Mansfield News

Council eyes grocery, shopping center

Mike Skinner's family joined him Monday night after the city surprised him by renaming the Mansfield Sports Complex in his honor.
Mike Skinner's family joined him Monday night after the city surprised him by renaming the Mansfield Sports Complex in his honor. Special to the News-Mirror

A new grocery store could anchor a 240,000-square-foot shopping center at the southeast corner of the East Broad Street and U.S. 287 intersection.

The City Council got its first look at the project late Monday night, and approved the project unanimously on first reading. Councilman Stephen Lindsey was not present for the vote.

The site plan shows a 106,000-square-foot grocery store with a gas station. City officials can’t disclose the name of the grocer yet, so residents will have to speculate, especially considering which stores are already in town.

The 33.7-acre site could also have a 63,000-square-foot anchor, a 44,000 square-foot strip center with room for four retail tenants. The project will be limited to three fast food restaurants. The MCA Medical Center at the corner of Mitchell Road and East Broad Street would be torn down as part of the project.

The council expects better landscape renderings by next week, and will have special meetings June 20 and June 21 to fast-track the project.

Mansfield will also consider incentives for the proposal at an upcoming meeting. John Rose, who represented the developer, said the project could take three or four years to develop. Mayor David Cook said city incentives would have firm deadlines that the project would have to meet.

New name for park

The council surprised Mike Skinner, longtime president of the Mansfield Park Facilities Development Corp. board, by renaming the Mansfield Sports Complex in his honor.

The facility, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, will officially be called the Michael L. Skinner Sports Complex. Both the Mansfield Youth Baseball Association and the Mansfield Soccer Association play at the facility.

From city staff to youth coaches, everyone unanimously agreed with the name change, said Shelly Lanners, deputy city manager.

Skinner was instrumental in getting the half-cent sales tax that funds the MPFDC on the ballot in 1992. He served on the board for 15 years, 14 as president, while the city built several new parks, including Big League Dreams, Hawaiian Falls and the Walnut Creek Linear Park.

Newman Academy

The council also voted on second reading to allow a charter school to locate at Walnut Ridge Baptist Church on Texas 360 just north of East Broad Street. The third and final reading will be at the June 27 meeting.

The Newman International Academy wants to open a kindergarten through fourth-grade campus at the church that will have about 260 students initially. The charter school will add a grade each year, ultimately reaching about 1,000 students.

Mayor David Cook added a stipulation requiring a gate at the church to prevent cut-through traffic through the church as drivers try to avoid traffic on Texas 360. Several residents to the west complained about traffic. Pastor Randy Weeaks said the church already bid on a gate and it will be installed soon. Speed bumps were already installed.

Councilman Stephen Lindsey was the lone no vote.

In other business, the council voted to allocate an additional $39,501 in hotel/motel tax funds to the Farr Best Theater. The Mansfield Commission for the Arts has leased the facility and plans to start having art-related events there.

The council also gave initial approval to a storage facility on East Broad Street near Willie Brown Elementary School and Ray’s Pharmacy. The project will come back for second reading June 27. Lindsey voted against the facility.