In a 7-1 vote, the La Grange City Council approved its half of the $17.7 million contribution to phases one and two of Oldham Reserve, a development by Hollenbach-Oakley. Funds from the city also include engineering fees for all five phases of the project.
Development on Oldham Reserve’s 1,000-acre campus, located just south of La Grange and I-71, will take place in five phases. Construction of Phase One includes a Class-A apartment complex and a planned town square, according to County-Judge Executive David Voegele.
The Oldham-La Grange Development Authority (OLDA), the property’s governing body, also voted to support an infrastructure initiative that will not only add significant utility services to La Grange, but the Oldham Reserve Development. The proposition was based on a 2022 study by La Grange Utilities to determine how much it would cost to add utilities to Oldham Reserve and the surrounding area.
According to Oldham Chamber and Economic Development President David Bizianes, the study determined it will cost $15.8 million to provide the necessary infrastructure to bring the park online. Added environmental mitigation expenses, namely blue line stream preservation, bring the total investment to $17.7 million—split evenly between the city and county. The expense will be paid back to the city and county through an increase in the per-acre “release price” of future land sales.
In addition to the development by Hollenbach-Oakley, the ongoing widening of I-71, brings a renewed energy to the area. Local architect John Stewart, a member of the OLDA board, echoed that sentiment.
“It’s been a long time to even get to the point to present this [proposal],” Stewart said. “This is an investment in the future of this city and county. There’s never been this kind of momentum for the park.”
Elected officials expressed their support for the project following the approval of the contribution. Mayor John Black added that elected officials sometimes need to “spend money to make money” and that the city’s $8.8 million contribution is a reflection of that.
“The good news is we don’t have to borrow this money,” Black said.