During the Nov. 15 Regular City Council meeting, the Council approved a $1.5 million plan to upgrade the facades of businesses along the Texas Parkway/Cartwright Road Corridor, an essential district for businesses, residents, and visitors seeking goods and services within the City.
On its second and final reading, an ordinance passed unanimously, adding the Texas Parkway/Cartwright Corridor Façade Improvement Program to the City’s arsenal of economic development tools. Businesses will receive up to $200,000 toward cosmetic upgrades to the exterior of their establishment, including painting, shutters, signage and awnings/canopies, to name a few. The program goes into effect immediately.
At the Nov. 1 Regular City Council Meeting, Mayor Robin Elackatt thanked Economic Development Director Aubrey Nettles and members of the Texas Parkway/Cartwright Corridor Advisory Committee for their work on the program.
“I have had the opportunity to be out in the community, to talk about this,” he said. “People are very excited about this, and even though it may not sound like a lot, at least they know that we’re coming out there and we’re working on it. There’s been a lot of work put into this, and I hope this can help the corridors, especially on Texas Parkway.”
The corridor encompasses Texas Parkway from Highway 90A to Cartwright Road, and Cartwright Road from Texas Parkway to Dulles Avenue. The advisory committee identified improving the thoroughfares’ curb appeal as its top priority. “The committee expressed a firm desire to establish uniformity throughout the corridor and provide façade improvements they felt would have the biggest impact on the corridor itself,” said Nettles.
The program is governed by the following guidelines:
- Structure must have been built prior to 2000;
- Application must clearly outline the façade improvement project and associated costs;
- City will reimburse accepted projects for up to 75 percent of the cost;
- Accepted projects will have their permit fees waived upfront;
- Projects are capped at $200,000 each;
- Applications will be reviewed and scored by an internal committee, based upon:
- Number of priority projects selected
- Adherence to previously adopted Architectural Design Standards
- Available funds
Improvements eligible for consideration are: painting*, shutters, signage*, awnings/canopies, decorative exterior improvements, exterior doors/windows, exterior wall repairs/changes, changes to the roof line, landscaping around the building, irrigation, parking lot re-paving/re-sealing/re-striping*, exterior lighting*, patio or decks connected to the building*, exterior ADA improvements associated with another improvement and fencing.
Items with an asterisk represent “priority projects that the committee felt would move the needle forward” on redevelopment, said Nettles.
For more details on program guidelines and to submit application online, visit the City website via this link: APPLY NOW.
The Economic Development and Development Services departments will review applications and administer the program. Based upon the $200,000 cap for projects, Nettles said there should be enough money to assist five to six businesses in upgrading their exterior. City Council will have final approval on all funding requests. Other requirements are:
- Property must be occupied and/or actively on the market to be considered;
- Accepted projects cannot have any current or open code violations;
- Once approved, applicants will have 18 months to complete the project and submit for reimbursement;
- Applicants retain ownership for two years or the agreement will transfer to the new owner, if sold within that time frame
- Applicants maintain improvements for two years at minimum or pay back a pro-rata share of the reimbursement received
City Councilmembers present for the Nov. 1 meeting offered thanks and congratulations to City staff and volunteer residents who helped develop the program.
Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember Anthony Maroulis, District C, said, “This came before the Economic Development Committee, and it was a great discussion. A lot of checks and balances, it’s been well thought out, and thank you for taking our further input. Nice job.”
Councilmember Floyd Emery, District D, said, “Thank you for your diligence in working with what we have faced for a number of years, which is trying to make improvements along Texas Parkway and the Cartwright corridor. It’s a small step, but it’s a step forward.”
Councilmember Cheryl Sterling, District A, said, “I would like to thank our chair, who really kept these committee meetings going. Jeffrey Boney did an excellent job, attended all the meetings, and the committee members were so dedicated and committed to this project. They did a wonderful job.”
Councilmember Jeffrey Boney, District B, said, “I want to thank you, Aubrey, Jennifer (Development Services Director Thomas-Gomez), and everyone who worked collaboratively to pull this together. But I want to thank you, Bill (Interim City Manager Atkinson), for listening to my rants in wanting to make sure that the $1.5 million was part of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. For so long, we haven’t had any dedicated resources devoted to that area. To be able to do that and to utilize these monies for this program – as well as the other programs we’re working on – is much needed. I know that the community not only appreciates it, but will see the differences once we start implementing it. I’m looking forward to it coming to pass, putting it out in the streets and people taking advantage of it.”
Councilmember Vashaundra Edwards, At-Large Position No. 1, said, “I, too, want to thank the team and the committee members for bringing this into fruition. As a former Economic Development Committee member, I know this has been in the works for a while. I grew up on this corridor. My parents still have a business in this corridor, so this means so much to me. My phone rung off the hook this weekend, about how residents were so happy about this. So I’m excited about this and want to congratulate you guys in advance for the success of this project.”
To hear about the program overview and get additional information on this initiative from Nettles, watch this MCTV video via this link: https://youtu.be/h-jtKG9JaF8.
For more updates, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store).