Schertz News

TxDOT IH-35 Project Public Meeting Thursday, Dec. 6

 
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will host an open house public meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2012 in Windcrest for an upcoming project on IH 35 between Loop 410 South and Loop 410 North on the east side of San Antonio.
 
The planned improvements for the project are:
· Convert the Southbound IH-35 exit to Loop 410 South “Left-side” Exit to a “Right-side” Exit Direct Connector
· Add One Lane in Each Direction
· Add Auxiliary Lanes
· Relocate & Reconfigure Ramps
· Reconstruct and Reconfigure Intersections
 
The Open House Public meeting is a “come-and-go” format with materials being available for viewing and staff being available to answer questions from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the following location:
 
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Windcrest Civic Center
9310 Jim Seal Drive
Windcrest, TX 78239
 
Persons interested in attending the public meeting and have special communication or accommodation needs should call 210-615-5811 at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting to request assistance. TxDOT will make every reasonable effort to accommodate these needs.
 

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Bowling For Badges

Members of the Schertz Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division took part in a “Bowling for Badges” fund raiser Sunday, December 2, at the AMF Country Lanes on San Pedro Ave. The proceeds benefit the Special Olympics athletes. Shown above is the SPD team: from left, Ernest Spradling, Athlete Eddie Garza, Manny Casas and Kelly Kallies. Also bowling but not shown was CID’s Christopher Martinez. The Schertz team took 1st place among 1aw enforcement teams and 2nd place overall.

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Want A Pet Photo with Santa Claus?

 
Schertz Animal Services along with Homes for Pets will be having an event on December 8th. The event is from 9am-4pm at the Walgreens in Schertz on FM 3009.

 
Schedule as follows:

 
9-11 am Low Cost Vaccinations

 

9 am to 4 pm Bake Sale (proceeds benefiting the Schertz Animal Shelter)
 

Santa Pictures with your animal 9 am to 2 pm. Pictures are only $5!!
 

Animal Adoptions 9 am to 4 pm
 

On December 15th at the Lowe’s on O’Connor Road from 10 am to 3 pm
 

Animal Adoptions all day
 

Santa photos with pets all day
 

On December 16th at the Lowe’s in Schertz from 11 am to 4 pm
 

Animal Adoptions all day
 

Santa photos with pets all day

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Work on FM 3009 Turnaround Lanes Progressing

Work on the FM 3009 turnaround lanes at IH-35 is moving forward with construction equipment on both sides of the highway (photos above) moving dirt in preparation of the lanes being added to the FM 3009 bridge. The turnarounds for north and south bound traffic are part of an 18-month, multi-million dollar project TxDOT is doing on IH-35 from Judson Road to FM 3009.

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Schertz Festival of Angels Dec. 7-8

People enjoy walking, biking and even driving on Schertz Parkway because of its clean, green, boulevard appearance. At this time of year there is another reason – ‘Holiday Parkway’ Banners announcing Festival of Angels. The banners (pictured above) help put everyone in the Holiday Spirit. BTW – the wildly popular Festival of Angels is Friday, December 7, and Saturday December 8. Go to visitschertz.com for more information.

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City Offices Closed Nov. 22-23

City of Schertz offices will be closed on Thursday, November 22, and Friday, Nov. 23, in observance of Thanksgiving. Emergency services can be reached by dialing 911.

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Mama Margie’s Opens in Schertz

Mama Margie’s Mexican Cafe opened its fourth area location Tuesday, Nov. 20, in Schertz. The much-anticipated restaurant is located at 17196 IH-35 (exit 175) in front of Lowe’s. The popular Mexican Food chain also has an outlet near Alamo Ranch in NW San Antonio and on IH-10 and the South Side. It didn’t take drivers long to find out Mama Margie’s in Schertz was open and the parking lot and restaurant were soon packed.

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Michael Carpenter Takes Mayor’s Oath


 

Place 5 Councilman Michael Carpenter is sworn in as the new mayor of Schertz during the Nov. 19 City Council meeting. He was elected in a special Nov. 6 election held to replace long time Mayor Hal Baldwin who died in April.
 

