Sugar Land looks for possible partner to redevelop prison land

February 21, 2011 8:14:32 AM PST
Sugar Land is hoping for the possible development of a business park on property currently occupied by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Central Prison Unit. Developers are invited to apply for consideration by submitting their information to the Sugar Land City Manager's office by March 4th.

For the last several years, Sugar Land's legislative priorities have included the relocation and consolidation of the Central Prison Unit to a more appropriate location outside of the city. With rapid growth during the previous decade, the prison land has become an increasingly critical commodity for ensuring Sugar Land's continued strength and prosperity into the future.

City Council has worked with local state leaders in Austin since 2006 to write legislation that encourages the relocation of the prison unit. The Texas Legislature in 2007 required TDCJ to perform a feasibility study on the possible relocation and redevelopment of the Central Prison Unit and Smithville (an adjacent facility housing prison guards). Results from the study later demonstrated that both the state and local community would benefit from the relocation and redevelopment.

The Texas Legislature's proposed budget from both chambers as well as the Governor's office recommends the closure of the Central Prison Unit.

The redevelopment of the nearly 330-acre site represents a unique source of new economic activity and tax revenue for Texas and Sugar Land. As the City's existing business park nears capacity, the city has identified the site for a new business park.

Sugar Land is encouraging legislation that facilitates business park development. The first phase of the project would be to identify a potential development partner, then perform a joint feasibility study.

A recently built business park has generated 9,000 jobs and much needed tax revenue.