New Braunfels: SouthStar Master Planned Community in the Works
Feature Illustration (above): From a graphic created for a Rick Sheldon Real Estate brochure, the larger image is map of the East Tract. Note: the inset map (lower right) incorrectly displays the East Tract by turning it 90 degrees clockwise.
by Adolfo Pesquera
New Braunfels (Comal County) — A New Braunfels land developer is contemplating the design of a 1,963-acre master planned community on state-owned land located in the city’s northeast extraterritorial jurisdiction.
According to a February 12 Community Impact report, SouthStar Communities President Thad Rutherford let it be known at a Tuesday luncheon of the Greater New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation.
The land is owned by the state, under the administration of the General Land Office, which has had it listed for sale. The GLO has been marketing the property through Rick Sheldon Real Estate LLC, but Rutherford claims they have the property under contract.
The land straddles Interstate 35. The West Tract, with 731 acres, has about one mile of interstate frontage and it has access to Union Pacific’s railroad.
In a promotional video, Sheldon said of the West Track, “This is a mixed use, master planned tract, with utility solutions available and the potential to be a world class intermodal site.”
The East Tract, at 1,232 acres, has about 2 miles of interstate frontage.
“The land here is perfect for a mixed use, master planned community and this parcel also includes a major retail corner at I-35 and Kohlenberg (Road),” the Realtor noted.
VBX recently reported that Continental AG will so be constructing a high-tech auto parts factory on Kohlenberg Road. It will be right across the road from whatever SouthStar decides to build on the south end of the East Tract.
The land encompasses most of the undeveloped space that remains between the northeast boundary of New Braunfels’ city limits and the San Marcos Premium Outlets.
Regional view of the GLO property under contract to SouthStar Communities.
Since the land is within the New Braunfels ETJ, the city will have some control over its development. SouthStar Communities has the option of seeking a public improvement district development agreement that could include the city’s assistance in providing infrastructure.
During the same time period that SouthStar was bidding on the GLO land, the company was working out a development agreement with the City of San Antonio to take over rights on 600 acres of prime real estate the lies between the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus and the Interstate 410 loop.
VBX reported that transfer from development right from Verano Land Group LP to SouthStar Communities on Nov. 11, 2019.
Known as SouthStar Verano LLC, the goal of that project is to build 5,711 residential units (about 40/60 multifamily and single-family); 925,000 square feet of office space, some 200,000 square feet of institutional space, and more than 1.2 million square feet of industrial space.
Rutherford said the preliminary stages of SouthStar Verano will break ground this spring.
SouthStar specializes in the development of master planned communities. The developer just boasted earlier today that it WoodCreek community in Dallas was listed 41st in the 2019 Top 50 Master Planned communities in the nation. The list is compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.
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.