New Braunfels | July 2020

NEWBRAUNFELS EDITION

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 8  JULY 13AUG. 9, 2020

ONLINE AT

Separate but not equal

Still ghting today: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in New Braunfels on June 2 and June 6 to peacefully protest for police reform after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. protests today

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Students gather for a photo at Booker T. Washington Negro School sometime between 1951 and 1960. (Courtesy Cordelia Grant)

WARREN BROWNCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON

Black inNewBraunfels The history of the black community

“To me personally (and I hope the same is also so for the majority ofmy countrymen) it is not evident why thesemen to whom almighty God gave a black colored skin, should belong to others to whom he gave a white skin, to treat as a horse, a dog,” Solms-Braunfels wrote in 1846. As Solms-Braunfels hoped, slave ownership was less com- mon among Germans, and a slave schedule from the 1860 census, preserved by the Sophienburg Museum, recorded 193 slaves and 26 slave owners in Comal County, which had a pop- ulation of 4,030.

2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

BY WARREN BROWN

SPONSOREDBY • GVEC Home • Meritage Homes

New Braunfels has been a lesser-known, if not reluctant, battleground for equality since soon after it was founded in 1845 by Germany’s Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels. Texas was a slave state, but Solms-Braunfels went against the grain of most Texans in his disdain for the practice.

• SouthStar Communities MARKET AT A GLANCE

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2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

INSIDE

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Real estate inventory in New Braunfels dropped signicantly after sellers pulled their homes from the market or put moving plans on hold due to the pandemic. Months of inventory, or how long it would take to sell every home without new listings, dropped 36.48% year-over-year. 2019 2020

SPRING SLOWDOWN IN NEW BRAUNFELS

ROOMREDUX

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MONTHS OF INVENTORY

NUMBER OF ACTIVE LISTINGS

AVERAGE DAYS ON THE MARKET

800 700 600 500 400 200 300 100 0

80 70 60 50 40 20 30

0 1 2 3 4 5

-36.48% year-over-year

-34.35% year-over-year

-11.89% year-over-year

10 0

DINING

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SOURCE: FOUR RIVERS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 The latest construction projects EDUCATION BRIEFS 11 News fromNBISD and CISD CITY& COUNTY 13 News from local government

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Heather Demere, hdemere@communityimpact.com EDITOR Warren Brown REPORTER Lauren Canterberry

FROMHEATHER: It’s hard to believe it is already July and time for our annual Real Estate Edition. We provide stats on home sales, development updates and tips on home maintenance. We are still in a seller’s market, for now, with a much smaller inventory of homes on the market. Heather Demere, GENERALMANAGER

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Monica Romo ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kayla Brooks METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across six metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1, Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 PRESS RELEASES nbfnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

Real EstateEdition

REAL ESTATEMARKET At a glance REAL ESTATE NEWS Updates from developers HOME IMPROVEMENT How to keep your house running LOCAL HOUSINGMARKET

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FROMWARREN: Due to its small size, our Black community is often underrepresented. This month, I was fortunate to meet some of the residents who experienced desegregation in New Braunfels. A special thanks goes out to Cordelia Grant for her help in telling that story. Warren Brown, EDITOR

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24 How real estate adjusted to COVID19

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Protests covered 2

Real estate professionals 12

Local sources 30

New businesses 9

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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COURTESY OF MARCOS PIZZA

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OAK RUN PKWY.

