DENISON, TX -- A multi-million dollar investment on Lake Texoma has been in the planning stages for more than 12 years. Friday, Schuler Development inked the deal, buying the land to make it a reality.
With the signing of this deed, Schuler Development officially owns a total of 3,000 acres of land near Lake Texoma.
"I can finish my speech with one word, finally," Congressman Ralph Hall said.
"It's just a good day for Denison and we're proud to play our part," George Schuler said.
Schuler Development worked with federal and state officials for more than a decade to make this project happen. The proposed development spurred the passage of the federal Water Resources Development Act of 2007, authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to sell land for improvement projects that provide for the conservation and development of water related resources.
Before the sale could go through, the Corps of Engineers conducted a thorough environmental impact study.
"It's certainly not been done on this scale. We've had other land conveyances that we've done with the Corps Of Engineers, but nothing to this magnitude. I think it just shows how much the federal government is looking to move more towards public/private partnerships in the future," Col. Mike Teague said.
Schuler Development paid $1.9 million for those studies, and purchased the land for a little more than $1.8 million. The plan is to invest about $215 million in infrastructure -- from restaurants to shops and amenities, and build about 10,000 homes.
"When you look at the big scope of this project, the impact is larger than anything that's ever been done in the state," Denison Mayor Jared Johnson said.
George Schuler says Lake Texoma's location and size are a few of the reasons he's confident about the investment.
"There are 8 million people that visit here every year, and as the Dallas, Fort Worth area grows, there will be many many more," Schuler said.
He says the next step is market research. Then, towards the end of summer they'll start forming a construction plan.
"We'll bring to town experts in hotel and golf and senior housing and all the disciplines of land development, and we'll work for two or three days with the city and the county and the Corps of Engineers, and we will come up with a plan," Schuler said.
Both city and state officials say although it took time, it was time well spent.
"I'd do anything for this county and these cities. They're progressive, they're looking ahead and they're working together. If they hadn't had total cooperation up here, it wouldn't have happened," Congressman Hall said.