New Braunfels: Council Selects Kimley-Horn to Revamp South Castell Avenue
Feature Photo: Castell Avenue in the 100-199 block west of San Antonio Street in downtown New Braunfels. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
New Braunfels (Comal County) — City Council selected a design team lead by Kimley-Horn & Associates to redesign the South Castell Avenue corridor.
Since before City Council relocated City Hall and other municipal offices away from Castell Avenue, city leaders have been working on concepts from the redevelopment of the corridor. Efforts to create what has been known as the South Castell Area Master Plan have been ongoing since the city hired Douglas Architects in 2015, as reported in this VBX November 2015 article.
A 2018 concept for the redevelopment of South Castell Avenue.
This evening’s City Council agenda includes a consent item to award a preliminary design and streetscape plan project to Kimley-Horn. Overland Partners will be collaborating on the project.
The scope of work extends approximately eight city blocks from West Bridge Street in downtown to West Nacogdoches Street (U.S. Business 35).
“The city intends this project to align with Envision New Braunfels to promote a compact urban fabric that includes walkable streets, mixed use development, and high quality public spaces and create new and special destinations and experiences that build on New Braunfels’ historic resources and to support a further implement the vision identified and detailed in the South Castell Area Master Plan,” the scope of services states.
It will be up to private developers and city leaders working through various agencies to redevelop the real estate along the corridor. Kimley-Horn is tasked with creating a multi-modal corridor that will best enhance those efforts.
The contract award is for $411,625. Specific goals of the street designs will include:
Linking a catalytic convention site along South Castell Avenue to downtown
Connecting private spaces along Castell
Improving drainage along Castell
Improving walkability along Castell
Determining future utility assignments along Castell
Creating a downtown gateway
Creating a public plaza (shared street) around the convention center
Incorporating enhanced pedestrian-oriented amenities that promote walkability in the downtown area
The Castell corridor will be divided into three character zones–downtown, municipal in the vicinity of the convention center, and neighborhood mixed.
“Each character zone may have different design parameters,” the scope report states.
Kimley-Horn is to deliver conceptual layout options for urban design and landscaping elements, a schematic roadway design, a preliminary engineering report, a preliminary opinion of probable construction costs, and a standard for downtown streetscape based on South Castell Avenue.
Kimley-Horn and their sub-consultant will provide a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) design survey from Bridge Street to Business 35, a drainage report, and an urban design and landscape assessment.
The schedule for the preliminary design project calls for a completed report by March 2022.
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.