Kyle City Council denied a request to rezone 4.68 acres of land from retail to townhomes for property located at 1290 Bebee Road on April 18.

Although the rezoning request was denied, council directed staff to work with the applicant—Vincent Huebinger, owner of Vincent Gerard and Associates Inc., an Austin-based land, planning development and zoning consultant company—and Spencer Collins with McAllister and Associates Real Estate Services to bring back a proposal for a combination of townhomes for ownership and retail.

Collins noted that it had been challenging gaining retail developers' interest in the property, making the argument that the plot does not have good retail visibility.

“If you don’t have visibility, retailers don’t do very good,” Collins said.

Council Member Yvonne Flores-Cale stated that many businesses in Kyle are hidden, such as Summer Moon and Texican Cafe. Mayor Travis Mitchell pointed out that the difference in those locations compared to the Bebee Road property is that they were a part of a master plan that were intentionally designed for people to enter the site.

Mitchell said the Bebee Road property “cannibalized” all chances of having a master plan retail site.

“It almost seems to me like what you’re saying is you sold off the front corner, put in that gas station in such a way that the rest of the site doesn’t work for retail anymore,” Mitchell said. “As a result, because you sold the hard corner off for the gas station, there’s no longer a market to sell the retail on the backside, and so you want us to give you a townhome zoning so that you can make your quick sale and finish off your land development on that site.”

The applicant originally filed for residential condos back in 2020 and were denied by City Council at that time because of traffic congestion on Bebee Road.

Huebinger said they waited for the November 2022 bond, in which Bebee Road was one of nine roads that was funded in new and reconstructed roads, which would help with transportation, noting that the proposed project could take as little as 18 months to complete.

But Flores-Cale said the council's original concern was still there.

“I can’t imagine those roads are going to be completed within the 18 months. There’s a process that we have to go through,” Flores-Cale said. “Our road bond is not a green light for developers to start building or planning development that they want; it’s for what we want as council and what our residents want.”

The property is also located within Council Member Michael Tobias's district, District 6. Tobias said that some of his residents want more retail in the area whereas others were more concerned about the type of business, noting that it makes sense for them as a council to take their time to get a developer to build a "nice, finished product."

"With our new council, including our new city manager coming on board, we can work closely together on bringing quality development of retail and mix use space to District 6," Tobias told Community Impact. "We must take advantage of the momentum of interested developers to bring the city, including east Kyle, top of the line retail developments."