Baker Katz, LLC, the commercial real estate firm that purchased the Four Corners Shopping Center at the southwest corner of Hwy. 249 and FM 2920 in Tomball last June, has begun renovating vacant buildings in preparation to re-lease them in 2013. The firm is in talks with several tenants, including Spec's Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods, which has expressed interest in signing a contract.

"Nothing has been finalized yet, but they seem interested in relocating from where they are on [Hwy. 249] to the shopping center," Kenneth Katz, one of the firm's founders and chief brokerage agents, reported to Tomball City Council at a special meeting July 16.

Katz met with City Council and the Tomball Economic Development Corporation to go over plans for the center in hopes of convincing city officials to enter into a Chapter 380 Agreement with the firm. Under the agreement, Baker Katz would be reimbursed on the money it spends on renovations with future sales tax revenues.

The properties being renovated include the 46,000-square foot-building where a Kroger was previously located and the vacant building next to the Goodwill and Cinema 6. Future plans involve making various exterior improvements to the other buildings in the center.

The renovations are expected to cost around $4.9 million. The city earns around $150,000 in annual sales tax revenue from the shopping center now, a number which Katz is projecting to increase by an average of $383,000 per year from 2013–2025—the period that the 380 Agreement will last. The increase would mean an additional $5 million for the city during that time and continued revenue once the agreement ends.

A draft agreement will be brought to City Council for approval at its Aug. 6 meeting.