by BRAD ROLLINS
Editor and Publisher
A developer has cut retail and office space and added three floors of residential units to the Concho Commons building planned for a prime commercial tract situated between Texas State University and downtown San Marcos.
The amendment sailed through San Marcos City Council last week, passing unanimously. City staff recommended approval after initially recommending denial when it went before the Planning and Zoning Commission in November where Casey agreed to a parking management plan and increased bike racks to encourage bicycle traffic. The planning and zoning commission approved the changes 7-1.
The relatively easy passage contrasts with years of litigation and negotiation over the 1.7-acre lot bound by Guadalupe Street and LBJ Drive on the campus’s southern edge. By way of a lawsuit settlement, landowner W.C. Carson and the city in 2003 agreed to a 142-unit, six-floor residential building, but by the time the project resurfaced before city council in September last year, plans did not include any residential units at all. A residential component emerged as important to securing financing, said Greg Gibson, Casey’s development services director.
Residential “really is the highest and best use for that property,” Gibson said. In addition, he said, falling construction prices make possible the excavation and added building cost of a two-level parking garage necessary to accommodate residents.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally said the planned development district amendment passed 6-1. It passed unanimously.
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