Sinton: Steel Plant Attracts 177-Acre Mixed-Use Master Planned Development
Feature Photo: Sinton High School has long stood at the northeast edge of what is considered the City of Sinton, but annexation of the Somerset PID No. 1, at more than 177 acres, has the potential to shift the school toward the center of town. Image: Google Earth.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Sinton (San Patricio County) — A San Antonio-based development firm is on track to establish a 177.36-acre master planned community on the east side of Sinton.
The mixed-use project is the largest of its kind in the city since Steel Dynamics Inc. announced its intend to construct a $1.7 billion steel plant just north of Sinton. That project was reported in this Oct. 25, 2019 VBX article.
Somerset Land Co. LLC petitioned the city in December 2020 to create a public improvement district. City Council held a public hearing in January to consider it and ultimately passed a resolution May 18 to create the Somerset Public Improvement District No. 1. The entire district was annexed into the city, an act that practically doubles the area of the city.
More recently, at City Council’s July 13 meeting, the Development Agreement was approved. Under the terms of the agreement, the city will create a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ). Revenue raised from the TIRZ will be used to reimburse Somerset Land Co. for its investment in public improvements with in the public improvement district.
The estimated “authorized improvement costs” have been memorialized in the agreement as not to exceed $50 million, “which represents the maximum amount that will be directly financed and/or reimbursed to the developer.”
The list of authorized improvements include grading and paving, storm sewer, drainage, sanitary sewer, water improvements, lift station, landscape, park, entrance monuments, engineering, land plan, surveying, legal, inspection, environmental/material testing, flood plan, permits and insurance.
Somerset Land Co. is expected to raise the financing through PID bonds.
“The Developer intends to develop the property as a high-quality, mixed-use development, consisting of single family, multifamily and office space, retail, commercial and other compatible uses,” the agreement states.
The master plan proposes a commercial retail corridor that would straddle U.S. Highway 181 almost as far north as the Chiltipin Creek (south boundary of the steel plant), going southeast to the Texas Department of Transportation regional office. Multifamily development would be just north and east of Sinton High School, and light industrial would be southwest of the commercial retail corridor.
The remaining tracts, separated into three zones, would be single family.
Signatories to the agreement include Charles E. Cammack and Wiley McIlwain, the principals of Somerset Land Co. Also involved is the Bank of Texas.
The city will now await submission of a plat. Approval is conditioned on compliance with city codes regarding the specifications for streets, other infrastructure and lot sizes.
Although Somerset Land Co. offices in San Antonio, its development interests have been throughout South Texas, from the Hill Country to the Coastal Bend.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.