Carpenter is only the third Schertz mayor in 30 years after long tenures by Mayor Earl Sawyer (1982-1994) and Mayor Baldwin (1994-2012).
 

Carpenter was first elected to the City Council in May of 2005, and then re-elected in 2007, 2009, and 2011
 

“Residents of Schertz identified with Mayor Sawyer and Mayor Baldwin as men who shared their values and visions for the City and worked to protect and preserve those values and vision,” he said.
 

“My election was an expression of trust from the voters that they believe I also will protect and preserve those things – along with the rest of City Council — as we continue to grow and transition to our exciting future,” said Carpenter, who was elected November 6.
 

Carpenter is also active in the community as a volunteer in many organizations, having been a youth sports coach in both BVYA (Buffalo Valley Youth Association) and SAYSAT (Soccer Association For Youth of San Antonio, Inc.), volunteering as a member of the Knights of Columbus and serving in several ministries at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Selma.
 

He is a regional sales manager at the IT firm Avnet, Inc and is in his 13th year with the firm.
 

The Memphis, Tennessee native is married to Melissa (also from Memphis), his wife of almost 19 years. Melissa teaches radiology technology at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. Michael and Missy have two sons.

 

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Investing In Schertz A Popular Practice

 

This story was originally published in the November 2012 issue of Schertz Magazine

 

By Chuck McCollough
  
Looking for a hot investment tip? The City of Schertz is that and a lot more.
  
“In the last nine years more than $1 billion in private investment has been realized in our city.. And one third of that — almost $350 million — was invested here in just the last two years,” said Schertz Economic Development Director David Gwin.
  
“I foresee another $1 billion in private investment in Schertz in the next five years if economic
conditions continue to improve,” Gwin added during a quiet moment in his office where
the phone rings a lot.
  
And the “B” word comes into play another way.
  
“The City of Schertz property tax base has increased by almost $2 billion since 1998 – an
incredible amount,” said Mayor Pro Tem and former EDC Director George Antuna.
  
In that 14-year period the property tax base went from $450 million in 1998 to $2.3 billion in
2012.
  
“That shows the private sector is extremely interested in investing in Schertz and doing business here,” Antuna stressed. The mayor pro tem said the private sector investment includes a mix of industrial, retail and residential and the thousands of people investing their money by buying houses in Schertz.
  
Why Here?
  
“The three main reasons investment lands here are location, location, location. From Schertz you can easily and quickly access the larger region and that is very important for both companies and residents alike,” Gwin said.
 
Schertz also has excellent schools, exceptional infrastructure, especially transportation and access with IH-35 and IH-10, nationally recognized Quality Of Life and high development standards to attract the highest-quality investment, he added.
 
“The vision for Schertz as established by the City Council is clear. We want to be a community of choice, not chance. We don’t do development for development’s sake and the city has turned down certain kinds of development for that reason. Schertz is not about the quantity of development but the quality of development,” he said.
 
Sizing Up Schertz
 
There are a number of ways to measure a city’s economic health, but diversified private sector
investment is among the best. After all, business people take notice where other business people put their money.
 
At a time of multi-trillion dollar federal deficits, a billion dollars may not sound like much, but it
is still an attention getter at the medium-size city level where Schertz lives.
 
From a high-end AA bond rating Moody’s gave Schertz because of its strong reserve fund and
good financial stewardship practices to private and public sector construction projects scattered
around town, it’s evident this is a place money likes.
 
And, as any good economist will tell you, where there is strong private investment you’ll find
increasing public investment. For instance:
 
● Schertz voters approving millions of dollars in infrastructure and quality-of-life bond
projects in the past decade or so.
 
● The Defense Department investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to locate Schertz Medical Home in the city as a branch of the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) on FM 3009. The investment has boosted the city’s health care sector.
 
• Within the past two years an $18 million TxDOT project turned the section of FM 3009
between IH-35 and FM 2252 (a good part of that in Schertz) from a nightmare to a day-trip-easy
drive and gave greater and easier access to the giant Schertz industrial area nearby.
 
