AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - More businesses could be coming to east Amarillo as the city council continues to move forward with creating a special tax zone for that area.
Tuesday evening the Amarillo City Council held the first reading of an ordinance establishing an East Gateway tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ).
This is meant to take the additional revenue from rising property taxes in that part of town, and use that money to help the area grow.
The city council is now one step away from making this a reality.
If an ordinance establishing this TIRZ is passed after the second and final reading at next week's city council meeting, the boundaries and fund will be established for the 940 acre area.
"Just by giving it a name and just by establishing that potential certainly creates other interests and opportunities," said Bob Cowell, Deputy City Manager. "I would expect as it generates revenue and we start making the investments that that's when you'll see additional economic activity."
But there are already businesses going up in this TIRZ.
Two hotels are under construction, and the Big Texan is working to relocate there now.
Toot'n Totum is also looking to expand existing stores, and build a truck stop on the eastern end.
The city hopes to put a sports tournament facility on that land.
"The idea is we'll be able to make investments in those areas, deal with some infrastructure issues that can't be dealt with, hopefully get enough money that we can start that athletic facility," said Cowell. "That in turn will bring more people in for tournaments who then presumably will eat at those restaurants, go to those gas stations and stay in those hotels."
But it'll be a while before businesses start to move in and benefit from the zoning.
For example, the existing downtown TIRZ took about 10 years to see more activity.
Cowell believes the East Gateway TIRZ will only take 3 or 4 years to do the same.