Keller City Council approves upscale movie theater for Town Center

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Keller City Council unanimously approved a site plan and development incentive and performance agreement worth more than $500,000 for the developers of Moviehouse & Eatery, an upscale, eight-screen, dine-in movie theater to be built at 250 Rufe Snow Drive.

Construction will begin this summer on the theater, scheduled to open by summer 2014.

Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved recommendation April 8.

The flagship Moviehouse & Eatery opened in Austin in November. Plans for the Keller location will include a dine-in theater in eight auditoriums in more than 42,000 square feet. The theater will accommodate about 900 people and include reserved seating in plush electric recliners and wall-to-wall screens.

The menu will feature a mix of from-scratch favorites such as artisan pizzas, burgers and sandwiches to classics like fish and chips and desserts like molten chocolate cake. The restaurant and bar will be open to both movie goers and Town Center diners.

The city’s development incentive and performance agreement includes eliminating building and construction fees, reimbursing developers up to $200,000 in reimbursement for signal improvements at Rufe Snow Drive, landscaping and trail improvements along the public right-of-way and the rebate of city of Keller impact fees.

The agreement also includes a new property tax grant, which for four years will return to the owners the taxes paid to Keller on the property in excess of the land’s base tax value; a 50 percent rebate on personal property taxes paid to Keller for five years, not to exceed $7,800 annually; and rebate of the 1 percent of sales taxes allocated to the city’s general fund for three years, not to exceed $70,000 annually.

Moviehouse & Eatery will also add a minimum of $5.5 million worth of taxable property within the city’s Tax Increment Financing district.

The city will be refunding its portion of the property tax on those improvements for four years but taxes collected by Tarrant County, Keller ISD, Tarrant County College District and the Tarrant County Hospital District will immediately contribute to debt payments of the TIF.

Economic Development Coordinator DeAnna Reaves said return on investment for the incentives could provide the city about $900,000 within five years and $1.8 million in 10 years.

Councilman John Hoffmann said this is a worthwhile project for the city to invest in.

"I think the community will get back, certainly what we invest economically, but more than that it will bring quality entertainment and a quality business to this community," he said. "We couldn’t be happier."

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