Corinth approves DATCU incentives

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The Corinth City Council has unanimously approved about $330,000 in incentives that will see DATCU’s corporate headquarters move from downtown Denton to Corinth.

The council approved a package during its regular meeting Thursday night that included a grant from the city’s economic development corporation to offset the city’s road impact fees as well as a 5-year, 50 percent abatement of city property taxes on the new building DATCU will construct at 5940 Interstate 35E.

According to Guy Brown, economic development director for the city, the grant will be for $150,000, as the city recently lowered the rate of road impact fees charged to new development. City staff estimated the value of the tax abatement at $180,000, bringing the total incentive package for DATCU to about $330,000.

Under the agreement, DATCU will have to construct and occupy the new corporate headquarters by December 2015, otherwise the city has the option to withhold the incentives, according to City Manager Rick Chaffin.

He said the city is elated to have DATCU choose Corinth for its corporate home.

“We think they are a good match for Corinth and they will be a great corporate citizen for our community,” Chaffin said.

DATCU is expected to make an initial capital investment of about $15 million to construct a 50,000-square-foot building for its corporate headquarters. Initially, 75 employees will work out of the building. The building will be able to expand to more than 80,000 square feet.

The city and DATCU issued joint statements Thursday night after the vote. In DATCU’s statement, company president Dale Kimble affirmed statements he has made publicly, saying that the company will be sorry to leave Denton, where it was founded in 1936, but they had outgrown their current facilities downtown.

In the past 10 years, DATCU has grown from about $300 million to more than $700 million in assets with nine branches in Denton County and one in Wise County.

DATCU had originally proposed purchasing a property on Teasley Lane, currently home to St. Mark’s Catholic Church. But the company’s proposal met with stiff resistance from some of the residents in the area. During its meeting in August, the Denton Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the City Council deny the zoning change needed for DATCU to build there.

The City Council posted the matter for its agenda but never voted on the matter because DATCU withdrew its application after the denial.

The city’s loss of DATCU’s headquarters came up in the mayoral candidate forums this week in the Denia neighborhood and at Robson Ranch. Chris Watts, who was serving as District 4 council member at the time, called the matter “a failure of leadership at all levels.” Jean Schaake, who serves as the chair of Planning and Zoning, defended the vote, saying that the commission listens to, and protects, neighborhoods. Donna Woodfork said that there is nothing to be done now about the city’s loss and that Corinth could be a good home for DATCU.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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