In its first regular meeting of the year Jan. 14, New Braunfels City Council passed a resolution that will help move a mixed-use development into construction.
The resolution creates the Solms Landing/New Braunfels Co-Op Public Improvement District, or PID, which will provide a financing mechanism to go toward horizontal infrastructure in Solms Landing. The 98-acre development will be located east of I-35 in the Creekside area near Resolute Health Hospital and Buc-ees.
Solms Landing developer James Mahan said he and his team are creating a strategic project that falls in line with the city’s growth goals.
“We know there is only so much land left in the city, and it’s growing faster than almost any of us could have predicted,” Mahan said.
According to the state of Texas’ Public Improvement District Assessment Act, a municipality or county may create a PID if it finds it will provide special benefits to the community.
Development Planning & Financing Group Inc. was hired by Solms Landing to assist in the creation of the PID. DPFG representative Patrick Warren said the development—which will offer 675 multifamily and single-family units, 200 hotel rooms, 500,000 square feet of mixed-use space and 150,000 square feet of class A office space—will also provide key economic benefits for the city.
The project will provide 2,300 construction jobs with wages totaling $116 million. Additionally, the city will receive $320,000 of construction sales tax with state sales tax totaling $2.6 million. Solms Landing will provide 1,950 jobs at full build-out with total direct and indirect payroll being about $104.5 million.
Upon completion, DPFG said annual revenue will continue to stream in. City on-site tax revenue is estimated to be $1.9 million, and city off-site sales revenue is expected to fall around $100,000. The development will also generate city hotel occupancy tax revenue in the amount of $450,000 per year, as well as $1.1 million in property taxes.
According to Mahan, the total eligible improvements in the development that could receive funding from a PID is about $11.2 million. However, City Council passed a PID policy in 2018 that restricts PID funding to covering a maximum of 80 percent of qualifying enhancements.
Solms Landing is requesting $7,235,988, which falls below that threshold at 68 percent. A construction shortage of $3,970,012 will be covered by the developer through alternative funding options. Mahan said his team spent time with city officials to ensure all aspects of their development fell in line with the conditions of the city’s PID policy, which are listed below:
- economic development benefits to the city beyond normal development and meets goals of economic development strategic plan;
- improvements in the public right of way, which create new or enhanced public roads and streets and which enhance and create opportunities to redevelop order or underutilized areas of the city;
- public improvements meet community needs, i.e. enhanced drainage improvements, land and infrastructure for reirrigation of treated wastewater, off-street public parking facilities, pedestrian and trail connectivity, mobility enhancements and workforce housing;
- public improvements exceed city development requirements; in particular enhanced architectural standards, enhanced landscaping, LID features, impervious cover limitations, parking lot shading floorplan variety, and which provide for a superior design of lots or buildings including green building ratings systems for energy efficiency;
- increased recreation and open space;
- protect and preserve natural amenities and environmental assets;
- public improvements protect and preserve features that further the look and feel of the Hill Country or would complement the community’s character and heritage;
- improvements located within city limits; and
- access to records that provide the city with ability to perform due diligence on developer’s ability and financial capacity to deliver the project as proposed.
“What we wanted to do was bring to the city of New Braunfels a project the city was proud of and met a lot of the future land use [goals]with the city but then also met with a lot of the goals the city has with the PID policy and where the city sees the growth patterns over the next few years,” Mahan said.
Solms Landing is expected to reach full build-out in an estimated 5-7 years. In addition to commercial space, it will feature housing options to accommodate people from all walks of life.
“We aren’t just a retirement community anymore,” Mahan said. “There are a lot of young people who are moving here.”