2021 IN REVIEW: 5 | Developers attracted to New Braunfels | Community alert

The development and redevelopment of New Braunfels was a subject of constant coverage by the Herald-Zeitung in 2021.

Of the many projects underway or in planning for 2021, the most significant development proposal unveiled during the year was the Mayfair Project, a 1,900-acre project proposed along I-35 just off the coast. ‘outside the city limits of New Braunfels, which is expected to bring thousands of housing units to the area, commercial and light industrial development, as well as parks and spaces for additional schools. Southstar Communities, based in New Braunfels, is developing the project.

The proposal draws comparisons to Veramendi, a similar 2,400-acre project that officially opened in 2019 and continues to build.

According to Jeff Jewell, director of economic and community development for New Braunfels, the project plans call for 300 acres of parks and open spaces accessible to the public, sharing the sales tax with New Braunfels, sites for four schools. Comal ISD, updated regional utilities, a variety of different housing types, an employment center dedicated to business and industrial development and land stewardship standards.

Jewell added that the development deal with SouthStar approved by city council members in June allows the city to impose development standards and reviews not otherwise permitted in extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“There are advantages to planning such a large area,” Jewell said. “You are able to take a system-wide network approach to various things such as drainage, parks and transportation. “

Council members also approved the creation of Comal County Water Improvement District No. 3, which would retain the power to impose an assessment on payment for drainage, roads, water and sewer services, parks and other elements appropriate by law in the development property.

The objective of the assessment is to provide a reimbursement process to developers for the construction of various public facilities.

The development will include new roads to offset project traffic and will be paid for by the developers, an east / west I-35 underpass, fire station property, sewage and water utilities, and the regional drainage.

“It’s not our only plan,” Thad Rutherford, president of SouthStar Communities, told the Herald-Zeitung. “This is a plan for the city and Envision New Braunfels. “Everything New Braunfels has been building for years – Mayfair will deliver – parks, open spaces, infrastructure. We pay for the infrastructure. That’s why there was no opposition, in my opinion. We brought something to the table rather than asking for something at the end of the day. It’s a true mixed-use community, and we’re very excited to develop it.

Envision New Braunfels is a city-wide effort to develop a vision and a “road map” for the future of New Braunfels through 2030. City council members adopted it in August 2018.

The estimated lifespan of the Mayfair project is 15 to 20 years.

In August, SouthStar appointed Chip Mills as senior vice president to lead the development of the Mayfair community.

Mill town

A redevelopment plan for a property in the Milltown neighborhood of New Braunfels, which includes a hotel, retail and dining spaces, office and event spaces, and multi-family housing, is undergoing a process rezoning.

Earlier in December, city council members gave their initial approval to a measure that would change the property’s zoning from a heavy industrial district to a less intense mixed-use district to facilitate redevelopment as part of the improvements to the city. Project plan identified in the reinvestment area of ​​the River Mill tax increases.

A second and final reading of the measure would be submitted to the council for consideration on January 10.

The subject property, owned by San Antonio-based DRT-PMP Land LLC, comprises 29 acres comprising 17 plots of land adjacent to Broadway Drive, Rusk Street, Porter Street and the Guadalupe River, behind the New Braunfels MarketPlace shopping center. The property includes the old mill building, accessory buildings, structures and parking lots.

Don Thomas of DRT-PMP Land said the design of the property was inspired by the redevelopment of Pearl Brewery in San Antonio.

“The idea is to keep some of the structures and try to reuse them,” he told board members.

Thomas said one of the structures planned for reuse is the original mill building.

He added that in addition to hotel and retail opportunities, the plan also includes outdoor space that could be used for concerts and other activities to generate traffic for the hotel and establishments. retail.

Thomas also added that no final decision has been made on the redevelopment plans.

“It’s a beautiful property that has a great history with the buildings,” Thomas told the Herald-Zeitung after the meeting. “I like this type of product, so I think this will be something the city embraces and loves when it is done.”

NBU main square

In November, New Braunfels Utilities selected a recommended development team including local developers for the acquisition and development of its Main Plaza location, which, according to utility officials, “offers the best and best use of the site.” .

The Mainzer team, made up of New Braunfels-based Seals Family Properties, Houston-based builder Kingham Dalton Wilson and New Braunfels-based Gillum Development, has been appointed for the proposed site activation, meeting utility goals. municipal set up during the “request qualification process” and “Request for proposals”.

The announcement came after several years of planning and preparation to develop the NBU Main Plaza property and its future use of the site, NBU officials said.

The proposed development incorporates German culture and includes a downtown boutique hotel to be named “The Mainzer” and social gathering places including a restaurant and bar, and a social garden, a venue according to the developers designed “for feeling at home, offering a welcoming environment to come and stay for a while.

“Team Mainzer is honored and delighted to be selected as the Recommended Developer of NBU’s Downtown Main Plaza Building,” said developer Gary Seals. “We are locals and we understand the importance of preserving and showcasing this important downtown cornerstone and the history this site represents. We look forward to fine-tuning the details of our vision and bringing this concept to life, to the delight of locals and tourists alike. “

The recommended development team will formally present their proposal to the NBU board for consideration on January 27, 2022. Negotiations with the NBU and the city are continuing and will ultimately shape the final concept of the project.

NBU began the divestiture process of its historic Main Plaza buildings in January as it prepares to construct a new headquarters located off the 337 Loop next to the NBU Trinity wellfield and processing plant.

Hotel conversions

In November, California-based Vivo Investment Group, which specializes in recycling hotels into apartment complexes, announced plans to convert 75 rooms at the former three-story Quality Inn on I-35 south of the 337 loop in long-term studios. .

Vivo is also completing a 139-unit conversion project at the former Ramada Inn on I-35 near Loop 337.

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