It’s not that Rosenberg City Council members don’t want an EpiCenter built in their city. It’s just that they want to make sure wherever it’s built, it’s a good fit for the city.
The proposed EpiCenter, and more, was discussed at Tuesday’s Rosenberg City Council workshop meeting.
The center project would be located on the south side of U.S. 59 at Bamore Road, which has given neighboring residents pause.
Developers and county staff spoke to council’s concerns about drainage issues and traffic attributable to this project.
Stonehenge Developer Chris Surface explained that at least three traffic signals would be installed in on Bamore Road and U.S. 59, SH 36 and Retail Lane and West Fairgrounds Road and SH 36 to mitigate traffic.
“We’re working with the county on improving Fairgrounds Road,” he told council. “We’ve outlined what the parking situation might look like and really broadly, it shows most of the time there is very sufficient capacity for the facility to cover parking.”
Surface said there will be about 18 days out of the year where there are more people than the 2,500 parking spots available.
“Tax paying citizens don’t like this idea,” council member Tim Anders replied.
“They’re concerned about the noise, they’re concerned about the traffic, they’re concerned about the drainage. The county left us in the dark until today. Probably because we screamed a little bit and y’all came out. It’s probably going to be a good project.
“I don’t know... the county’s been forthcoming with these answers. We probably deserve more details. If we’re going to invest this hard-earned county money, let’s sell it out every time.”
Council member Tim Krugh agreed.
“We’re representing the residents here and I listen to them every day and they have concerns,” Krugh began. “And they’re valid concerns. But to speak positively on this, most people I talk to are not against the EpiCenter. Where it’s being built is where we have a problem.”
Krugh noted that the amount of parking spaces didn’t seem like enough.
“We’re going to have concerts in this place,” he said. “I am an avid concert-goer myself. If you get a major concert event going... this place is going to sell out. Twenty-five hundred parking spaces concerns me. (Roadwork) is going to be needed.
“Where you’re putting the traffic lights is going to help, so thank you for that. SH 36 and 59 is a nightmare now. It’s even worse when we have the Fort Bend County Fair going on. Throw this thing into it? We got to do something.”
The facility, which was approved by county commissioners in February, would be able to host a variety of event types, including public/consumer shows, graduations, sports and recreation, spectator events, community/civic events, agriculture/livestock/equestrian shows, festivals and fairs and conferences.
This would allow the county to have a multipurpose facility that can host trade shows and amateur athletic events, including athletic and graduation events for schools in Lamar Consolidated ISD, Needville ISD and Stafford MSD.
The facility would also be an emergency facility that can be useful for weather events such as hurricanes, floods and extreme winter weather. It could also be used as an emergency command center.
Although this project would be built within the Rosenberg city limits, city staff explained this county project is still in the early stages of development.
The total development cost of the EpiCenter, slated to begin construction in November, is approximately $120 million.
Council member Susan Euton requested that the county bring more information to council as it’s released as to stay abreast on the EpiCenter project.