A proposed development that looks to blend high-end shopping with luxury apartments is looking to take another step forward.
New Braunfels City Council members this week approved items connected with an improvement district for the Solms Landing project, a 98-acre development adjacent to the Creekside shopping area, that’s looking to add additional shopping, national and local restaurants, luxury apartments and homes and a variety of greenspace and parks.
Texas cities and counties approve public improvement districts and issue bonds to fund private developments that include infrastructure benefiting the public, like streets, buildings, drainage, water and wastewater facilities and parks, repaid through taxable assessments within that district.
Nearly all infrastructure has been completed in the initial phase of development and the first set of single-family homes are under construction.
The levying of the assessments would allow for a future bond issuance of around $8.98 million to support the public improvements that have been built. The debt would be paid exclusively from residential and commercial property owners that are within the development.
Developer James Mahan told council members in May that the development is neither using nor seeking public money.
“Our vision that we have worked with the city tirelessly over the last three years has been a comprehensive mixed-use development that will include a number of for-sale residential products,” Mahan said.
Mahan said the development would include a “more affordable living component” and a variety of commercial and retail options.
“Our goal has been to not add to the traffic problem but to help it, so we have put in a minor collector road that will hopefully alleviate some of the traffic at Creekside,” he said. “The way our development has been planned is to hopefully encourage walkability. We have a hike and bike trail throughout the development. So a lot of the concerns that the citizens are concerned about are hopefully being addressed in our development.”
There is no direct financial impact to the city from the establishment of the district. Costs incurred from administering the district will also be covered from assessments.
The public hearing and second reading on the assessment plan ordinance, expected on Nov. 8, will take place on the date of the bond sale when the assessment roll and service and agreement plan are finalized.
Council members are also expected to consider an ordinance authorizing the bond issuance at the Nov. 8 meeting.
In a related item, council members authorized the distribution of a preliminary limited offering memorandum, a document that includes information pertaining to the Solms Landing development, the New Braunfels economy and adjacent developments and serves as the primary resource to the underwriter, FMS Bonds, in marketing the district’s bonds to investors.
The third item approved by council members authorizes the mayor to execute a financing and reimbursement agreement between the city and Solms Landing. The agreement outlines the procedures, limitations and any other information pertaining to the process for reimbursing the developer, from the bonds, for eligible public infrastructure costs.
The Solms Landing Public Improvement District was created on Jan. 14, 2019, the city’s first such district.
Council members in May approved a reimbursement agreement with Solms Landing Development LLC and extended the dissolution of the improvement district by two years to Jan. 14, 2023.