It’s a big step forward for the City of Baytown and Fidelis Partners LLC regarding the old San Jacinto Mall, now envisioned as the San Jacinto Marketplace.
During Thursday’s City Council meeting, City Council approved a new economic development agreement that will use sales tax rebates to incentivize the highest quality of development.
Mayor Brandon Capetillo said, “We know this agreement has been a long time coming. This project has been seven years in the making, but we had to get it right.”
The City did not own any property within the project area. Fidelis owned most of the property, and as of April, the company now owns all of the 105 acres.
Alan Hassenflu, President and CEO of Fidelis, said, “It’s been a long and winding road for us.”
He added, “We intend to bring a great project to the City of Baytown. That’s our goal. The beauty, as I stand here today, is that we own all 105 acres. We haven’t been able to say that until this year. Now that we have full control, we can do a master plan.”
This agreement replaces a previous agreement that was approved in 2015. Changes were needed due to changes in the market. Also, as part of the agreement, the City received $3.25 million back as part of the previous contract.
Mayor Capetillo said, “This agreement is performance based. It has taken a whole different context and is based off of what restaurants, retailers, and entertainment the Fidelis group brings to Baytown in order to bring in more sales tax dollars.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Many residents will be excited about this news, but will want to know what is next? When can you see work being done to the property?
Mayor Capetillo, City Manager Rick Davis and members of City Council were on the property today as equipment was being staged.
While some portions of the old mall have been torn down, Fidelis officials said the rest of the demolition work will continue next week. The process will take about four months.
Glenn Airola, “We hope to have the demolition complete by late November, early December at the latest.”
WHAT TO EXPECT?
The expectations from both the City and Fidelis is for the San Jacinto Marketplace to truly be a community gathering place.
There will be at least 450,000 square feet of retail, including dining and entertainment options, with most of those being new to Baytown.
“We want it to be a live, work, play type of venue. Our goal is to work collaboratively with the City so that we can have a place for outdoor seating, children’s play area, movie night, live entertainment, yoga or exercise classes, or anything that we can put together in that area,” said Hassenflu.
Pelican Green will be one of the highlights of the property. This will be a community area that will be a little bigger than a football field.
WHEN WILL WE GET TO ENJOY THE MARKETPLACE?
Construction is expected to be complete in 2024 with the hope that people will be shopping and more at the San Jacinto Marketplace by Christmas.
If Mayor Capetillo and City Council get their way, it will be ready earlier than that.
Mayor Capetillo said, “The sooner they do it, the sooner they make money and the sooner citizens get to enjoy the San Jacinto Marketplace experience.”
Look for more updates in the next issue of the Baytown Voice as well as the City of Baytown’s social media channels and website.