Central Texas town needs facelift
Downtown Seguin, amid Austin and San Antonio megaregion, has wasted space
A Central Texas town wants to capitalize on its small-town charm while reaping the benefits of its location in an emerging megaregion between Austin and San Antonio.
Seguin, about 45 minutes east of San Antonio and an hour south of Austin, is looking to take advantage of opportunities stemming from explosive growth in those metros, the San Antonio Business Journal reported. Seguin’s City Council aims to put a plan in place by June to revitalize its downtown.
Unoccupied and underutilized spaces on the upper floors of its downtown buildings are wasted. The city’s convention and visitors bureau has hired experts to cultivate a strategic plan, capitalizing on incoming growth without causing existing businesses to relocate.
Fort Worth-based engineering, planning and consulting firm Freese and Nichols, Austin-based economic analysis and public policy strategist TXP, and Dallas-based urban planner Ash+Lime, are tasked with rethinking Seguin’s downtown. It wasn’t reported how much they will be paid or how much the city wants to spend on the project ultimately.
Seguin, with a population of about 30,000, is amid the emerging megaregion of Austin and San Antonio. Economic development arms in those two cities, Greater:SATX and Opportunity Austin, recently teamed up to bring more development to the region, KENS reported. Seguin itself landed a $75 million investment from Japan-based Maruichi Stainless Tube Company, which started construction on a manufacturing plant in February, the SABJ reported.
Seguin also recently adopted the International Building Code, where new and existing buildings are handled with the same approach. The ultimate goal is to incorporate new structures while maximizing the use of older ones in order to maintain its historical, old-town feel.
Downtown Seguin’s vacant upper-floors could be used for commercial and residential purposes, Main Street and Convention & Visitors Bureau director Kyle Kramm told the outlet.
“It’s definitely in a critical time for us,” Kramm told the outlet. “We’re seeing dramatic growth, and we don’t want our downtown district to be lost by that growth. This plan will help us get ready for that.”
COMPANIES AND PEOPLE