• In early October, TXDOT started a nearly $20 million project on IH-35 from Judson
Road to FM 1103 with traffic-easing improvements such as turnarounds at FM 3009 in Schertz.
 
• SAWS is spending almost $30 million dollars — including $9 million for a Schertz lift
station and a $19 million pipeline through Schertz to bring Carrizo Aquifer water from IH-10 to
a Schertz-Seguin Local Govt. Corp. Water Treatment plant near IH-35.
 
• CCMA will spend millions to build a wastewater treatment plant to handle the
expected growth in South Schertz, including thousands of new homes and dozens of businesses.
 
The Soon-To-Be Booming South
 
South Schertz is where much of that second $1 billion in private investment is expected to
go. And that South Scherz development will be led by The Crossvine, a 500-plus acre, mixed-use, planned development expected to have a half billion dollar financial impact at build out in five to eight years.
 
“Our investment is a solid vote of confidence in the City, in its management, and in the quality of
development they are committed to,“ said Chris Price, president of Schertz 1518 Ltd., which is developing The Crossvine (previously known as Sedona Trails).
 
“The (Schertz) City Council and city staff are not only dedicated to growth, but they’re
dedicated to smart growth, which makes long-term investments here more secure. They are
creating community value through informed and innovative planning that will make Schertz more
and more desirable in the future,” Price said.
 
And other potential investors are talking to the Crossvine folks.
 
“There has been a ton of interest in this project, and it’s been universally positive. First,
everyone is excited about our building a master-planned community in Schertz since that’s
never been done here. We have heard that there is a real need for this product. Builders and
potential homeowners have been especially enthusiastic.”
 
“Secondly, we have been hearing from multifamily and commercial developers who see the
potential for this location, just north of IH-10 and within 20 minutes of downtown San Antonio,
but incorporated into a close-knit community. Eventually, we hope to attract retail, medical,
assisted-living, and office services to the area.”
 
“I’m proud of the infrastructure The Crossvine is helping bring to South Schertz. We are striving
to be a model for the quality, responsible development envisioned for the area.”
 
“Lenders have been really confident about this submarket. I have heard over and over again
that Schertz is the crown jewel of the region, with the best schools, the best local government, the best location in respect to employers and military medical facilities.”
 
“We estimate The Crossvine will ultimately bring $500 million in improvements to the
area through infrastructure investment, residential and commercial construction, and the
enhancement of community spaces,” Price said.
 
The Big Boys
 
When big name companies move to an area it gets attention. Sysco and Caterpillar have invested tens of millions of dollars in Schertz and are happy to tell other potential investors about their experience with the city.
 
According to published reports, Sysco invested about $35 million to build the 625,000-square-foot Sysco Central Texas facility in North Schertz and the city invested $1.4 million in infrastructure improvements and other incentives.
 
Sysco Central Texas President Bill Fischer said: “Working with the late Mayor Hal Baldwin and city staff and Comal County was a win-win-win situation. It is a huge advantage for us to get such a central and strategic location on IH-35. This location helps us help our customers be successful and that is our mission.”
 
And Sysco likes to talk about its investment in Schertz and encourage others to do the same.
 
“When the Salof Cos. folks were thinking about moving into the former Lack’s warehouse (386,000 square feet) next to Sysco they talked to us a number of times and asked how we were doing and what it was like to work with the City of Schertz. We gave the city rave reviews concerning our investment here and a huge stamp of approval for Schertz,” Fischer said.
 
He said Sysco has gotten and continues to get many inquiries from other potential investors looking at Schertz including a number of its food service customers. “We are boosters for the city and relish the opportunity to showcase Schertz because it is our hometown,” Fischer said.
 
Caterpillar also invested millions in its 260,000-square-foot facility in Schertz and has the ability
to expand that size.
 
And Caterpillar spokesman Jim Lock praised the city and its way of doing business.
 
