An agreement between the city of Tyler and a private retail developer could bring millions of dollars in sales and property tax revenues to the city starting this summer, as well as donated land on which to build a new hotel conference center.

City Council this morning approved a reimbursement development agreement with the Dallas-based group, The Retail Connection. That developer will donate land to the city to the to build a hotel conference center in return for a portion of the sales tax generated from a planned 80-acre, 700,000 square feet retail, restaurant, and entertainment center. The restaurants and shops must generate new sales income, or the city will not reimburse the developer, according to the agreement.

The new retail center, to be called the Village at Cumberland Park, will be adjacent to the city's hotel conference center, at South Broadway and Toll 49. The first phase of the development is set to open this summer. In addition to donating 13 acres for the hotel conference center, The Retail Connection will provide vehicle access and drainage improvements to the project area that will benefit the public, according to information received from the city. The improvements will be primarily along South Broadway.

The agreement with The Retail Connection calls for the City to reimburse only for limited public improvements from one-half of one percent of sales tax generated by new retail in the development in the first seven years, according to information received from the city.

Estimated sales tax to be generated from these stores could total $15 million for the city and $5 million for Smith County, Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie said. That does not include property tax generated from the new construction, Ms. Guthrie said. The developer estimated that the total reimbursement will range from $3.5 million to $5 million over the course of seven years.


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