The East Montgomery County Improvement District announced plans to construct a 200,000-square-foot conference and events center near Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney. (Rendering courtesy East Montgomery County Improvement District)

The East Montgomery County Improvement District Board of Directors announced in an April 6 news release that the district is proposing to build a $108 million, 200,000-square-foot conference center near Valley Ranch Town Center in New Caney.

According to the news release, the conference center will feature a 55,000-square-foot ballroom and exhibit hall that can hold more than 6,000 people. Additionally, it will contain nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting space, which officials said would be large enough to hold major corporate events, trade shows, local and regional youth sporting events, consumer shows, galas, wedding receptions, proms and other private events.

“The board has researched the idea of a conference center for several years,” EMCID Board Chair Brenda Webb said in a news release. “EMCID’s current facility—The Atrium Center, which has a combined 15,000 square feet of leasable space—has been turning away business on a constant basis because it’s just too small for many events with over 200 people. Each time is a lost revenue opportunity for nearby restaurants and local hotels.”

EMCID President and CEO Frank McCrady said the project is aiming to add a greater corporate presence near the Grand Parkway and Hwy. 59 corridor.

“The idea is to create the critical pieces that make the Greater Porter and New Caney area a destination for many, but more importantly, a place where locally all can work, shop, play and even graduate at home,” McCrady said in a news release. “We should be at the top of the list of major employment relocations, and this investment will certainly help move the needle.”

Over the next 30 years, officials said the project is projected to generate roughly $1.73 billion in net new spending within the boundaries of the district, $775 million in net new earnings and more than 500 full-time-equivalent jobs. Additionally, the project is projected to generate around $35.1 million in sales, hotel and venue taxes to the district, according to the news release.

EMCID officials said construction on the project, which is being designed by Helman-Hurley-Charvat-Peacock Architects, is expected to begin in late 2022 and open mid-2024. The facility, site preparation, furniture, fixtures and equipment is estimated to cost around $90 million, while the parking structure is projected to cost about $18 million.

EMCID officials noted the project will be supported through sales tax revenue bonds.