Landa St., New Braunfels. The business sells alkaline water as well as mineral supplements that can be purchased at the store or delivered to a home or business. 830-625-3763. www.facebook.com/the-water-bar- 105259324509153 6 Marco’s Pizza opened May 21 in New Braunfels at 2084 Central Plaza, Ste. 101. Founded in Ohio in 1978, the pizza chain has more than 100 locations na- tionwide and serves pizza, salads, subs and more. 830-302-4850. www.marcos.com 7 Big League Car Wash opened a second New Braunfels location May 30 at 1293 Hillcrest Drive. The car wash offers month- ly memberships, car wax treatments, tire cleaning and more. 830-387-4240. www.bigleaguecarwash.com 8 A new Postal Annex opened in June at 2005 Central Plaza, Ste. 110, New Braunfels. The business offers shipping, copy services, mailbox rentals, notary services and more. 830-627-4400. www.postalannex.com 9 Hill Country Medical Associates opened a new office at 2967 Oak Run Parkway, Ste. 101, New Braunfels, on July 1. The family medical practice is the third HCMA location in New Braunfels and offers a variety of services for all ages with a focus on disease prevention and health promotion. 830-625-0305. www.hcma-nb.com COMING SOON

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NOWOPEN 1 The owners of A-Tan Asian Bistro opened A-Tan Market next door to their restaurant at 1528 Common St., New Braunfels, on May 27. The market carries Asian spice mixes, tea, frozen foods and other imported goods. According to the owners, inventory will change accord- ing to customer demand and available

2 Watershed Carwash opened at 114 I-35 Business Loop, New Braunfels, in May. The new car wash is Watershed’s third location in New Braunfels and offers several wash options, self-service vacuums and monthly wash memberships. 830-310-7761. www.watershedcarwash.com 3 Willy B’s Burgers and Pizza opened April 24 at 2188 W. Hwy. 46, New Braunfels. The restaurant serves pizza, burgers, salads and breakfast items on Sunday. 830-627-9009.

www.facebook.com/willy-bs-burgers- pizza-new-braunfels-111015457253570 4 Frenchies Modern Nail Care opened in April at 1928 Hwy. 46, Ste. 102, New Braunfels. The salon is part of a chain that offers manicures and pedicures and does not use acrylic nail products in an effort to protect customers and staff from exposure to harsh chemicals. 830-632-3400. www.frenchiesnails.com 5 The Water Bar opened June 1 at 390 N MAP NOT TO SCALE

options. 830-620-1888. www.atansushibar.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

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La Cosecha Mexican Table

BarBelles Boutique

COURTESY OF LA COSECHA MEXICAN TABLE

COURTESY OF BARBELLES BOUTIQUE

10 Children’s Dental Ranch of New Braunfels is scheduled to open Aug. 10 at 1187 W. County Line Road, Ste. 118, New Braunfels. The clinic will offer pediatric, orthodontic and oral surgery. 830-283-3673. www.childrensdentalranch.com ANNIVERSARIES 11 La Cosecha Mexican Table will celebrate one year in business July 30 at 505 Business I-35, New Braunfels. The restaurant offers Mexican-inspired dishes, such as asada tampiquena, snapper a la plancha and shareable fajitas. La Cosecha also offers a variety of signature mixed drinks, wines and Mexican beers. 830-358-7511. www.lacosechatx.com 12 Bootleggers Pizza Parlor will celebrate one year in business in August at 197 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels. Owned by the proprietors of The Oyster Bar, the restaurant is styled after the Pro- hibition era and offers pizza; drafts and cocktails; and games, such as billiards. 830-327-1199. www.bootleggerspizzaparlor.com 13 David Ogrin Golf Academy opened in May 2019 at 1357 Wald Road, New Braunfels. The academy offers a full-size driving range that is open to the public and offers lessons, a youth clinic and a turf putting green. 210-872-7109. www.davidogrin.com 14 BarBelles Boutique celebrated one year of business June 4. Originally located

