WMPID History and Success: A Story of Westwood Village Shopping Center
7 Dec 2022
The groundbreaking of Westwood Village Shopping Center by Regency Centers is intertwined with the beginnings and growth of the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District (WMPID).
WMPID, founded in 2003 as a partnership between local governments and the state, has a three-pronged mission to support infrastructure, business growth, and public safety projects in the area of the FM 1488/2978 junction. WMPID began operating in its current form in 2006. At that time, WMPID sold bonds funded by sales tax, enabling Regency Center, Inc. to establish Westwood Village Shopping Center located in the middle of the District at the intersection of FM 1488 and FM 2978.
The official groundbreaking for the shopping center was July 1, 2006. Construction was completed in 2007 in time for the holiday season kicking off with Black Friday. Today, Westwood Village is the retail centerpiece for WMPID, featuring a variety of stores, including office supplies, clothing, pet, and consumer goods. Target and Fitness Project are prominent anchors. The service industry is well-represented, with dental and optical offices, salons, spas, fast food, and sit-down restaurants. The ever-increasing tax revenue generated from the shopping center each year is a measure of its continued success. These revenues help WMPID keep up with the infrastructure as the area grows.
WMPID focuses on safety just as much as business growth, as evidenced by its nearly $925,000 2023 budget for security. The focus dates back to WMPID’s inception. When Westwood Village Shopping Center was in its design stages, WMPID asked Regency Centers to allocate space for a sheriff sub-station. Regency Centers obliged by providing a storefront, but the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department did not have the budget to fund a full-time officer. In stepped WMPID to pay the yearly cost of a deputy to increase the presence of the sheriff’s office in the area. The continued staffing and vehicle expenses for this sheriff sub-station are ones WMPID is gratified to pay. The law enforcement presence deters crime before it can start and saves officers time responding to concerns.When it was discovered the afternoon sun blaring through the windows made the sub-station unbearably warm, WMPID funded $1300 in window tinting and new decal signage so that deputies and administrative staff could have a comfortable space to perform their duties.
In 2020, WMPID funded another layer of security for Westwood Village Shopping Center: Alpha & Omega Mounted Patrol. The mounted troopers work hand in hand with local law enforcement to provide extra eyes and ears to deter criminal activity in the community’s commercial and residential areas.
The mounted troopers add additional elements of visibility, mobility, and approachability. Elevated on horseback, troopers have a view over the cars and foot traffic, and just as advantageously, people on the ground can see them above the parked vehicles. The Mounted Patrol has unique mobility and can move between cars and cross into more rugged terrain like the woods and weeds. But it's the Mounted Patrol’s approachability that makes it a unique community asset because people of all ages are drawn to the horses. Interacting with the public is part of their job; they have stories to tell and coloring books and trading cards to give to the kids.
Let’s not forget about infrastructure. A prime example of WMPID’s dedication is the roadway improvements WMPID has funded around Westwood Village. To increase public safety on Egypt Lane, WMPID implemented the construction of a dedicated turning lane with a right turn extension from Research Forest to turn north onto Egypt Lane. The project, including engineering, testing, construction, utility relocation, right-of-way acquisition, and the installation of a new traffic signal mast arm, cost approximately $702,900.
The right turn lane relieves the congestion at the Research Forest and Egypt Landing intersection caused by parent pickup traffic for Ellisor Elementary. The right turn lane enables the school pickup line to be out of the traffic flow and significantly improves access to the shopping center. Traffic is smoother and safer for residents and employees accessing restaurants, retail stores, and medical offices.
Westwood Village Shopping Center is the story of WMPID itself: still growing with the community's needs in full focus. Westwood Village provides a great place to shop, eat, and work while generating sales tax revenues that help keep infrastructure funded.
To explore all the ways WMPID is focused on safety and growth, and to see how you or your business would benefit from being located in our Texas community, visit our website here.