Officials: Kyle development would fill housing niche

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A residential developer is hoping to fill a void in the Kyle housing market with a planned 130-acre community on the western edge of the city limits.

The development—which will be at the “Y” intersection of West Center Street, North Old Stagecoach Road and Cypress Road—would likely be the first to offer homes priced in the high-$200,000s to the mid-$400,000s, according to city officials.

A presentation was made Oct. 21 at a Kyle City Council meeting ahead of the developer's submission of a development agreement proposal to the city.

“We believe that there is really a second move-up, maybe a third move-up market here in Kyle that is not being met,” said Brian Birdwell, a consultant with Vision 360, a development services firm. “That is what our intent is with this development.”

Kyle is one of the most affordable cities in Central Texas in which to own a home with homeownership costs making up about 23 percent of a typical Kyle homeowner’s income, according to NerdWallet, a financial guidance website.

Although housing affordability is a draw to the city, Mayor Todd Webster said a more diverse housing sector could help sustain the municipality.

“It’s great that we have very affordable housing here,” Webster said. “It’s just there is no step up.

“So offering a step-up housing market like that allows us to keep folks as they’re upwardly mobile in their careers and they’re looking for opportunities to move somewhere else. It allows us to keep them in Kyle, but it also provides the kind of property tax base … that we need.”

The developer, which is proposing to name the subdivision The Woodlands at Center Street, is planning for about 330 residential lots. A quarter of the lots will be 55 feet wide by 120 feet deep; about half will be 65 feet by 120 feet; and another quarter will be 80 by 130 feet.

If there is enough demand for the larger lots, Birdwell said the developer would transition its plan to include more 80-by-130-foot lots.

“That’s where we are really wanting to test this Kyle market,” he said.

Within 30 days, Birdwell said the developer will submit to the city of Kyle a development agreement proposal that will detail the improvements the developer plans to make to Old Stagecoach Road, a plan for annexing the land into the city limits as well as changing the zoning and water infrastructure plans.

He said the project is expected to take about five years to build out.

Interim City Manager James Earp said the only concern city staff has about the project is its name.

Woodlands Park is a currently existing subdivision in the southeastern portion of the city limits.

“Here in Kyle, in particular, we are very sequestered by our neighborhoods,” Earp said. “So it’s that much more important that it have its own identity and not be confused and considered with another development.”

Birdwell said he would take the city’s suggestions back to the builder, Scott Felder Homes. The issue had been raised before, but the developer decided to stick with the name, he said.