New Braunfels hosts final public visioning meeting for South Castell Avenue development

New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel speaks with one of the breakout groups at the last public visioning meeting for a 10-acre development project for South Castell Avenue.

New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel speaks with one of the breakout groups at the last public visioning meeting for a 10-acre development project for South Castell Avenue.

Image description
South Castell Avenue Visioning Meeting
Image description
Castell Graphic

The city of New Braunfels hosted its sixth and final visioning meeting Jan. 24 to generate more feedback on how a 10-acre, city-owned tract of land on South Castell Avenue will be developed.


A participatory survey collected at the fifth public meeting in mid-November asked for input on three different proposals for the property. Findings showed Option A, the most dense and highest revenue-generating choice, to have the most support.

Tara Kohlenberg, executive director of Sophienburg Museum and Archives in New Braunfels, is among those who support Option A. Kohlenberg, who has been involved throughout the project’s visioning process, feels the public-private partnership proposed by the city is the best solution for the use of the land.

“It’s the uncontrolled growth that is the most frightening,” she said.

Kohlenberg said she likes that the plan includes a civic/convention center with an attached hotel and that Option A is the most likely plan to attract a nice hotel “with all the amenities,” as well as a quality developer to execute the project.

Other residents lean toward a lower-density solution that would lend itself to less traffic.

“We have a lot of intrusion already,” downtown resident Lynn Norvell said. “I would much rather have something tasteful and planned and smaller.”

The Jan. 24 meeting gave 19 breakout groups 45 minutes to discuss the project's density, economic impact and design. Each group was then given three minutes to present their comments to the audience.

“If we see a trend, we may have to do some further analysis on that trend,” New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno said.

Parking was among the most popular themes addressed. Options A and B each include a parking garage, and several of the groups mentioned they would like to see that feature added to Option C. However, Camareno said because parking garages are expensive, it would not be feasible to incorporate one into Option C because the development would produce far less revenue.

Other guests pointed out that parking trends are likely to change in the next 20 years with the incorporation of autonomous vehicles, making the need for a large parking garage less likely.
Other comments and concerns mentioned at the meeting include:


  • Importance of maintaining the character of the city and downtown

  • Affordability of hosting events at new civic/convention center

  • Considering quality of life over dollars

  • A desire to see an option that blends options B and C

  • Complete a traffic study complete before a project is selected

  • Concern for how construction will affect surrounding businesses

  • Would like incorporation of a destination boutique/hotel

  • Would like citizens to be able to vote on the project


Camareno said that although the Jan. 24 meeting concluded the idea gathering phase for the project, it would not be the end of the public input process.

“Douglas Architects will report the findings of this meeting at a future City Council meeting,” Camareno said.
By Rachel Nelson
Rachel Nelson is editor of the New Braunfels edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She covers local business, new development, city and county government, health care, education and transportation. Rachel relocated to Central Texas from Amarillo in 2009 and is a graduate of Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


MOST RECENT

The annual Dia de los Muertos celebration will take place in downtown. (Courtesy Mikie Farias Photography)
Street closures to know for New Braunfels' Dia De Los Muertos festival taking place tomorrow, Oct. 23

Dia De Los Muertos to take place tomorrow and these streets will be closed off to traffic beginning at 6 a.m.

Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.

Gruene Hall will be the backdrop of a new Scotty McCreery music video. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for upcoming music video

Country musician Scotty McCreery shot the video in historic Gruene Hall as an homage to George Strait.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

The bridge will serve as a secondary access point to Town Creek. (Eric Weilbacher/Community Impact Newspaper)
New bridge connecting Town Creek to downtown New Braunfels opening soon

The bridge will serve as a secondary access point to Town Creek.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

A calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at the environmental impact of TxDOT's proposed designs for I-35 in Central Austin, one of the most congested roadways in the country. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit's tool says TxDOT I-35 expansion proposals would have profound environmental consequences

The tool says that the proposal would create between 255 and 382 million additional vehicle miles traveled per year.

Guests can shop local businesses, enjoy food trucks and hear live music on Oct. 21. (Courtesy The Landmark)
The Landmark to host fall vendor fair in New Braunfels

Guests can shop local businesses, enjoy food trucks and hear live music on Oct. 21.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

The grant funding will be used to expand access to parts of the park that were not previously used as public space. (Courtesy New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department)
New Braunfels’ Fischer Park selected as winner of Niagara Perk Your Park contest

The park will receive funding for several renovation and conservation efforts aimed at expanding public access to the park.