Old hotels getting a new life as apartments in New Braunfels | Community Alert

A California-based investment group that specializes in upcycling hotels into condominiums has expanded its operations to New Braunfels, with plans to bring new life to two hotels on the city’s I-35 access road by converting them into studio apartments for long-term occupancy.

One conversion project undertaken by Vivo Investment Group, the former Ramada Inn hotel on I-35 near Loop 337, is nearing completion, while another proposed project to repurpose the former Quality Inn is undergoing a city redistricting and special use permit process to allow units on the property More than what is stipulated in the city code.

Earlier this month, the new Braunfels planning committee voted to recommend city council approval of the proposed reorganization and private use permit, which would allow Vivo to repurpose 75 units where plot area allows for a maximum of 64 under city code.

Dan Norville, CEO of Vivo Investment Group, told planning commissioners that the properties come with amenities packages “in a traditional business environment.”

“The amenities you would expect in any Class A development, we can provide in these converted hotels because of the amenity space that they really have to repurpose in lobby living rooms, community centers, fitness centers, core gathering areas, laundries, and stuff,” Norville said. “The projects come out in a very first class style. We spend a lot of money and are very meticulous in our process. We put all new internet cables in place to make sure tenants can access high-flow Wi-Fi. We change exterior door locks for security purposes, so we have a lot of brand standards that we maintain with these. “

Multi-family dwellings are graded from Class A to D, depending on the quality and age of the building and its amenities.

Referring to a previous Quality Inn project, Norville said that the property includes an indoor pool, “We’ll spend the money to get the pool back and clean up, making it a nice amenity to the indoor pool.”

“These are long-term communities that we are investing in,” he said. “We also manage and work on construction in-house with an approach that enables us to produce a better product at the end of the day.”

According to company information, the expected monthly rental rates will range between $825 and $950.

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

Norville told the Herald Zeitung that if council members agree to the special use permit, the conversion process of the former Quality Inn would take about two to three months because the property is relatively new.

“The construction process goes very quickly once we get approval,” he said. “We’re putting in kitchens. This particular project has really great infrastructure – it’s a property that’s only 20 years old. It has good electrical and plumbing distribution. Normally, we’re three to six months, sometimes up to nine months, but the planning and permitting process is It also takes time.”

The maximum number of residential units permitted in a property under C-3 commercial zoning is determined by the lot size.

Development standards require a minimum of 15,000 square feet for the first ten units and an additional 1,500 square feet for each housing unit thereafter.

The property consists of two lots with a total area of ​​2.2 acres – approximately 95,875 square feet – allowing for a maximum of 64 housing units under C-3 standards, 11 units less than the 75 units proposed by the project developers.

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

“There’s a big open area, a lot of space,” Norville said. We didn’t need to compromise on density there because we have such vast areas. We will have a large dog park, outdoor frisbee golf. We have a huge outdoor pool, sundeck with fire pits, gazebos and barbecues. Inside, we have a clubhouse, self storage on site, a very large fitness center, and what we call a lobby sitting room with flat screen TVs, places to hang out, a pool table, arcade games, and a vending area that almost looks like a mini (pharmacy). “

Norville describes the projects as “workforce housing.”

“Workforce means we’re targeting, not the top half and not the bottom,” he said. “We are in the 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 bear the burden of housing and cost in every city. These people pay more than 50% of their income. Rents most of the time. It’s expensive to live in most cities these days, and it’s getting worse. We’re really trying to provide that solution, and a lot of times, we do it privately, so we don’t ask for city support or government funding.”

Council members in July approved a decree outlining efficiency and studio apartments in the city code and setting parking standards for those types of housing units.

City employees told council members at the time that they identified the need to establish an appropriate parking standard for efficiency and studio apartments consisted of one common living room, with a separate room allowed for bathroom only.

The ordinance defines an efficient studio or apartment as “a dwelling unit consisting of one room for cooking, eating, sleeping and living, and a separate room for bathroom and toilet facilities also referred to as an apartment or studio unit.”

The decree sets a minimum parking space of 1.1 places 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 rooms at New Braunfels City Hall, 550 Landa St.

The meetings will be broadcast live on Spectrum Government Access 21, AT&T access 99, and broadcast live on the city’s website, www.nbtexas.org.

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