at 2090 N. I-35, Ste. 4118, New Braunfels, the shop moved to 1720 Hunter Road, New Braunfels. The business offers wom- en’s clothing, active wear and jewelry. 830-312-0059. www.barbellesboutique.com 15 Located in the office of Hill Country Dermatology at 493 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels, Revitalize MedSpa celebrated one year of business in June. The medical spa offers laser hair removal, active acne and scar revision, spider vein management, body contouring and more. 830-832-4121. www.revitalize-medspa.com CLOSINGS 16 Centric Physicians Outpatient Clinic closed its office at 545 Creekside Crossing, Ste. 206, New Braunfels, at the end of June. The clinic was part of the Centric Physicians Group that started in San Anto- nio, and the group plans to open a location in Boerne this year. 830-214-7714. www.centricphysicians.com 17 Tejas Traders at 1706 Hunter Road, New Braunfels, closed in June. The shop carried home decor and gifts and trans- ferred much of its remaining inventory to its sister store Rusty Bugs & Roost- ers. 210-850-3470. www.facebook. com/tejas-traders-1680172375542355 18 Pavlock’s Cafe & Catering closed at 801 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, in June. The cafe offered salads, soups, lunch items, and catered for public and private events. 830-606-9596. www.pavlocks.com

Renegades ARC opened in May.

PHOTO BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN On May 10, Renegades—A Revolutionary Church hosted its rst service in New Braunfels with the goal of being “a place where you can be yourself and join others in making the world around you a better place.” However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, Pastor Kyle Blum and his team shifted gears from only hosting in-person services to also recording messages to share on social media. Blum previously served at Harmony Hills Baptist Church in San Antonio before establishing Renegades in a refurbished shop and warehouse space in an eort to create a church that is more inviting than some traditional options. “What we do is we roll up the doors, and our services are done with the doors open, [and] music goes out and people are welcome to come in,” Blum said. “I wanted to create a place where people felt welcome and felt comfortable.” According to Blum, Renegades was created to both oer spiritual instruction and a place to nd genuine community.

Currently, the church is open for a worship service each Sunday at 11 a.m. and plans to begin normal operations Sept. 13. When Renegades is able to be open for more programs, Blum hopes to host community events, Bible studies, job training workshops and more. “It’s an exciting time to do something that is outside the box,” Blum said. “Church should be not just a church experience but an experience that people can enjoy … and instill relationships that will change lives.” 960 S. I-35, New Braunfels 469-796-4406. www.renegadesrevolution.com

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY WARREN BROWN

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF 6/30/2020. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT NBFNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Information on how to join the Zoom conference call should be available in the agenda for the meeting once it is published. MEETING ON FUTURE PUBLICWORKS PROJECTS SCHEDULED The New Braunfels Public Works Department will host its yearly Street Maintenance Plan public outreach meeting at 6 p.m. July 22. The meeting, held virtually via Zoom, will provide details on the city’s maintenance program, and residents will be able to provide input on streets that should be considered for next year’s construction projects. There were more than 50 street projects scheduled for the 2020 Street Maintenance Plan. More than 125,000 square yards of road are ex- pected to receive some level of new road overlay. An online survey will also be an option for residents who wish to provide their opinion but are unable to participate in the meeting.

ONGOING PROJECTS 1 I-35 at FM 306

NEWBRAUNFELS

Construction on a 6-mile stretch of I-35 and its frontage roads is ongoing. A northbound exit ramp and a southbound entrance ramp are expected to reach completion by mid-Au- gust, and work on a northbound entrance ramp should also begin by then. Crews are scheduled to begin improvements to concrete paving and storm drains on FM 306 between mid-July and mid-August. The construction of retaining walls continues along the north- bound I-35 frontage road. Timeline: through March 2023 Cost: $64 million Funding source: Texas Department of Trans- portation 2 Klein Road improvements Construction is set to begin on A Phase 2 of the Klein Road project. Work will be done be- tween FM 725 and Walnut Avenue. Highlights of the project include low-water crossing improvements, roadway improvements, 6-foot-wide sidewalks, a four-lane section and enhancements to the intersection at FM 725. B Phase 1 of the project includes construc- tion between FM 1044 and Walnut Avenue. Timeline: Phase 1 completion summer 2021, Phase 2 fall 2020-fall 2025 Cost: $13 million Funding source: 2019 bond/roadway impact fees

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Graphics, photographs and maps shown are representational only and should not be relied upon as depictions of existing or proposed community improvements. Final development may differ from these representations. Subject to change without notice. ASHTON WOODS HOMES • BELLA VISTA HOMES • GEHAN HOMES • HIGHLAND HOMES JUELL HOMES • PRINCETON CLASSIC HOMES • TRENDMAKER HOMES

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Comal & New Braunfels ISDs

BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

Districtsmake schedule changes

AFLEXIBLE CALENDAR

Comal and New Braunfels ISDs kept their planned 2020-21 calendars and added 15 minutes to each school day to create a buffer for days missed due to COVID-19.

