Wichita Falls city leaders continue to work towards Professional Dr. redevelopment

Highpoint Village Apartments
Highpoint Village Apartments
Country Park Apartment
Country Park Apartment

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls city leaders are trying to strike a deal with a company to redevelop two apartment complexes on Professional Drive.

The developer is asking the city for tax credits as an incentive for taking on the project.

City council tabled that request at the last two council meetings, but are set to take it up again at next Tuesday's meeting.

The developers said they can fix up Highpoint Village and Country Park apartments for almost $43 million dollars.

The developer is asking for tax credits for 99 years.

However, some on the city council are worried about losing that much tax revenue for so many years.

City leaders are not giving up on the project because they believe redevelopment on Professional Drive is important to the south side of the city.

"Things could be updated in the apartment as far as things like carpet, tile, stove, and oven," an anonymous Highpoint Village resident said.

Residents in the Highpoint Village Apartments said they need work.

"The wheelchair accessible entrance (in the apartment) should be knocked out," Highpoint Village resident, Russell Wilson said. "The walls should be painted."

When neighbors heard a group wants to redevelop where they live, they were excited.

"They should tear this down and start all over again," Wilson said.

"I think it would be good for people, like me that are low income and don't have much money, to be able to come and live in something nice that is up-to-date," the anonymous resident said.

The decision to give tax credits is not an easy one for some on the Wichita Falls city council.

"Normally we get these types of things on the agenda all the time," District 1 City Councilor, Eric West said. "We usually don't have any objection. But this particular one, the way it is set up, it would cause us not to be able to collect any property tax for a number of years."

Now city leaders are working to reach a compromise: 40 years of property tax credits for the developer, Millennia Housing Development based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Millenia would be required to make payments to the city during that time.

Councilor West lived in the apartments as a kid and again in his 20's.

He wants to see the project happen.

"I'm a big believer in neighborhood revitalization," Councilor West said. "And those apartment complexes are their own little neighborhood. So to get a chance to redevelop those and make them nicer, that's something we need to try to do. And we are trying to. We just got to work out the details."

In the meantime, residents will wait and see what happens.

"This is a decent place," the anonymous resident said. "It just needs some updated stuff in it. Stuff that is going to work and last a long time."

"This is my 14th year here, and I would really like to see some changes out here," Wilson said.

Councilor West said the city did not pass the item right away because it is their job to think about the long-term effects of every decision made.

However, he is optimistic it will get done.

Alex Achten will be at the city council meeting and you can follow him @Alex_KAUZ for results from the meeting.

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