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Development for 6,000 future homes breaks ground near New Braunfels

 Draft of Mayfair layout presented to New Braunfels City Council
City of New Braunfels
Draft of Mayfair layout presented to New Braunfels City Council

The local housing market has been booming in recent years, including in the biggest city in what's considered San Antonio's metro area: New Braunfels.

Ground was broken on Tuesday on a master planned community named Mayfair that will eventually include up to 6,000 homes.

The SouthStar Communities will straddle both sides of I-35 to the north of the city. It will be even bigger than the nearby Veramendi development, off Loop 337, where up to 5,000 homes are planned.

Local officials point out the developers of both communities worked with the city for mutual benefits, such as parks, school sites and even a dam.

New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Jonathan Packer said the growth is interesting. But more interesting is that many of those moving to New Braunfels have at least a bachelor's degree and household incomes that are growing fast.

"Faster than Austin, faster than San Antonio, faster than Texas, and faster than the U.S. so it's not necessarily interesting that New Braunfels has grown, (but rather) it's how it's grown. It's really interesting," he said.

Packer said the city's location between San Antonio and Austin, good quality of life and good schools attract large home developments.

He also said despite New Braunfels' booming housing market and rising population, the city has done a good job of preserving its historic core and German heritage. He said keeping those preservation efforts going is a "big priority" for the chamber of commerce.

While some life-long residents of the city — which is now pushing 100,000 residents — may be concerned about huge housing developments moving in, Packer shared the chamber's view on growth.

"Often times people think the choice is between growth and no growth, but the choice is actually, in our view, between proactive growth and reactive growth and being intentional and managing it to the best outcome," he said. "I can also say that if you want to go to a community that's not growing, you might find one you don't want to live in as much, so we're very grateful that is a desirable place to be."

He said while the city does have a lot of residents who commute to work in San Antonio and Austin, it also has its share of people who commute into New Braunfels to work, especially those employed in the local tourism industry.

The Texas Department of Transportation said it is ready to prepare for the increase in traffic in and out of Mayfair in the future.

"Our TxDOT New Braunfels Area Office is aware of the Mayfair development and have been working with their consultants on driveway access, utility relocations, etc. There are no impacts with current construction projects," TxDOT spokeswoman Laura Lopez said.
Copyright 2022 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Brian Kirkpatrick has been a journalist in Texas most of his life, covering San Antonio news since 1993, including the deadly October 1998 flooding, the arrival of the Toyota plant in 2003, and the base closure and realignments in 2005.
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