Comal ISDapproves budgetwithadditions COMAL ISD At a board meeting June 25, the Comal ISD board of trustees passed a budget of $219 million for the 2020-21 school year with additional funds designated for improvements to virtual learning and without raises for the districts staff. According to the district, staff salaries and compensation will remain the same as it was for the 2019-20 school year. COMAL&NEWBRAUNFELS ISDS In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Comal ISD and New Braunfels ISD have adjusted their school calendars for the 2020-21 school year to add 15 extra minutes to each school day to account for potential missed days. According to guidance from the Texas Education Agency, school districts were encouraged to develop contingency calendar plans to accom- modate any necessary makeup days needed to replace days missed due to coronavirus-related factors. Students will be required to meet the mandatory 75,600 minutes of instruction during the 2020-21 school year. No waivers will be granted The budget is based on a tax rate of $1.28 per $100 property valua- tion, which is down $0.40 from the 2019 tax rate. The new tax rate will be adopted in September.

for missed days due to COVID-19, according to the TEA and Education Commissioner Mike Morath. The additional minutes increased CISD school days to 460 minutes and added six surplus days to the calendar. According to Superintendent Andrew Kim, the addition of the days will allow the district to keep the cur- rent calendar, while still being flexible with howmissed days are made up. NBISD’s 15 extra minutes will bring each day to 450 minutes and add 8.6 days to the school year. If an additional two early dismissal days scheduled for just before Christ- mas break and the last day of school are used, a total of nine makeup days could be used, according to NBISD

NBISD • First day of school: Aug. 24 • Last day of school and graduation: May 27

CISD • First day of school: Aug. 25 • Last day of school and graduation: May 27

• Winter break: Dec. 21-Jan. 1 • 15 extraminutes each day • 8.6 additional days added • June : potential makeup days

• Winter break: Dec. 21-Jan. 1 • 15 extraminutes each day • 6 additional days added

SOURCE: COMAL AND NEW BRAUNFELS ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NBISDapproves budget without raises NEWBRAUNFELS ISD The New Braunfels ISD board of trustees approved the budget and staff com- pensation plan for 2020-21 without raises at a board meeting June 29. In place of a raise for district employees, the board approved a $864,000 plan to adjust the salaries of three administrators, 70 paraprofes- sionals and 84 auxiliary employees as well as providing a one-time payment of $500 to all district staff. According to Superintendent Randy Moczygemba, the decision will help the district plan for the next year, as economic downturns are expected and school funding could fluctuate. Superintendent Randy Moczygemba. The NBISD board of trustees also elected to designate the month of June as a potential addendum to the calendar, which would add 21.5 instructional days if needed. “At the end of the day, what we’re

trying to do is build multiple safety nets for us so that we don’t have to go into June,” Moczygemba said. “If you can’t get the days in, the state is either going to say you have to make them up in June or you will get no funding for those days you don’t make up.”

According to Superintendent Andrew Kim, $60,000 was added to the budget for services provided by Amplified IT, a company that trains school staff members to use Google for Education and Google Cloud. The board also discussed pro- posed expenditures included in an application for a $1.6 million Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund grant. ESSER grants provide funds for state educational agencies to address the impact of the coronavi- rus pandemic. Included in the application are requests for funds to cover school cleaning, sanitizing equipment, a reserve fund for private and nonprofit schools, and additional infrastructure, software and hard- ware for educational technology.

