To establish a management district, the chamber needs to collect signatures from property owners of at least 50% of the corridor’s commercial property value, which totals about $2.2 billion between Hwy. 249 and I-45. While Lieb initially planned to begin collecting signatures in 2020, that process got pushed to the second quarter of 2021 due to the pandemic.
As of Sept. 14, $164 million in signatures had been collected, or about 14% of the $1.12 billion goal.
“COVID[-19] has brought uncertainty to the market, and that’s been a large part of the trepidation with some of the property owners,” Lieb said.
Originally, Lieb hoped to have the required signatures collected by the end of 2021, which would allow the chamber to submit the application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by 2022. Factoring in another full year for the application process, Lieb said the management district could launch by 2023.
“That’s still the goal, but at this pace, we may not be able to stick to that goal unless I can get some more help,” Lieb said, adding he is in search of a part-time employee to assist with the project.
Upon establishment, the management district would provide security, economic development, landscaping and signage for the corridor, in exchange for an annual assessment rate—similar to a tax—to be paid by commercial property owners.
“Thirty years ago, FM 1960 was known as one of the most, if not the most, viable commercial retail corridors in northwest Harris County; that is no longer the case,” Lieb said. “But it’s still a very vital corridor; it just needs a face-lift.”
For more information about the HNWCC's efforts to create an FM 1960 Management District, click here.