At its Feb. 21 meeting, Jersey Village City Council unanimously voted to authorize City Manager Austin Bleess to sign a letter of intent with KHJR Real Estate Advisory Services relating to the development of the property off Jones Road on the south side of Hwy. 290 known as Village Center.

Collaborate was named the developer in March 2019 and was slated to purchase the land from Jersey Village, but its partnership with the city ended in late 2021. General plans for the 43-acre project have included retail, restaurants, office space, a hotel, an apartment complex, green space and the new Jersey Village City Hall.

According to city officials, KHJR has developed and operated several mixed-use developments. Bleess said the letter of intent is a nonbinding agreement that the City Council would approve the framework for future negotiations at a later date. Mayor Bobby Warren said this was the first step in a long process, and council will likely not take further binding steps until next year.

“What this is designed to do is to kind of get everyone on the same page regarding what it is we expect from each other, what steps we're going to take going forward and where all of this is going,” Warren said. “So, really this is us going back to where we were when we originally looked at developing Village Center—we're going back to looking at some of the ideas and concepts of what we would like to see the property become and working with the developer to find a way forward to make this happen.”

Warren said at a Feb. 17 town hall meeting the developer wants to keep the new City Hall as part of the plan for this property to draw traffic to the site.

Another potential feature that could attract locals to Village Center could be a multipurpose stadium. City Council members unanimously agreed Feb. 21 to have an economic feasibility study conducted for $75,000 to determine whether a multipurpose stadium proposed by KHJR would make sense for the property.

According to Warren, the stadium site could host youth sports, adult recreational sports, band competitions, high school sports events and other related activities.

Council Member Drew Wasson said if the results of the feasibility study say the stadium would not be successful, that will save the city from making a mistake. On the other hand, if the study says the stadium would work, the city will see a return on the investment of the study.

“I think this is a wise use of funds. ... It’s reassurance to ourselves and others in the city that we’re pursuing the right path,” he said.

Golf course project update

In addition to these developments in the Village Center project, the Jersey Village City Council unanimously voted Feb. 21 to authorize Bleess to negotiate an agreement with FGM Architects for the design of a new Jersey Meadow Golf Course clubhouse.

PGAL Inc. had previously designed a clubhouse, which was estimated to cost $7.5 million by 2021. Council members agreed in early January to design a new clubhouse including a pro shop, offices, a bar and grill, bathrooms and storage. The existing clubhouse will be remodeled as an enclosed pavilion for events.

City officials expect the contract with FGM Architects to come back in time for council to vote on it at their March 21 meeting.