Jack Morgan, a partner in CHM Development, said the Dallas group bought the 44-acre site on West Grande Boulevard, between Texas Highway 155 and Old Jacksonville Highway. It spans from the electrical switching station, almost to Texas 155, he added.
Plans for the multi-use office park – Butler Creek – include a five-story medical and professional office building, a medical office and condominium complex, two three-story buildings and several clusters of buildings for retail.
“As far as this site goes, you’re right in the sweet spot of the preferred growth corridor of what’s going on in Tyler and Smith County,” Morgan said Oct. 30, citing the development on Old Jacksonville during the last few years. “There are an awful lot of good things to see in this southwest corner.”
Morgan said they are planning the development to primarily house children’s doctors.
“From an outsider’s perspective, the medical base here is just unbelievable,” he said. “But there are lots of niche specialties that are not satisfied. … All we’re trying to do is help augment what’s already here by adding some of the many specialties that are not represented here.”
Randy Hanson, the local partner in the project who will oversee the day-to-day construction activities, said 35 percent of the pediatric patients from the Tyler area are going to Dallas for medical treatment. “That just says there’s a huge need here for pediatrics specialty,” he said.
Morgan agreed. “Children’s specialties are a huge need in this town,” he said.
Signs with the development plans will be posted, fliers are being sent out and they are doing things behind the scenes to attract specialty physicians to the site, Morgan said.
He said if they could secure a large tenant for the development, they could start constructing one of the three-story office buildings first, but could also start with building some of the condos for smaller, specialized offices.
Morgan said they could build to suit, lease the buildings to tenants, sell constructed buildings or sell a lot and let the buyer construct their building pursuant to architectural guidelines. He said they want the project to look consistent throughout so it has a single project feel to it.
He said they are also working with local sources to provide locally based financing to set up a doctor’s office – putting a practice in the planned development for doctors who want to move away from their existing practice to go out on their own or who are fresh out of medical school.
Morgan said construction costs of the development will depend on what the ultimate user ends up being and whether the building owners pay for some of the specialized equipment or if the tenants pay for it.
He said they plan to have a lot of emphasis on water features and attractive lighting. He believes there are nice elevation changes on the site and drivers will be able to see it from Highway 155. He said traffic counts are growing daily on Grande Boulevard, which is nestled between two major north-south arterial roadways.
Hanson said the property already has water and electricity and will soon get sewage infrastructure. “It’s just such a great location,” he said.
CHM Development is made up of three guys who went to school together and have been friends since 1969. Morgan was in the development business in Austin since 1979, developing large commercial office buildings, and moved to Dallas in 2000 to form CHM Development. He said they do primarily health care-related developments and are investigating some other properties in the East Texas area.
The group also is working to develop seven acres across from The University of Texas at Tyler into a retail center, Patriot Commons. Morgan said they have a group of investors who liked both Tyler opportunities.
“We can hopefully create some really unique properties,” Morgan said.
Deborah Dobbs, president of the SPCA of East Texas, said the organization has plans for a new facility and dog park on land on West Grande Boulevard donated to the SPCA by Brent and Rhonda Bossart The master plan was presented to SPCA by Jackson Ryan Architects, of Houston, and Martha Seng designed a 22,000-square-foot shelter with a 13,900-square-foot extended roof area for SPCA. An 18-acre dog park for the site, which includes a pavilion, animal splash ground, public restrooms and picnic areas, was designed by Mark Priestner, of Urban Planners of Tyler.
Funding for both projects will be paid for through private donations, and a capital campaign will be launched early next year, Mrs. Dobbs said.
United Way of Smith County bought a 4-acre property in the area but hasn’t developed any plans to build a new facility there or a time line for it, Nan Moore, executive director of United Way, said. The organization had been looking for a new location for about four years when the property that couldn’t be passed up became available, she added.
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals & Clinics has owned property on West Grande Boulevard since 2008 for “possible future development” but nothing is planned for the property, Mother Frances Public Information Officer John Moore said.
Jo Dobbs, of Interlink Real Estate Services, Inc. is the Realtor working on the Butler Creek and Patriot Commons projects for Morgan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.