The Exchange Location

Was the Top Crop Property the best location for a multi-million dollar Community Center? 

In “land use compatibility” terms the answer is NO!

By proximity, some land uses are considered “better” at a greater distance from your property than some others.

[For example]:  No one wants to live “Adjacent or Close” to the Waco landfill, but do want to live close enough to the HEB.

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Land use Compatibility and Proximity are relative and should be based on the types of land uses and their proximity to others.

A Community Center should be located “Distant or Far” [2+ mi] from an Interstate, a Power Plant, a Landfill, Industry, a Railroad, or Railroad yard, etc.
A Community Center should be located “Adjacent or Close” [0 – 2 mi] to land uses such as Schools, Residential, Businesses, Hotels, Restaurants, etc.

A Railroad should be located “Close” to an Industrial Park, a Power Plant, or an Interstate Highway – but NOT a Community Center.  The “entire Top Crop Property” is actually within 660 feet – [1/8th mile] of the BNSF Railroad right-of-way where the train noise is relentless.

Compatible land uses are a key factor in determining current and future property values. The BNSF is authorized 27 trains a day through that area – in both directions, at all hours, and at extremely slow and fast train speeds.  A multi-million dollar Community Center adjacent to the BNSF Railroad will be adversely affected economically by the very loud and persistent train noise.

Best Location and Site Selection Criteria?

How was the old Top Crop property the “best” candidate for a McGregor Community Center?  The recent history of the property reveals it was owned by the FNB for years as a foreclosure.  For 8 years it set without a buyer with an asking price of $300K. 

The basic question becomes – what was the “selection criteria” that made the Top Crop Property so “desirable?”

    1. Certain Business Owners lobbied with the City to build the Exchange on 3rd Street with the idea it will increase business and benefit the community.
    2. The City assumes it is a bargain because of the acreage and the proximity to Downtown and pays the asking price of $300K.
    3. The City assumes the existing grain storage bin can be adapted as a Community Center and it will be a showplace for the community.

The Reality of the Top Crop location is:

    1. Other locations should have been given better consideration.
    2. The City seriously under-estimates the cost to convert the property, the cost to maintain such a structure, and the actual for-profit usage the project will generate.
    3. The project struggles for years because of the noisy location, then loses millions in revenue, and eventually fails.
    4. McGregor residents are responsible for the Debt and Debt Service.
    5. The Real estate Broker found a Buyer in the City of McGregor [and get a large commission].
    6. The Bank loans the City 2 Million dollars for 30 years and makes 1 million in fees.
    7. Downtown McGregor gets a business boost using Taxpayer money.

What is the primary reason the Downtown Exchange will fail to be an asset for our community?  – THE NOISE!

What can be done?

Find YOUR Voice and begin to “lead the City leadership.”
If we don’t “help them,” they will continue to repeat the same spending behavior.

Contact  Your City Councilman [by way of] Angelia Sloan,
City Secretary — [254] 840-2806 — asloan@mcgregor-texas.com