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Section A: General News


Developer makes plan for ‘The Villages at River Bend’




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Wilson County News
June 11, 2014 | 2,300 views | Post a comment

FLORESVILLE -- Much-anticipated construction may finally be destined for the River Bend subdivision on the north end of town. The city of Floresville and Avalon Park Group aim to reach a development agreement in the coming months.

Richard Kunz, a partner in the Orlando-based Avalon Park Group, presented his plan for “The Villages at River Bend” during the June 5 River Bend Community Development Committee and Zoning Board meeting. He proposed a plan in which the land would be developed into 10 distinctive “villages.” Kunz said the two existing housing areas would be completed first, and would become the “Traditions” and “Legends” villages.

While Kunz stated that the rate and exact nature of construction would be market-driven, he was hopeful that the completed villages would provide a mix of both residential and commercial buildings, including everything from retail shops and offices to single-family dwellings, townhomes, garden homes, and duplexes.

In order to move the project along, Kunz has asked City Manager Henrietta Turner and Floresville to “fast track” a “development agreement.” Such an agreement would outline the rights, duties, and responsibilities of both the developer and the city. Kunz explained that this would provide Avalon Park Group with a set of parameters in which to work. In doing so, it eliminates the need to have every change to the master plan approved by the city council. Kunz expressed his desire to have such an agreement in place by the end of July. (See related article, page 2A.)

The construction of new properties, and the taxes they generate, would provide a much-needed financial boost. According to Chris Allison of M.E. Allison & Co. Inc., the entity failed to meet a debt service payment in March. He said since no additional money will come in until next year, it will also miss a twice-yearly payment scheduled for September 2014. This is repayment of a $3.6 million bond originally borrowed for infrastructure by GreyHawk Development. Allison confirmed that there is no penalty or default interest rate being charged, and that an increase in tax revenue should put repayment back on track by 2016.

Board members also used the meeting time to elect a new panel of officers. The boards last met in March 2011, and therefore needed a new slate of officials. Paul Sack, appointed by the Wilson County Hospital District, was elected as chairman; and Lee Ricks III, appointed by the developer, was elected as the vice chairman.

Floresville Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Tommy Baker, appointed by the city of Floresville, was elected as treasurer for the community development and zoning boards; and River Bend resident and board member Bill Martin was elected secretary.

Also in attendance: Board members Mike Yanity, Carmen Bean, and Bret Ross; board attorney James Plummer; and Floresville City Attorney Lou Rosenberg.
 

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