EDC chooses Michael Jackson to fill vacancy on Board of Directors
By MIKE EDDLEMAN
With a nod from the City Council on Tuesday, the Liberty Hill Economic Development Corp. (EDC) added a new member to its board, filling the vacancy left by the departure of John Clark.
Michael Jackson, who works in real estate and construction as a Project Manager for StreetLights Residential in Austin, was unanimously approved by both the EDC Board and City Council.
Jackson’s initial appointment will be to finish out Clark’s, term and will expire in September 2019.
“He is a project manager for a company in Austin that builds luxury apartments,” said EDC Board Chairman Bill Chapman. “They do really high-dollar apartments. As a project manager he is a great guy, and was one of the first residents here in Stonewall.”
New terms were approved for Chapman, Johnny Johnston and Jack Harkrider, which will expire in two years. The board unanimously reappointed Chapman to continue as EDC Board President, and Johnston as Vice President, a position he accepted after Clark left the board. Chad Pirtle was selected as Secretary, a vacancy left open when Johnston became Vice President.
The EDC and City Council have approved a sign grant application for Gintzler International, at 951 N. Hwy. 183.
Gintzler, a packaging and labeling business, is located just north of SH 29 on US 183, on the west side of the highway.
“It is going be metal signage, with landscaping and rock work below it,” said EDC Executive Director Lance Dean.
The total cost of the project is $10,089 — $5,000 of that being the reimbursement amount upon completion.
In updates during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Sept. 27 and the EDC Board meeting Oct. 4, EDC Executive Director Lance Dean gave an overview of ongoing local development.
The trend of rising building permit totals each year appears to be in line for another increase this year.
“Last year, 650 building permits were issued inside the city limits and ETJ, we currently have over 13,000 residential lots platted,” Dean said. “This year the number, the number I got on Sept. 21, was that we had 475 building permits so far this year. We’re projecting, over the next five years, at least 1,200 wastewater connections yearly. That translates into roughly another 15,000 people being in this area over the next five years.”
The Water Tower Center retail development has begun construction on SH 29 to provide what Dean said is sought after retail space. It will total about 21,000 square feet.
“It is actually on Hwy. 29 and it makes a horseshoe around the water tower,” Dean said. “That’s retail space going up. They’ve got spots available from 1,500 square feet to about 6,000 square feet. People are looking for space on the ground. They don’t have the time to wait for something to be built. Once we can get these projects kicked off that’s going to be a big benefit to our city.”
At Holmes Road and SH 29, a 47,000-square-foot office/warehouse development is going in as well. The development will offer space as small as 1,800 square feet or could be set up for one occupant to use it all.
Future phases of the project will provide additional retail space and a possible hotel site. When completed, the development is expected to be about 131,000 square feet.
Dean said he is currently working on 22 active development leads. Two of those are near completion and seven others are well into the process.
“When I say near completion, it means they are getting ready to open or getting to a point where we can say something about it,” Dean said. “We have seven that are progressing and then 13 that are still in the early stages. The ones that are near completion, in terms of timelines, both of those started out at the end of last year, so that’s kind of the life cycle we are talking about on some of these.”