News reported.
Honey Creek would feature a broad mix of housing options
The Honey Creek community would feature a mix of housing options, from large and small single-family homes to townhomes, cottages, and apartments, the company said.
Previously, the property was known as Cross F Ranch and is owned by entities affiliated with Santiago Jorba, Collin County records show. Jorba is the founder of Creu Capital, a private equity real estate investor that develops and invests in large tracts of land, the newspaper said. He’s the son of Jaime Jorba Sr., who invested in Texas real estate and co-founded Bimbo Bakeries, the parent company of Fort Worth-based Mrs. Baird’s.
Republic Property Group said it would like to form a municipal management district for the site, a financing tool that is similar to a public improvement district, which finances infrastructure, services, and neighborhood amenities via assessments and taxes.
Unlike a public improvement district, municipal management districts are mostly controlled by a district board rather than the city itself. The McKinney City Council gave its support for the financing district in late December, and Republic Property Group plans to submit a bill during the current legislative session, as the Texas Legislature must create such districts.
Republic Property also plans to seek a development agreement with the city of McKinney that would annex portions of the property that are not already annexed and zone it for the uses proposed by Republic Property.
Wagner told the council that most of the property is zoned under a zoning code from the 1980s and that, “you have a hodgepodge of a land-use framework that would be challenging to use to create a cohesive place,” the Morning News reported.
The new agreement “would allow us to have a very wide variety of product offerings and really approach housing affordability and attainability, which is a continuing challenge in this market,” Wagner told the council.
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