EMCID's Board of Directors voted at its December meeting to proceed with plans to build a new, larger facility in the 240-acre mixed use development known as the Valley Ranch Town Center. The approximately 79,000 sq. ft. building would replace the existing 33,000 sq. ft. facility and would accommodate future growth and community needs. Details about the facility were made available in the District’s quarterly newsletter, The Insider, and at public events held in October and earlier this month.
The proposed two story building — with the capacity to expand vertically in the future — would provide double the space for community events, more than double the size for Lone Star College’s Lifelong Learning Academy, additional office space for EMCID, the Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and non-profits. The Small Business Development Center would continue to be housed in the facility. The building would also provide about 2,500 sq. ft. in office space for elected state officials.
The new complex would sit on approximately five acres in the entertainment district of the Town Center. It’s directly west of and adjacent to the planned 12,000-seat amphitheater. During the public meeting held in October, Valley Ranch developer Danny Signorelli explained to a crowd of two dozen people that in every successful mixed-use development, whether it’s in Sugar Land or Dallas, there’s a civic component — like a city hall — amongst the shopping and dining establishments. EMCID, with its business recruiting and economic development efforts, community grants, and educational initiatives, he said, fulfills that civic component.
The Board began evaluating the functionality of the existing facility and looking at other options shortly after a Montgomery County jury awarded EMCID more than $4 million for property taken in eminent domain proceedings by the Texas Department of Transportation for the construction of the Grand Parkway.
The Board also voted to hire Turner Duran Architects to prepare plans and specifications for the new district building.
The projected cost is just over $19 million. It’s anticipated that proceeds from the sale of EMCID’s current property will be used toward construction. The project is expected to take about two years to complete.