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BEDC ‘Coffee Chat’ group hears about new homes, Seton, EDC and tourism directors

By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer/photographer

Bastrop Realtor Jana Hellbusch (Terry Hagerty Photos)In Bastrop County, there are approximately “26,000 new homes in the pipeline,” City officials said during the BEDC’s Coffee Chat on Sept. 7. Officials said the figures include planned (or already underway) residential building within the County (8,000 homes & apartments) and the City’s ETJ (18,000 homes & apartments). The figures also encompass 569 homes in Double Eagle Ranch, one of Bastrop’s newest home development projects, located west of McKinney Roughs near the Colorado River and Hwy. 71. The development is advertised as having “farmhouse style homes” from the $300,000-range and up. Bastrop realtor Jana Hellbusch, who was attending the chat, said it’s crucial that affordable housing is part of future building in the area. We need affordable housing so bad,” said Hellbusch, with All City Real Estate, LTD.

Bastrop ISD Superintendent Barry EdwardsPine Forest Unit 6 Update – Mayor Connie Schroeder updated chat attendees on the City’s involvement in the prolonged litigation involving Pine Forest Unit 6. She said the Texas Third Court of Appeals upheld the previous rulings concerning the void of the contract which the City, BEDC and Bastrop ISD had with Pine Forest Investments Group LLC. PFIG has 45 days to appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court. PFIG has been in litigation with local governmental entities over development rights to Pine Forest Unit 6, which borders Tahitian Village along Texas 71, for several years. PFIG was hired in 2012 to build homes and infrastructure there, but in 2013, the city and county called off the contract amid concerns. (Bastrop ISD is no longer involved in the litigation.)

Mayor Connie Schroeder (left) gives an update on projects.

The Agnes Street extension project was also mentioned. The street is being extended in connection with Seton Healthcare Family’s new facility, at the intersection of Texas 71 and Texas 304. The emergency-medicine facility will have ambulatory care services and a medical office building. It is part of a $30 million investment Seton is making in Bastrop to develop the medical campus and related services, expected to open in mid to late 2019.

The chat group was also updated on two recently hired business directors – Mike Kamerlander as Executive Director for the BEDC; and Susan Smith as Executive Director for Visit Bastrop, the City of Bastrop’s contracted marketing entity. Kamerlander served as vice president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership; Smith was vice president of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Vermont Convention Bureau, located in Burlington, Vt.

Editor's Note: Coffee Chat is a quarterly event sponsored by the Bastrop Main Street Program and the EDC.