Developers behind Epicenter League City, a planned $450 million commercial development, soon will begin ground improvements on an adjacent 16-acre tract that will give residents a flavor of what the future holds, officials announced.

The city council in October reached a predevelopment agreement with a group called Epicenter of League City LLC on a project that could one day bring four hotels, a convention center, arenas for a hockey and a baseball team, restaurants and shops and other businesses to town, but little information has emerged about the project since.

“Talks are still in progress,” said Linda Merritt, a spokeswoman for the development group. “But just because it’s a larger development with more elements for consideration, it’s taking longer than what everyone would have preferred. But we’re still in conversation.”

The announcement through a press release is the first news of movement from the developers since last year.The group is planning ground improvements for a 16-acre tract of land at the intersection of Calder Road and Link Road, near Interstate 45, they said.

The tract is planned to be a mixed-use development featuring restaurants, retail shops and hotels, creating a flavor for what the bigger Epicenter project might look like, minus the sports elements, Merritt said.

Technically, the smaller tract is being developed by Western Spherical Developers LLC. Epicenter of League City LLC is a separate company, according to the project’s website.

In addition to being adjacent to the Chester L. Davis Sportsplex — where developers one day hope to build Epicenter League City — it is also adjacent to a 3-acre property that is intended as a site for a Holiday Inn Express at the intersection of Interstate 45 and state Highway 96, officials said.

Construction of the Holiday Inn will jumpstart opportunities for businesses and new development in the area, officials said.

The 16-acre site is being marketed for pad sales, ground leases, entertainment venues, retail and boutique accommodations, Merritt said.

As part of the agreement for the larger Epicenter League City development, the developer would fund the design and construction of a new, larger sportsplex for the city on the growing western side of town on about 100 acres near the Bay Colony subdivision, replacing the Chester L. Davis Sportsplex.

The current sportsplex sits on prime real estate along Interstate 45 that would one day house the new development.

City and development officials in October said they hoped to have a finalized development agreement by the end of January, but that has not yet happened.

Once a final development agreement is signed, construction could begin as soon as 30 days later, officials said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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