Future development is hopeful for the abandoned Springtown Shopping Center, according to city officials.
There are only a few stores in operation at the shopping center located off Thorpe Lane and Springtown Way, with many spaces still available. Although it is not city-owned property, officials can support plans for moving tenants into Springtown.
Under the city’s Comprehensive Master Plan, officials can work with economic developers to help interested parties bring entertainment back to Springtown, said councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1.
“We can’t tell private owners what to do with the land,” Porterfield said. “It’s a prime piece of land. It is close to the university, H-E-B and other prime locations.”
According to Amy Madison, economic development coordinator, one part of Springtown is privately owned, while the other is owned by the John Lewis Company.
The City of San Marcos is focusing on the reconstruction of Thorpe Lane. There is currently no projected date by which the city hopes to have more businesses occupying Springtown, but it is actively pursuing tenants for the shopping center, Porterfield said.
“It is a high priority for me,” Porterfield said. “I am willing to consider incentives such as tax abatements, expedited permit processing and any creative incentives proposed by the developer.”
The approximately 30-acre shopping center has remained largely vacant since 2009 when Target, Best Buy, Bealls and J.C. Penny moved to other locations in San Marcos, Porterfield said.
“I’m interested in a mixed-use redevelopment site, family retail, entertainment, student and non-student living, things of that nature,” Porterfield said. “We can work with economic developers to accommodate and help with bringing back entertainment.”
The owners of the property presented a renovation proposal in 2009 for further economic development of the area. They proposed some entertainment venues for the center, such as a beer garden and Alamo Draft House in hopes of attracting crowds from San Marcos and surrounding cities.
According to the proposal, renovations would create 451 jobs, $295 million in salaries, $1.7 million in additional taxable sales for the city and $51.74 million in local tax rolls.
“We have been working on (the proposal) for about a year and are hopeful to put it into play around January or February,” said, director of Development Services. “The Springtown Shopping Center is a target area.”