The city of New Braunfels has adopted an economic development strategic plan (2017-21) with five goals. They center on the topics of workforce housing, quality of place, entrepreneurship, regional transit and real estate development.
Today’s article will focus on the real estate development goal.
New Braunfels has done very well with parts of the commercial real estate markets in recent years, more specifically the retail and industrial sectors.
The focus of the previous city economic development strategy (2012-16) was to add 350,000 square feet of industrial inventory. More than double that occurred.
Retail is no different with the booming Creekside and Westpointe Village shopping areas.
With our strategic location on the Interstate 35 corridor, such development growth has matched our peer communities in those two sectors. The same is not true for the Class A office space sector.
While we need to continue to develop the retail and industrial sectors, emphasis in the 2017-21 plan, real estate-wise, is on the office space sector.
Why? Per Pegasus Planning, the consultant on the economic development strategy, our strong demographics, high level of educational attainment, available workforce, high incomes in comparison to peer cities in the corridor and high real estate values, as well as our quality of life, natural resources, and attractive housing market, make it a competitive and attractive market for Class A corporate campus development.
New Braunfels has seen dramatic office space inventory growth over the last 10 years, but not with top-tier product per Pegasus.
Projects such as Park Plaza in Sundance Park are a positive step forward in this arena for us. But, more is needed.
With the trend toward suburban development because of a higher population of millennials and our cultural amenities, experts such as CBRE are predicting a shift to markets like New Braunfels.
Other trends, such as walkability, live-work-play environments, bikability, accessible recreation, retail and entertainment, etc., aid in our talent attraction and thus need for Class A corporate campus development.
So, the plan objective is to continue to increase commercial real estate development, but to emphasize a diversified portfolio via boosting Class A corporate office space by at least 300,000 square feet between now and 2021.
How? By assessing feasibility for anchor tenants with current projects, leveraging existing industry reports for incorporating quality of life amenities and having a refined marketing strategy to promote our existing talent and labor pool to corporations in nearby metro areas.
Examples noted in the Pegasus adopted strategy by the city council include the Pearl Brewery and the NXP and solar winds shared campus in Austin. Definitely not your father’s office space and environment!
However, like most things, change is the only constant in life, and it is no different in how and where we work.
City leaders and industry experts recognize these trends and have laid out a successful path for us to follow to success in this arena. Success in Class A office space development will greatly aid in the future sustainable prosperity of our community.