NBISD included $864,000 in the general fund budget for salary adjustments and one-time payments for all staff. 2020-21 SALARY ADJUSTMENTS

Administrator adjusted salaries: $5,430

Paraprofessional adjusted salaries: $79,051

Auxiliary employee adjusted salaries: $147,519

Total: $864,000

One-time $500 payment for all employees: $632,000

SOURCE: NEW BRAUNFELS ISD/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2020

Summer Conservation

To keep your utility bill as low as possible, take advantage of the following tips and information and help save water, energy, and money during the hot summer months. Energy Conservation Tips

Adjust the Thermostat • For maximum comfort and energy efficiency in your home, set your summer thermostat to 78 degrees. • Save energy while you are away by installing a programmable thermostat. Some new thermostats are also smart enabled and can be controlled from your mobile devices. Lights • Increase your home comfort level by only turning on lights you need, especially during the late afternoon hours to save energy during the hottest part of the day. • Making the switch to LED lights in the home can save energy not only because they use less electricity than traditional bulbs, but they also produce less heat! AC/Heating System • Replace the filters once a month — or more often if they get dirty. General • One of the easiest ways to reduce energy usage on a hot afternoon is to simply leave the house. Try a new restaurant, read a book at the library, or enjoy some time in the parks. • Ceiling fans are a great way to increase the comfort of a room. Fans can make you feel up to four degrees cooler than the thermostat setting!

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Water Conservation Tips

Indoor • Take showers instead of baths. • Never use the toilet to dispose of trash. • Do not allow the water to run while brushing your teeth or shaving. • Only run the dishwasher with a full load. • Install aerators on your faucets to use less water. • Install a low-flow showerhead. • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running water, from the tap, until it is cool is wasteful. Outdoor • Harvest the rain. Buy or make a rain barrel or a cistern to collect water for your plants. • Use drought-tolerant plants that are adapted to this area to reduce outdoor water use by 20 to 50 percent. • Wash your car with a bucket and sponge instead of a running hose. • Avoid watering on windy days. • Set sprinklers to water the lawn, not sidewalks and driveways. • Water before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. Evaporation losses are up to 60 percent higher during the day.

Learn more at nbutexas.com.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from New Braunfels, Comal County & Guadalupe County

COMPILED BY WARREN BROWN

All meetings may be viewed online. New Braunfels City Council Meets second and fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. • 830-221-4000 www.nbtexas.org Comal County Commissioners Court Meets Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. 830-221-1100 • www.co.comal.tx.us Guadalupe County Commissioners Court meets Tuesdays at 10 a.m. 830-303-8869 www.co.guadalupe.us MEETINGSWE COVER NewBraunfels City Council approved the disbursement of a total of $312,025 to five local nonprofits with funds provided by the Community Development Block Grant. The following agencies will receive varying contributions: CASA of Central Texas, Comal County Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Center of Comal County, Family Life Center and the San Antonio Food Bank. NUMBER TOKNOW On June 11, the Comal County Commissioners Court approved a $185,378 contract with LMC Corp. for the Sheriff’s Impound Parking Lot Renovation Project. LMC’s contracted work includes the installation of utility connections, new security fencing and gating, and other preparations for the Comal County sheriff’s portable buildings. A $207,167 expense was approved April 2 for the portable buildings, which will function as office space while the Sheriffs Office Renovation Project is completed. LMC’s work is expected to be completed by mid-August or September, according to a county official. $185,378 CITY HIGHLIGHTS NewBraunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman signed an executive order June 23 requiring all visitors to public-facing businesses and all employees working in close proximity to others to wear a face covering. “Making this decision on behalf of our community is not something that I take lightly,” Brockman said in a statement. “But this order comes after a lot of consultation with local health authorities, business leaders, city staff, and fellow council members.” NewBraunfels On June 29, New Braunfels City Council approved the allocation of grants funded by hotel occupancy taxes; $300,000 will be awarded to heritage organizations, and $300,000 will be awarded to arts organizations.

