Old hotels come back to life as apartments in New Braunfels | Community alert


A California investment group specializing in recycling hotels into apartment complexes has expanded into New Braunfels, with the intention of reviving two hotels on the city’s I-35 access road by bringing them to life. converting to studios for long term occupancy.

One of the conversion projects undertaken by Vivo Investment Group, the former Ramada Inn on I-35 near Loop 337, is nearing completion, while another proposed project to reuse the former Quality Inn is making l ‘Subject to a city zoning change and a special use permit process to allow for more units on the property than provided for by the city code.

Earlier this month, the New Braunfels Planning Commission voted to recommend city council approval of the proposed rezoning and special use permit, which would allow Vivo to reallocate 75 units where the land area is allows a maximum of 64 according to the city code.

Dan Norville, CEO of Vivo Investment Group, told town planning commissioners the properties come with amenity packages “in a traditional workforce setting.”

“The amenities that you would expect in any Class A development, we are able to put in these converted hotels because of the amenity space they already have to reuse in lobby lounges, community centers, city centers. fitness, basic assembly areas, laundromats and things. of this nature, ”said Norville. “The projects come out in a very class A way. We spend a lot of money and we are very meticulous in our process. We have installed brand new internet cabling to ensure tenants have access to high speed Wi-Fi. We change the door locks for security reasons, so we have a lot of brand standards that we maintain with these. “

Multi-family dwellings are classified from class A to D, depending on the quality and age of the building and its equipment.

Referring to the old Quality Inn project, Norville said that the property includes an indoor pool, “that we’re going to spend the money to redo the pool, to clean it up, making it a nice indoor pool.”

“These are long-term communities that we invest in,” he said. “We also manage and work on the build internally with the approach that we can produce a better product at the end of the day.”

Formerly a Quality Inn, this building is being converted into studios by Vivo Living in New Braunfels.

According to company information, the anticipated monthly rental rates would be around $ 825 to $ 950.

The commission’s recommendation is now submitted to city council for consideration on Monday for the first of two separate readings.

Norville told the Herald-Zeitung that if board members approve the special use permit, the process of converting the old Quality Inn will take about two to three months because the property is relatively new.

“The construction process goes pretty quickly once we get approval,” he said. “We are installing kitchens. This particular project has a very nice infrastructure – it is only a 20 year old property. It has really sufficient electrical and plumbing distribution. Usually we last three to six months, sometimes up to nine months, but the planning and authorization process also takes time.

The maximum number of dwelling units authorized on a property under commercial zoning C-3 is determined by the size of the lot.

The fit-up standards require a minimum of 15,000 square feet for the first 10 units and an additional 1,500 square feet per dwelling unit thereafter.

The property consists of two lots totaling 2.2 acres – approximately 95,875 square feet – which allow a maximum of 64 housing units according to C-3 standards, or 11 units less than the 75 units proposed by the developers for the project.

The former Ramada real estate project, which will consist of 139 units, does not require rezoning or a special permit, as the commercial zoning already allows for multi-family residential use on the site and meets density requirements.

“There’s a big open space, a lot of space,” Norville said. “We didn’t need a density waiver there because we have so much square footage. We will have a large dog park, an outdoor frisbee golf course. We have a huge outdoor swimming pool and a terrace with fireplaces, gazebos, barbecues. Inside we have a clubhouse, onsite storage space, a very large fitness center and what we call a lobby lounge with flat screen TVs, places to relax, a pool table, arcade games and a retail space that is almost like a miniature (drugstore).

Norville describes the projects as “housing for the workforce”.

“The workforce means we are targeting, not the top half of the rung nor the bottom of the bottom rung,” he said. “We are in this middle income space. I see it as the 20% to 50% space where the majority of blue collar workers, service workers, first responders, nurses and construction workers are found to be overburdened with housing and costs in every city. . These people pay more than 50% of their income in rent most of the time. It’s expensive to live in most cities these days, and it’s only getting worse. We are really trying to provide this solution, and most of the time we do it privately, so we are not asking for city support or government funding.

Council members approved in July an ordinance defining efficiency and studios in the city code and identifying vehicle parking standards for these types of housing.

City employees told council members at the time that they had identified the need to determine an appropriate parking standard for efficiency and the studios which consist of a common room for living, with a separate room authorized only for the bathroom.

The ordinance defines a studio or a functional apartment as “a living unit made up of a single room for cooking, eating, sleeping and living, and a separate room for bathrooms and toilets, also called a studio. or unit “.

The ordinance sets the minimum parking standard at 1.1 spaces per unit.

The full agenda for Monday’s meeting is available on the City’s website at www.nbtexas.org.

The council session begins at 6 p.m. in the council chamber of New Braunfels Town Hall, 550 Landa St.

The meetings will be televised live on Spectrum government’s Access Channel 21, AT&T Access Channel 99 and streamed live on the city’s website, www.nbtexas.org.


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