The City of El Campo expects a $60,000 check next week, advance payment from developers of the oft delayed rail-supported warehouse park.
The payment represents partial reimbursement of legal fees incurred by the city in helping establish a Public Improvement District for the Southwest International Gateway Business Park.
“This is an advance payment which ensures the sincerity of the developer,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said Monday.
Last week, city council expected to receive an update on the entire project, but instead opted to seek the partial payment.
The remaining legal fees, total unavailable at press time, will be reimbursed via the PID’s ability to issue a bond and to levy a tax-like surcharge on developments within the boundaries of the park.
The PID funds will also be used to develop infrastructure inside the park including roads, rail and utilities.
Fallout effects from the coronavirus pandemic has delayed rail park construction, pushing an already delayed timeline back even more.
Construction had been slated to start in April on a 125,000-square-foot distribution center for Vitro Chemicals, a subsidiary of Vitro, one of the world’s largest glass manufacturers, and a 200,000-square-foot speculative warehouse. That was delayed via the governor’s stay at home order issued April 1 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has yet to restart.
An amendment to the development agreement between Stonemont, Ridgeline Property Group, Watco Companies and NAI Partners and the city, moving the finance date from Aug. 1 to Jan. 31, 2021 was set to go before city council last Monday.
Instead, Sladek asked it be tabled without a specific return date. The measure was approved unanimously.
The 540-acre development near the Kansas City Southern Railways lines at the intersection of CR 421 and U.S. 59 has been in the works for four years.