NBU to sell service center to city NEWBRAUNFELS Pending City Council approval, the New Braunfels

Camareno said the property also has space for future expansions, all at a significantly reduced cost to the city. The future NBU facility will also house staff from its current downtown headquarters, which will also be sold. The process of bringing NBU’s Main Plaza property to market was paused due to the pandemic but is still a priority, according to Taylor. “We’re going to make sure we identify a developer for that property to sell it to in time for us to move out into our new facility,” Taylor said. “We don’t want it to get into a situation where the property is vacant; that wouldn’t be good for downtown, and it wouldn’t be good for our community.” New Braunfels Utilities’ Service Center, located at 355 FM 306, will be sold to the city of New Braunfels for $10.18 million.

Manager Robert Camareno, public works’ need for the facility works well with that timing. The current public works facility at 424 S. Castell Ave., which is an old city hall building, is expected to be sold at future date as part of a development agreement, Camareno said. Building a public works facility from the ground up was projected to cost roughly $20 million, Camareno said. “We then became very interested in that property because if you look at those facilities, with some minor modifications, it would really fit the needs of the city of New Braunfels quite well,” Camareno said. “We would also construct Fire Station 7 and our fire [department] training facility on that site as well.” NBU was required by law to accept the fair market value for the sale of its property, according to city Chief Financial Officer JaredWerner. and are eligible for mail-in ballots, which will lead to more requests for ballots regardless of if voting standards are changed. “We’ve mailed over 2,300 mail ballots for the runoff, which we have never done,” Hayes said. “The combination of the presi- dential election in November and the pandemic, and everyone being concerned for their own safety, I do think that we’ll see more people voting by mail than we normally do.” Both counties will be required to provide matching funds of roughly $30,300 and will use Chapter 19 funding, which is money allocated by the state.

Utilities Service Center at 355 FM 306 will be sold to the city of New Braunfels for $10.18 million as part of the effort to consolidate NBU staff in a future facility. Although NBU is a part of the city, its finances and assets are separate, necessitating the sale. “Everything that is owned by NBU is technically owned by the city of New Braunfels,” NBU CEO Ian Taylor said. “Financially though, NBU’s assets are reflected on NBU’s balance sheet, and that allows us, among other things, to set our rates and manage utilities as its own standalone business.” The facility will become home to the growing New Braunfels Public Works Department, although it would be leased back to NBU until its new facility is ready for occupation this fall. According to New Braunfels City Counties seek grants to support voting GUADALUPE COUNTY AND COMAL COUNTY On June 11, the Comal County Commissioners Court approved a grant submission for $151,140 under the 2020 Help America Vote Act. Awarded funds could be used for personal protective equipment and expanded ballot-by-mail utilization during the 2020 election cycle, according to Comal County Elec- tion Coordinator Cynthia Jaqua. “It covers so many things that we will be able to purchase, and it won’t cost the county anything to have a safe and healthy election in November,” Jaqua said. “It even covers some of what we’re doing now for the July election.” On June 9, the Guadalupe County County Commissioners Court approved a similar grant sub- mission in the amount of $151,542. Guadalupe County Election Administrator Lisa Hayes told the court the demand for mail-in ballots was at an all-time high. Hayes explained a significant portion of the county’s voting population is over the age of 65

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CASTELL AVE.

Small-business grants approved by council NEWBRAUNFELS City Council approved the creation of a municipal program June 8 that will provide direct financial assistance to small A survey distributed by the city found three-quarters of the local businesses that responded indicated some type of financial assistance was absolutely necessary due to the pan- demic, according to Jeff Jewell, the director of Economic and Community Development. businesses in New Braunfels impacted by the coronavirus. The program will provide individ- ual grants of up to $10,000 to New Braunfels businesses that employ fewer than 51 full-time employees. The business must also have opened before March 1, 2019. If funds are misused, the city has the right to audit the usage of the grant and could reclaim the money. “It would have a variety of eligible uses that would include mortgage and lease payments, utilities, working capital and payroll,” Jewell said. “We’re at least initially, for fiscal year 2019-2020, proposing up to $600,000.”

WHO CAN VOTE BYMAIL?

