The contract between Star Stream Capital, the developer of the proposed Sunshine Village mixed-use project in Pflugerville, and the city of Pflugerville has expired, according to city officials. However, despite the city and the landowner stating the deals worked out in January 2015 are void, the developer still says he expects Sunshine Village to proceed, even after he said he filed a lawsuit March 3 against the landowner.
“From the city’s perspective, we notified the developer on a couple of different occasions, in writing, that he was not performing up to what the contract said he had to perform,” Mayor Jeff Coleman said. “The development entity had certain things they had to do by certain dates, and they’ve done none of them, including closing on the land, which was the biggest thing. Because of that failure to comply, the city has said this contract is null and void.”
Furthermore, Phyllis Pastre, trustee of the Kennith Bohls Cousins Trust, which owns the land on which the development was supposed to be placed, said the trust is no longer working with Star Stream Capital.
Pastre confirmed the land has not been sold to Star Stream Capital, and the family trust is currently under contract with new buyers.
“There’s no Sunshine Village. I can simply say the original buyer did not purchase the land. He’s not the developer anymore; he has nothing to do with this land anymore. He was under contract to purchase the property last year, and he did not perform,” Pastre said. “We are under contract with brand-new buyers, and that’s really all I can say. I have no idea if the word[s] 'Sunshine Village' will ever be used again.”
Developer Scott Mann, however, said he remains optimistic in Sunshine Village and hopes to partner with the city in future projects.
“We are 100 percent committed to the city of Pflugerville. We are in touch with members of the City Council, and we’re confident we have the support of the City Council. We have numerous other projects planned for the Pflugerville area, over time, and we see it as a great community with enormous opportunity and one that we want to continue to be a very vital part of,” Mann said.
“There’s no Sunshine Village. I can simply say the original buyer did not purchase the land. He’s not the developer anymore."
– Phyllis Pastre, trustee of the Kennith Bohls Cousins Trust
Sunshine Village was slated to be a mixed-use development that featured hotels, housing, restaurants, multistory office buildings, ponds, park space, retail and possibly entertainment opportunities.
Mann, managing director with Star Stream Capital, inked a development agreement with the city of Pflugerville in January 2015. The economic development agreement stated the developer will pay for construction of a mixed-use development accommodating employment, retail, entertainment and residential uses while also paying for approximately $85 million in infrastructure necessary for the project to come to Pflugerville, according to a news release at the time. The developer was also expected to pay a one-time $200,000 payment to the city of Pflugerville. City Manager Brandon Wade said the developer did not meet any of the criteria outlined in the agreement.
The land of approximately 120 acres sits west of SH 130 between Hawaiian Falls Water and Adventure Park and Pflugerville Parkway, and the development was supposed to be one of the biggest development projects in Pflugerville’s history.
Wade said the city began the process of terminating the contract with Mann last year.
“The first action that we took to terminate [the contract] was July 17 of last year. The contract had provisions in it that required certain performance. I want to state, the city in general, and I personally, absolutely loved the project, the concept of the project and so forth,” Wade said. “The land that it was proposed to be on is of utmost importance to the city. It’s in a very central location; it’s got the traffic network all around it—it’s going to be something wonderful.”
According to Wade, he questioned the aggressiveness of Mann’s proposals throughout the planning stage and sent written notification to Mann stating that certain requirements of the contract were not being performed.
“They had certain things they had to do within the first six months, and they really didn’t do any of them, is what it boils down to,” Wade said.
Mann said his company filed a lawsuit March 3 against the landowner and a development company claiming his efforts to move forward with the project were “circumvented.”
According the lawsuit, the plaintiff listed is 88 North LLC, which Mann said he partnered with a few months ago to secure funding for the Sunshine Village project.
The two defendants listed include the landowner’s trustee, Phyllis Pastre, on behalf of the Kennith Bohls Cousins Trust, and Green Island Investments LLC.
“Basically, what they did was circumvent our position with the seller—and attempted to with the city and some of the primary vendors on the project—and therefore necessitated the filing of a lawsuit, until such time as the situation is rectified,” Mann said.
Pastre said, in response to the suit: “My only comment is, what we have seen so far with discussion of my attorney, is that there is absolutely no merit to this lawsuit and I have not been officially served, so I am not actively being sued at this point.”