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River Walk developer proposes funding change

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The controversial proposal to create a Municipal Management District (MMD) to fund Flower Mound’s River Walk at Central Park development died in Austin on June 13—the last day of the 2013 Texas Legislature session.

Actually, the MMD was never born, because Gov. Rick Perry didn’t place the proposal on the calendar for consideration by lawmakers. The River Walk development itself, however, is still alive.

During a public presentation Thursday evening at Salerno’s Restaurant in Flower Mound, developer Mehrdad Moayedi of Centurian American Acquisitions said the project has a target start date of  August 1st.

“Even though the MMD failed down in Austin today, we plan to put a Public Improvement District (PID) item on the November ballot for voters,” said Moayedi. “The development itself won’t need to change, MMD or PID doesn’t change the design or amenities—just how it’s funded.”

As outlined in the town’s charter, a PID requires approval of the town’s registered voters, while Texas State law mandates legislature approval to create an MMD. Neither funding option involve municipal money.

“Both function in the same way a residential HOA does, where the owners are aware of what the annual assessment fee will be before signing,” said Moayedi. “The difference between the two is that with an MMD things are built to put a tax base in place and then private investor’s bonds bought to achieve the total improvements. A PID means that a developer’s reputation is the basis used for private investors—banks, insurance companies or other kinds of large corporations—to get tax-free bonds. Once the bond improvement requirement is fulfilled, then only the assessments on the property owners continue.”

Both funding methods are public transactions, but use private bonds.

The more than 30 audience members were mainly residents of The Forums subdivision, which is located between FM 2499 and the River Walk project to the east.

Moayedi addressed questions regarding the greenbelt area, potential sound issues related to the proposed amphitheater and the placement of landscaped berms to help obstruct the view of parking areas.

The dredging and building of the river area with retaining walls and a 14-foot waterfall amenity, plus additional infrastructure, will begin in August and should take six to eight months to complete. The development will break ground months prior to the November vote result.

“We’re good developers and good guys,” said Moayedi. “We’re not here just to make money. We want to give Flower Mound a high-quality product that will draw people here to shop and dine and spend their money in town.”

When asked what might happen should the PID not pass, he said that the town’s 2012 TIRZ #1 Capital Improvement Plan Budget designates $5 million for River Walk improvements, which would be used to help finance the water-related development.

Moayedi said he has every confidence about the PID passing.

“Centurion has 17 high-quality developments across Texas,” he said. “We have one in Grapevine and Trophy Club, as well as in Westlake. Also coming in to help with the commercial side of the development is Jeff Blackard who developed “Adriatica,” a similar project in McKinney.”

A follow-up meeting is scheduled for Wed., June 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church, 6101 Morriss Rd. in Flower Mound.

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