To vote by mail in Texas, you must be either disabled, over 65 years of age, out of the county on election day and during early voting, or incarcerated. COMAL COUNTY: 43,894 / 156,209 residents 28.1% are over 65 or DISABLED GUADALUPE COUNTY: 37,707 / 166,847 residents 22.6% are over 65 or DISABLED SOURCE: US CENSUS BUREAU/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2020

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REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

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2020 REAL ESTATE EDITION

HOME SALES PRICE MEDIAN

201920 NEWBRAUNFELS REAL ESTATE MARKET AT A GLANCE

June 2019-May 2020 June 2019-May 2020

78132

$236,420.33

$408,279.62

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337

46

$241,200 +2.02%

$412,826 +1.11%

COMPILED BY LAUREN CANTERBERRY

78130

46

New Braunfels’ population grew 56.4% from 2010-19, or from 57,740 to 90,209, making it the No. 3 fastest-growing city in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Data provided by the Four Rivers Association of Realtors and the San Antonio Board of Realtors showed real estate trends and changes in New Braunfels.

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Comal County

Guadalupe County $233,167

$289,000 $300,491 +3.97%

Comal County

$240,254 +3.04%

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46

337

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Guadalupe County

DAYS ON THEMARKET AVERAGE June 2018-May 2019

SOURCE: FOUR RIVERS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSSAN ANTONIO BOARD OF REALTORSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

June 2019-May 2020

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HOMES SOLD NUMBER OF

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

78130

78132

70.08

88 +25.4%

96.5

111 +15.02%

Comal County*

Guadalupe County*

1,053

826

115.58

116.08 +0.43%

99.75

101.75 +2%

1,412 +34.09%

-4.7%

787

NewBraunfels

Studying the stats 59.5 The average days on the market in Texas for June 2019-May 2020

101 *May 2019

96 May 2020

Comal County

Guadalupe County 3,260

3,492

3,033 -6.96%

3,758 +7.61%

*Days on the market from listing to closing

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2020

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Pictures and other promotional materials are representative and may depict or contain floor plans, square footages, elevations, options, upgrades, landscaping, pool/spa, furnishings, appliances, and designer/decorator features and amenities that are not included as part of the home and/or may not be available in all communities. Square footages and dimensions are approximate and may vary in construction and depending on the standard of measurement used, engineering and municipal requirements, or other site-specific conditions. Home, features, pricing, and community information believed to be correct, but is subject to buyer verification and also to change, and homes to prior sale, at any time without notice or obligation. Actual home to be conveyed and features and selected upgrades included in such home are limited in all events to the specific terms set forth in the contract for such home. Visit http://www.meritagehomes.com/featuredescriptions for information and disclaimers about energy-efficient features and associated claims. Not an offer or solicitation to sell real property. Offers to sell real property may only be made and accepted at the sales center for individual Meritage Homes communities. See sales associate for details. Meritage Homes® and Setting the standard for energy-efficient homes® are registered trademarks of Meritage Homes Corporation. ©2020 Meritage Homes Corporation. All rights reserved.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

REAL ESTATE BRIEFS

Development

COMPILED BY WARREN BROWN

GLOproperty under contract by SouthStar The 1,963-acre General Land Oce property split by I-35 on the north side of town was put under contract by SouthStar Communities. “It is the future of our company, and we have a chance to do something very special that can t directly in line with New Braunfels’ comprehensive plan,” SouthStar CEO Thad Rutherford said. “The entire growth corridor up and down I-35 would just be a great complement to all of the existing growth, so we are absolutely moving forward.” The whole project will span multiple decades and is planned to be a mixed- use development. Housing products will include both rental and ownership options, Rutherford said. According to Rutherford, there could also be business park and indus- trial areas due to the prime location on either side of I-35. Among the ideas under consid- eration for the project, aordable housing is on the table. “We recognize that we have a role to play and what the market requirements are in New Braunfels, and we look at them as being var- ied,” said Gretchen Howell, a vice president at SouthStar. “It’s not just aordable [housing]; it’s workforce [housing]. We know that healthier communities are more diverse communities that oer a breadth of product and experiences.” It will be a couple of months before more details about the composition of the project are settled on. “We’re creating what we look at as being another hometown in our area, but it really on its own doesn’t have that essence until we really deliver the meat of the story,” Howell said. According to Rutherford, SouthStar is working to close on the real estate in early 2021. A development agreement with undisclosed entitlements similar to Veramendi’s is in the works. “I think the [City] Council saw a lot of Veramendi and liked a lot of what happened,” Rutherford said. Parts of the agreement could dier now that the city has seen how some of Veramendi’s entitlements and development agreement worked in action, Rutherford said.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION DEVELOPING NEW BRAUNFELS

