City center plan a work in progress

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By Nicole Jones

Manvel City leaders are looking at a wide variety of options for developing what will eventually be the City Center Complex east of Highway 288. 

The 150 acres that will eventually be home with city facilities is located near the Del Bello Lakes community currently under development. The site will most likely include city government, sports complexes, recreational facilities and a mix of commercial such as restaurant and retail. 

Houston-based architecture, engineering and planning firm PGAL has come up with three site development options for the city: A dense, more urban option with less green space with a water feature centerpiece; a more park-oriented space to tie together the commercial and city facilities with a more organic water feature with outdoor playgrounds, common areas and jogging trails;  and an even more green-space oriented plan in which a smaller number of commercial areas are tied to outdoor space with more recreational uses including a community pool. 

Manvel Mayor Debra Davison has expressed concern about how the complex will look to those who first see it. 

“One of the things I looked at on all three of these, when you approach the city off of Del Bello, I’m concerned about approaching parking spaces,” she said during an October workshop. “I would like to see us have some sort of foliage or a buffer of some sort from the street to the complex.”

Council members are also concerned about parking and appeared pleased with the green space options. The more dense, urban plan does allow for more city income through commercial development. 

Discussions also have included multi-level parking and commercial partnerships. 

The city in 2018 purchased the land, which was part of the 600-acre Sowell Tract bordered by Del Bello Blvd. Plans for the site include a new city hall, public safety buildings, sports and recreation amenities. A land plan for the complex is expected to be announced before the end of the year.

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