By Scott Harvey
Commerce – Just as Covidien was announcing plans to close its Commerce plant, the community learns that several other companies may be on their way in, after a sale of university-owned property toward the development of a multi-use retail site.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents this week approved a proposal by A&M-Commerce to sell the more than seven acre tract on the southeast corner of Highway 50, just south and west of Whitley Hall.
The winning bid of $900,000 was placed by Pittsburg-based Armstrong Development Properties, Inc. who, after two fair market appraisals, agreed to increase their offer to $1 million.
The proposed retail tenants will provide alternative dining, employment opportunities and support services to A&M-Commerce students. The university will maintain some controls over the use of the property, and also has final say in the architectural design of the improvements prior to development.
A&M-Commerce struck a similar deal several years ago that brought in a new Wal-Mart, Holiday Inn, and eventually Lone Star Eatery Grill and Bar, located across from the proposed new development site along Highway 50. The development has led to hundreds of jobs for university students and other community members.