Veramendi, Meyers Ranch and SouthStar Communities’ GLO are local communities in dierent phases of development, and each represents the growth New Braunfels has witnessed in recent years. This breakdown shows the size of each.

Veramendi Meyers Ranch SouthStar GLO

700 acres

46

1102

1,963 acres

306

2,400 acres

The portion of New Braunfels nestled within Loop 337 and I35 is roughly 6,000 DEVELOPMENTS IN CONTEXT acres. For comparison, the three New Braunfels developments mapped here have a combined 5,063 acres. There are thousands of acres being developed around New Braunfels in other developments as well. SOURCES: VERAMENDI, TEXAS GENERAL LAND OFFICE, MEYERS RANCH

CREEKSIDE CROSSING

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Meyers Ranch homebuilder sells homes around COVID19

Commercial-sector real estatemarket picks back up Commercial real estate slowed down in March and April but began picking up by May, according to Ver- amendi real estate broker Cory Elrod of Legacy Commercial Real Estate. “Starting the rst or second week of May, we got really busy,” Elrod said. “I think people were just ready to get back to work.” Neighborhood retail real estate was hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, but the oce sector remained very strong, Elrod said. “I think there was this opinion that people were going to stop using oces—we’re all going to oce from our house—and I’m just not seeing that,” Elrod said. “Most people still need an oce.” Real estate agents who serve specic sectors of the market could be most aected. “Leasing restaurant and neigh- borhood retail stu, those folks are just trying to weather the storm right now,” Elrod said. Neighborhood commercial projects in Veramendi will focus on oce space initially, Elrod said, and restau- rant projects will follow. “It’s just a tough time for those folks,” Elrod said. “Expansion is usually not what they’re thinking about right now; it’s survival.”

At Meyers Ranch, a homebuild- ing company adjusted its market- ing and sales processes to cater to the needs and concerns of people purchasing houses during the coronavirus pandemic. Meyers Ranch, a 700-acre development southwest of New Braunfels on Hwy. 46, will even- tually feature more than 1,500 homes from six builders. When COVID-19 arrived in New Braunfels, Trendmaker Homes closed its model homes and made them available for viewings by appointment only, according to Division President Bryan Havel. However, not every buyer felt comfortable interacting with people face to face or touring homes that others may have been in recently. “All the builders would tell you throughout COVID-19 our in-person trac went down, but we saw our website trac go way up,” Havel said. “People were at home searching for homes and looking at homes online.” To meet the new demand, Trendmaker added resources and interactive tools to its website to appeal to people still

looking to buy a home during the pandemic. Virtual appointments with representatives and 3D tours were utilized to ll the gaps left by missing in-person tours. “We found tons of buyers were able to do that and really get a feel for the home they wanted,” Havel said. By June, every part of the homebuying process could be done digitally, and several homes were sold 100% virtually, according to Havel. Part of building a home is selecting design options, so Trendmaker’s design center was made available online. Due to concerns for the virus, home oces, gyms and ex spaces became much more popular as buyers grappled with the long-term implications of COVID-19 closures. Appealing to parents, ex rooms can function as a class- room environment or a game room, Havel noted. If school closures continue in the fall, that could become a larger selling point. “Buyers can choose options that really appeal to them and their families,” Havel said.

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NEW BRAUNFELS EDITION • JULY 2020

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