Brownsville: Developer Reduces Retail Project to Give City a New Street
Feature Photo (above): Highlighted from curb to far right is the approximate location where the City of Brownsville obtained rights from a retail developer to construct a connector street. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Brownsville (Cameron County) — A local developer agreed to revise and downsize a previously approved mixed-use project to give the city an easement for a new connector street.
Back in December 2017, the landowner, Beatriz Nachtsztern applied for an obtained a Special Use Permit to allow a retail place that would face Price Road and three apartment units facing Las Palmas Circle, a residential street on that rear (north) side of the same lot.
After the original site plan was approved, however, city staff approached Nachtsztern about donated a 50-foot north-south right of way along the east side of the lot to connect Price Road to Las Palmas Circle.
“Once constructed, this street will alleviate congestion at the Price Road and Old Port Isabel Road intersection,” staff stated in a Sept. 3 briefing to the City Commission.
Site plans courtesy of City of Brownsville public records.
Nachtsztern agreed to donate the land. This required that she propose a major amendment to the site plan:
Allow the construction of additional parking
Reduce the size of the retail plaza.
Reduce the number of apartment units from three to one.
Allow changes to the landscape.
The amendment was first approved by the City Commission at an Aug. 20 public hearing and passed on second and final reading on Sept. 3.
The original lot size was about 1.5 acres. The special purpose entity owner Plaza El Mago LLC and the property address is 4211 Las Palmas Circle. JR House Plans of Brownsville prepared the original and revised site plans.
The retail section originally had 61 parking spaces. With the revision that was reduced to 50, but due to the reduction of the retail building square footage, the 50 spaces is considered in excess or “additional parking.”
Aerial view of the project site. Image: Google Earth.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.