IN THE NEWS
Marble Falls apartments break ground, target service and health care workers
MARBLE FALLS — Developers of a new Marble Falls apartment community with an adjacent commercial component said they will fill a niche in the housing market for those who settle in the area in the midst of a budding health care industry.
Crews recently broke ground on The Residences at Panther Hollow, a 200-unit project, in the 900 block of U.S. 281 south of the Lake Marble Falls bridge.
Officials say the project will feature one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 525 square feet to almost 1,200 square feet.
“You’re going to have units more like apartments that are being built in Bee Cave and the suburban Austin area,” said development team member Bill Smyrl. “The project will be affordable for individuals working in the service sector here in Marble Falls, but it will be a needed element for people coming to this area wanting to buy a home, wanting to live here, while their home is being built or they’re looking for a home.”
Along with the SMYRLgroup, NE Development, RVK Architects of San Antonio, and general contractor NE Construction LLP, local investors Mid-Horse Royalties LLC and Horseshoe Bay ONE Real Estate Inc. are involved in the development on 13.7 acres within 108 acres.
The group launched the project after a market study revealed that, in the next five years, the region could experience a demand for as many as 600 apartment units primarily connected to the growth in health care-related jobs.
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, located on Texas 71 West just off U.S. 281, opened five years ago and has resulted in hundreds of jobs as well a spike in ancillary health field services.
The apartment complex is expected to complement the fledgling Panther Hollow subdivision, a master-planned community within the 108-acre site.
“The development will include commercial and retail from 281 back to the west where the apartments are, which are about a quarter of a mile off the highway,” Smyril said. “You can see all sorts of retail uses tied to (the) medical (industry) as well as restaurants.”
Commuters can currently see heavy equipment turning dirt on the apartment project just south of other structures such as Westlake Dermatology and First Baptist Church of Marble Falls.
“It’s in an area of Marble Falls that is growing and will continue to grow as the city grows beyond the lake on the south side,” Smyrl said.
Among apartment features are a clubhouse with a coffee bar, lounge areas, a kitchen, a conference room, and a fitness room.
Outside amenities include a resort-style pool, a hot tub, a wet deck, an outdoor kitchen, and a pavilion.
“The apartments themselves will be two to three stories clad in stone and siding,” Smyrl said. “They’ll have a very good look as far as the Hill Country is concerned and will be very reminiscent of some things that have been built in the past.
“It will be built in one phase and probably take about 16 months to complete the project,” he added. “The clubhouse and the first buildings will come online in about 10 months, and we’ll start leasing then.”
Developers said residents could begin leasing as early as late summer to early fall 2018.
A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 2 on Panther Hollow Drive, adjacent to the project.
Marble Falls adding 350 apartment units, two food courts
MARBLE FALLS — Housing in Marble Falls could be described as “tight.” Especially for people on middle- and low-income budgets.
But thanks to two projects in the works, there are 350 more residential units on the horizon.
“For us, one of the obvious benefits is it adds to the number of residents we could have,” Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge said. “It also definitely adds to the options people have for housing in the area.”
One project, The Homestead at Mormon Mill, should add 130-150 residential units once fully completed. Hodge said the first phase includes 60 units.
“It’s another great project for the city,” Hodge said.
But, he pointed out, it doesn’t come without some concerns.
The Homestead at Mormon Mill is located in the 1300 block of Max Copeland Drive, behind The Home Depot. This will add more vehicles on the road in the Mormon Mill/Mission Hill/U.S. 281 intersection area.
“We know that area is already an issue,” Hodge said. “We’ll have to deal with that and come up with some solutions.”
Another apartment, or multi-family complex, in Marble Falls’ future is Panther Creek, which will be located in the La Ventana area. Hodge said this complex will have about 200 units.
Both complexes, Hodge said, will be market rate.
“When you look at our housing needs, these are part of the equation,” he said. “We still have to look at ways to address some of our low-income housing needs.”
These two complexes will double the apartment units available in Marble Falls.
The other benefit for the city, he added, is the two projects will also add to the city tax rolls.
Also in the works are two food trailer courts, one in the 1600 block of U.S. 281 and the other in the 2200 block of RR 1431. The city already has one at the intersection of Mission Hill and U.S. 281 with two food trailers.
“There’s a lot of interest and popularity when it comes to food trailers right now,” Hodge said. “They are definitely something that’s growing.”
Hodge said the food courts definitely have benefits, including offering people a number of food trailer options at one place. The food trailer is also a business model for someone who doesn’t have the money to build a traditional brick and mortar eatery.
“For an entrepreneur or someone who enjoys cooking, (food trailers) offer a low-cost way to enter that market,” Hodge added.
According to the city website, the U.S. 281 food court’s projected completion is by the fall of this year, while the RR 1431 project should be open this summer.
Go to ci.marble-falls.tx.us for site plans of these projects and more.