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Energy Tower Developer Speaks Out Ahead of Town Hall

Plans for the proposed 58-story Energy Tower hinge, in part, on your thoughts. Energy Related Properties, the real estate investment and management firm behind the project, is hosting a town hall Tuesday to listen to citizens’ concerns and answer questions.
MIDLAND – Plans for the proposed 58-story Energy Tower hinge, in part, on your thoughts. Energy Related Properties, the real estate investment and management firm behind the project, is hosting a town hall Tuesday to listen to citizens’ concerns and answer questions.

The town hall meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 20 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Midland Center.

“This is a pioneering project and Midland was built on pioneers,” William Meyer, the President of Energy Related Properties told Big 2’s Shelby Levins in an exclusive sit-down interview on Monday.

Like many of the early settlers, Meyer moved to Midland because he saw promise.

“I’m fully vested here, not just as a business person, but as a Midlander – I had a child here,” Meyer explained. “We as a community cannot let this downtown go.”

Energy Related Properties is partnering with Wexford Capital, a global investment advisor, to fund the sky scrapper which is poised to revitalize and stabilize downtown.

“We are asking really big companies with really big balance sheets that can withstand hopefully the ups and downs to make 10, 15 and 20 year commitments to this project,” Meyer stated.

About 564,000 sq.ft. inside the sky scraper is planned for office space; about 230,000 sq.ft. is set aside for residential space in the form of loft apartments; approximately 226,000 sq.ft. is planned for a 198-room luxury hotel; and about 53,000 sq.ft. is slated for retail shops.

“This will act as a stabilizing force for all of downtown Midland,” Meyer said.

But with the complexity of this massive project, Meyer admits some short comings.

“We've done a very poor job on engaging questions that concerned citizens may have -- I feel sorry about that,” Meyer lamented.

The developers are now making the public a priority. And Meyer says he wants residents to share in his vision of the Energy Tower.

“I see a project that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue – which will lower your taxes,” Meyer explained. “I see a project that is going to generate billions of dollars in economic activity.”

To help get the estimated $475 million project off the ground, the developers are asking the City of Midland to fund the proposed five-level subterranean parking garage.

“Any developer that comes to Midland and is considering doing a project in downtown Midland is going to and has requested the contribution of a parking lot,” Meyer said.

Meyer says he’s asking the city for $75 million. But in return, he says the development will make the city four times that in tax revenue over the next decade, quoting an Economic Impact Analysis the Midland Development Corporation contracted.

“Over 20 years, it’s $640 million in taxes, almost $6 billion in economic impact – that’s a great investment,” Meyer explained.

But Meyer says if The City of Midland won’t grant any incentives and if the community doesn’t want this type of infrastructure downtown, the project could be moved. 

“It would go against our fabric of downtown revitalization that we’re absolutely committed to, but we’re not going to walk away from a 15 to 20 year commitment from any company,” Meyer stated. “We’re going to commit to providing them want they need, we’re just going to do it somewhere else.”

But the need for a project like this, Meyer says, is not going anywhere.

“We’re in some very serious discussions with multiple parties right now,” Meyer said. “So what you could end up finding this whole thing moving out west and it would just be Energy Campus.”

The City of Midland released the following written statement, regarding any possible Energy Tower development incentives:

“We are still in talks with the developers about what possible incentives might look like for the Energy Tower. That decision has not been finalized and would require a vote by elected officials, but yes, we have been asked to consider various incentives. It is not uncommon for developers to approach the City as well as entities such as Midland Development Corporation and the Tax Increment Reinvest Zone, which aim to help diversify our economy and assist with infrastructure that would encourage growth.

Any incentives would be part of our agreement with the developers, which we’ve already indicated would include the Courthouse property. We agreed on a deadline of one year after we purchased the Courthouse property to reach this agreement. We are doing our due diligence to ensure that this would be a development that benefits Midland and that they are securing serious tenants for the project. From what we know of it so far, this project would generate a significant increase in property tax, sales tax, and hotel/motel tax revenues that will lessen the burden of the average taxpayer.”


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