FERRIS

A downtown center is expected to open in Ferris by late 2020. It will be the first of its kind for the city.

Presented to the Ferris City Council during their meeting on Monday, the town center is planned to be built on a 10-acre tract between S. Birch St. and E. 8th St. and would connect to I45. The center would be a mixed-use development that includes a townhome community, a strip center, a dog park, a kid’s play area and a water fountain at the center of it all.

“We’re excited about it,” city manager Bill Jordan said. “We’ve been working hard with people trying to get more development off of the highway.”

With the land purchased by owner and developer Sand Inc. and renderings designed by general contractor Bordell Group LLC, Jordan said the city was already planning on how to expand their downtown area for economic opportunities.

Then the developers came forward, and Jordan said it had all of the retail and residential aspects they were looking for.

“We see that as a synergistic plan to make all of it thrive,” Jordan elaborated. “This is really going to play into that because this is a type of shopping center where you have multiple tenants, multiple uses, dining, other things that are going to get people off of the highway into Ferris; spending their dollars here.”

Contractor and designer Phillips Saenz worked for bigger cities, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, before he worked with Ferris. He said you would typically find mixed-use developments like this in cities north of Dallas-Fort Worth, such as McKinney or Frisco.

He said not only is this the first mixed-use development of its kind for the city of Ferris, but it is the first of its kind south of Dallas along I-45.

“If you come down 45, I don’t think there’s going to be anything like this,” Saenz explained. “Yeah, there is some apartments, warehouses and centers that are coming up; but nothing that is mixed-use like this.”

Saenz explained that the townhomes are expected to be 1,300 to 1,800 square feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms in each home.

He said they’re also planning office developments with studio apartments or lofts on the second floor – but the drawings for those have not been completed yet.

“It’s like its own little world,” Saenz said. “It’s like those high-end, bigger cities where they live there, and they can just walk to a restaurant to eat, to shop and interact with each other.”

Jordan noted that, although survey work is already completed, the project is still in its conception stage. After they replat and rezone the property, the developers hope to begin construction by January next year.

“I think it’s Ferris’ time to see some growth,” Jordan said. “It’s about to happen.”

Saenz said they’re aiming to complete the project by Dec. 2020.

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David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX

469-517-1456