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Proposals push for growth in Henrietta housing market

By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

Five lots in Henrietta’s Western Estates development will soon be back on the market after the Henrietta Growth Corporation gave Economic Development Director Rick Langford the go-ahead Monday night.

Langford approached the HGC board of directors with a proposition designed to entice homebuilders despite a stagnant economy by offering the lots with no up-front costs. Once the home is completed and sold, the builder would be pay a purchase price of $900, plus 5 percent of the price of the house, due to the HGC upon closing.

Langford said he has already has at least one homebuilder interested.

The homes would range in price from $100,000 to $150,000, and would meet deed restrictions set forth in the original plans for the development. Western Estates was to be developed with “entry-level” houses for first-time homebuyers.

The economic development director said that in his visits with a local realtor, he had been advised that Henrietta has a shortage of three bedroom, two bath brick homes in the $100,000-$200,000 price range. The interested builder stated that he could construct a basic home meeting that criteria for about $70 per square foot.

The lots will also be offered to the public at $8,000 each, an amount decided on in closed session. Langford suggested dividing the number of lots between Penny Riordan of Strategic Realtors and Howard Beeler of Heritage Real Estate, two real estate brokers whom office in Henrietta.

The two most desirable lots will go to one realtor, while the three least desirable will be listed with the other realtor.

Buyers will enter into a contract with the HGC to begin building on the properties within 90 days, and will have 180 to complete construction. They will face a 20 percent default rate if construction is not finished.

Builders who purchase the property after it has been listed with a real estate agent will be required to pay an additional $500 to satisfy any advertising costs.

Directors approved both propositions and gave Langford authority to relist the properties as needed.

The board also extended an earnest money contract with Energy Concepts Development, offering the Wichita Falls homebuilder first right to purchase for land surrounding the Country Meadows development. The company, operated by Rick Belz and Tracy Smith, held a contract with the HGC to be renewed annually. The contract came due in November, While Henrietta was without and economic development director. The renewal will be postdated, set to expire Nov. 15, 2012.

Phase one of Country Meadows is a 20-lot development with upscale, energy efficient houses that began in 2007. Four homes have been constructed. The development is located between Western Estates and Henrietta High School.

In his monthly report to the board, Langford said he has been in talks with a Fort Worth mail-order company that is considering relocating to Henrietta. The move would create four jobs. He also said a truck stop chain is in negotiations with a local landowner and is interested in building near Best Western Hotel. Langford said the search for a restaurant chain to open near the hotel is ongoing, but stated that he has interested investors, an operator and is looking for a suitable franchise. Feasibility studies are underway to determine projected sales.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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