City Of Kyle Takes Measure Toward Vertical Mixed-Use Development

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Kyle City Council discuss the city’s future mixed-use development project. Photo by Nathalie Cohetero.

Kyle City Council voted 5-2 in favor to rezone approximately 27.8 acres of land to mixed-use district with a vision to build vertically.

Senior City Planner Will Atkinson said the locations of the lots “work very well” for Kyle’s plan.

“This project is a long time coming,” Atkinson said. “Vertical mixed-use has been something we’ve been pushing for a while. This is in the central part of Kyle; there’s infrastructure, roads, water and wastewater.”

The city plans to build mixed-use developments on the entire parcel behind the Target shopping center and at 1351 Bunton Creek Road, according to the project’s staff report. The lower floors would be for commercial use while the top floors would house residents.

Councilmember Yvonne Flores-Cale, an opponent of the rezoning, argued traffic could become worse around the areas from an increase of residents and visitors.

But Atkinson said generally vertical mixed-use developments tend to reduce traffic and cited the access points and parking that would be created to accommodate.

Councilmember Michael Tobias, another opponent of the rezoning, added his concern for the future development.

“When I drive in downtown Austin, I see a lot of these places that have apartments on top but lots of empty spaces on the bottom,” Tobias said. “I’m not trying to deter businesses or say they won’t be successful here, because we want them to be successful, but what we should keep in mind is who is going to accommodate that space and for how long, and if it’s just going to be rotating businesses. This is just new to Kyle. We’ve never seen it before. So that’s why maybe some of us are a little hesitant to pull the trigger on this.”

The rezoning ordinance will come back for a second reading vote at the next council meeting. A development agreement with Central Southwest Texas Development is still in the works.

“This is an incentivized project,” Mayor Travis Mitchell said. “The council’s been briefed many times on the different types of uses, restaurants and retail, associated with this particular mixed-use project which are of a more desirable level than any other mixed-use project we’ve been kicking around up until this point. Certainly, the tenants that are being brought forward are ones we’ll be excited to see. The bottom line is that this will provide for many thousand square feet of retail. And then also activation of that retail with residential on top.”