$2B Veramendi development could add 7,000 jobs

Veramendi Elementary School, the first project of the new development, opened to students and staff in August. Houses will now be built around the school.

Veramendi Elementary School, the first project of the new development, opened to students and staff in August. Houses will now be built around the school.

Image description
$2B Veramendi project could add 7,000 jobs
Image description
$2B Veramendi project could add 7,000 jobs
Image description
$2B Veramendi project could add 7,000 jobs
Image description
$2B Veramendi project could add 7,000 jobs
Image description
$2B Veramendi project could add 7,000 jobs
Nearly a decade into planning and negotiations, the Veramendi master-planned development is “starting to heat up,” according to Stacy Snell, New Braunfels assistant director of planning and community development.

At the end of several phases and with an estimated $2 billion value, the mixed-use development will feature a maximum of 6,000 residences; retail, office and commercial spaces; and a city center. City officials and the developer have discussed a new YMCA, a hospital, a college campus and a riverfront resort hotel for some of the land.

At their November and December meetings the city’s planning division approved six residential plats that allow for the construction of 388 single-family homes within the first phase.

The Veramendi property is made up of 2,400 acres just outside the city limits in the extraterritorial jurisdiction where the city can extend its authority beyond its normal boundaries. It sits north of Loop 337 on both sides of River Road.

The project started as a joint venture between ASA Properties and the Word Borchers family, owners of the property since 1941.

“[The Word Borchers] are an integral part of the community,” ASA Properties CEO Peter James said. “They wanted to be part of how it’s developed and what it looks like moving forward. All of the design work and the vision of the ranch has been worked up in conjunction with them.”

The approval of the residential plats follows construction of Veramendi Elementary School, which opened in August. The school, funded by a 2015 bond, has steered the project into the next phase of residential units, according to Snell.

“That’s a good selling point for a home when the school’s right there,” Snell said, noting that construction of the new homes will begin early 2018.

What’s coming next?

The approved subdivision plats are part of Sector Plan 1A, which details how the first 273 acres of Veramendi will be used.

“How the [overall development] plan has been set up is [the city and ASA Properties] are going to have to detail a minimum of 100 acres at a time,” Snell said. “They’re not going to just do a 5-acre or 10-acre tract. You have to plan the roads and everything at a bigger scale.”

According to Sector Plan 1A, Veramendi will be the future home of a YMCA, a Howard Payne University campus and a Christus Santa Rosa Hospital location. According to Jim Wesson, CEO of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels, initial operations will include outpatient services, physician office space and medical retail space, but the long-term plan is for the site to serve as a replacement campus for the existing facility located at 600 N. Union Ave. The timeline for some of the construction, including the hospital, is linked to the redevelopment of Loop 337 from a two-lane to a four-lane road. The four-year,
$42 million construction project broke ground with a ceremony in November.

James said conceptual planning is in progress for a neighborhood commercial center, and potential tenants include medical and professional offices, pediatric dentistry, a day care and a recreational business.

Essential partnerships

General conversations about the Veramendi development began in 2008. Realtor Craig Hall connected the Word Borchers family with ASA Properties, an Australian firm eyeing opportunities on the I-35 corridor.

“The family got the best of the best,” Hall said. “Peter [James] undersells himself, but he is probably the best planner and land-development guy debatably globally. Whether it’s up for debate or not, the family would not have went with ASA Properties if they did not feel that way.”

The city of New Braunfels became involved with the project after the 2009 Texas Legislature approved the creation of the Comal County Water Improvement District
No. 1, with the requirement that the city would have to consent to its creation. A development agreement with the city was approved in 2013, as was a utility agreement with New Braunfels Utilities.

According to Snell, the establishment of the CCWID1 creates a taxing entity that can post bonds as a way to pay for the infrastructure up front and then be reimbursed by tax revenue.

“When the debt gets down to the amount agreed to, [Veramendi] can be annexed into the city; then the streets and infrastructure will become the responsibility of the city and NBU,” Snell said.

Getting the necessary infrastructure in place ahead of the development has been a priority during the planning phases for Veramendi. Traffic upgrades, drainage systems, a regional stormwater control facility, and major upgrades to water and sewer through the association with NBU are all part of the development agreement. Veramendi is also its own emergency service district that will receive fire, EMS and police services from the city.

“It’s a large project, but in terms of doing all work necessary to make sure it is properly serviced and integrated into the city of New Braunfels, we’ve spent a lot of time and effort on that with the authorities,” James said.

Features of the project

The Veramendi development includes 1.5 miles of frontage property along the Guadalupe River, which has not been previously accessible to the public and paves the way for a possible resort hotel in a later phase of the project.

The development will include 480 acres of designated parkland, and no more than 65 percent of the property can be covered in impervious materials, such as sidewalks, driveways, patios or other structures.

“If the rain can’t get through it, then it will count toward that maximum 65 percent, so the goal is to retain the open space and the feel,” Snell said.

Seamless integration

Max Harford, a New Braunfels native and development manager of Veramendi, stresses the importance of incorporating the development into the city in a consistent way.

“We’re trying to offer something for everyone in this community and making 2,400 acres feel like a whole and not segmented, and make it feel like part of the whole of New Braunfels as well," Harford said.

James agreed the development will be done the right way to complement the growth of New Braunfels.

“If you want to encapsulate it in a few words, we would be chasing a contemporary Texas Hill Country feel with a strong association with the natural environment,” James said.

James estimates the major components of the project in terms of the commercial development and the town center will be well underway in a 10-year time frame, but the total absorption of the land likely falls in the 15-to 20-year range. Information on the city of New Braunfels website predicts the ultimate build-out of the project to be in 2035.
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 Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

CIS staff and volunteers worked at the new booth during the 2021 Wurstfest celebration. (Courtesy Christine Douglas)
Communities In Schools dedicates proceeds from Wurstfest and other annual events to serve Central Texas community

The organization uses funds raised through events and donations to provide mental health and mentoring support for students across Central Texas.

New Braunfels businesses face ongoing supply chain issues and rising costs

As costs for goods and services rise, consumers and businesses alike are struggling to cope with rising inflation and supply chain challenges.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

Drive under the holiday lights through Jan. 2 at Santa's Ranch in New Braunfels. (Courtesy Santa's Ranch)
12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season

Here are just a few events in and around New Braunfels, places to meet with Santa and more this December.

Both proposed maps would reallocate portions of District 2 into District 6 to better balance the population. (Courtesy City of New Braunfels)
City of New Braunfels releases potential redistricting maps ahead of committee recommendation

Both proposed maps would reallocate portions of District 2 into District 6 to better balance the population.

The closures are related to NBUs Castell Avenue 24-Inch Water Line Project. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New Braunfels Utilities announces December road closures

The closures are slated to conclude buy the end of December.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

Eden Hill offers independent and assisted-living, memory care and nursing home/care. (Courtesy Eden Hill Communities)
Many options based on needs are available in our 2021 senior living guide for New Braunfels

These are just some of the senior living options available in the New Braunfels area.