“Caterpillar primarily chose the City of Schertz due to both its proximity to our assembly facility
in Seguin and the city of San Antonio. Another important consideration was available workforce.
Schertz’ location allows us to draw from a large urban area for skilled labor.”
 
“Prior to our announcement of locating in Schertz in 2010, Caterpillar began working with the City of Schertz on our business model and have found the city government to be flexible in managing the needs of business with that of the community. We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship,” said Lock, operations manager within Caterpillar’s engine division.
 
Health Care Investment
 
Health care facilities and medical office space are two areas of private investment specially
targeted by the Schertz EDC office.
 
Carey Birmingham is the driving force behind Schertz Parkway Professional Plaza (SPPP), a campus-like setting of freestanding buildings housing a variety of specialized medical and dental practices.
 
When all three phases of SPPP are finished in 2014, it will represent a $12 million private sector
health care investment.
 
The nearby $11 million Baptist Emergency Hospital in Schertz is expected to open around the first of the year and attract even more health care investment to the city, Birmingham said.
 
Birmingham said: “In local development and real estate circles there is a lot of buzz about what is going on in Schertz vis-à-vis medical, mostly, I believe, as a result of the Baptist Hospital move there.”
 
Birmingham said he knows several of the medical and dental offices in SPPP have encouraged some of their peers to move to Schertz.
 
What Bankers Are Saying
 
Larry Anthis with Frost Bank in Schertz said one of the most significant things about the Schertz boom is the diversity of investment. “It is very encouraging to see so many different types of investments and it is exciting to watch.
 
Anthis said the city’s reputation for thoughtful planning and a deliberate and well-defined C&I (Commercial and Industrial) layout attracts business and industry who want to be part of a winning team.
 
“There is a buzz and a lot of talk about medical investment in Schertz. And you see a growing amount of expansion by existing business and industry and that is a very important investment,” said Anthis, a Frost vice president and community banker.
 
“I think we are on the verge of really exciting things happening in Schertz and Frost is looking forward to being a part of it,” he said.
 
Mark Sunderman is the new president and CEO of Schertz Bank & Trust but it didn’t take him long to appreciate the area.
 
“I started here about six months ago and the more familiar I get with the area the more potential I see. When some of the national magazines several years ago said Schertz is one of the best places to life in the nation, it got us on the radar of companies all over the nation and some have relocated here.”
 
Sunderman said Schertz Bank & Trust is looking forward to the future even as it prepares to celebrate the past.
 
“Our bank will turn 100 years old in 2013, and I believe we are sitting in a great spot, a great location for the next 100s. There are many exciting things coming as more and more people invest their future in Schertz,” the banker said.
 

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Investors See Success in Schertz Vision For Future

 
 
This story was originally published in the November 2012 issue of Schertz Magazine  
 
 
By Chuck McCollough
 
Schertz has become something of a money magnet based on the avalanche of private investment in the past 14 years.
 
In that time the city’s property tax base increased fivefold to just over $2 billion and is on course to top $3 billion by 2018.
 
What is going on? Did someone find gold in the ground? No, they found something better – the city’s vision for the future and a plan to be a self-sustaining, premier community long term.
 
City Manager John Kessel enjoys talking about that vision and how it was developed over time by city leaders decades ago, not so long ago and up to and including the present.
 
“The vision of our City Council is a combination of visionary long-term goals of what we want to be 20 to 30 years from now and practical goals that meet our needs today,” he said.
 
“A good example of that was a year and a half ago when council set a goal of more medical facilities in town. Today, we have Baptist Emergency Hospital under construction on IH-35 and Schertz Parkway Professional Plaza (SPPP) with its many medical and dental offices and it is still being developed,” Kessel said.
 
The two projects represent a $23 million investment in the city’s growing healthcare sector and the type of confidence private investors have in Schertz, the city manager noted.
 
Kessel said the city’s vision has developed and been refined over time.
 
“A community needs to understand that growth is not a goal in and of itself and there needs to be a vision of what a community wants to be. The Schertz community has long known what direction it wants to go and has narrowed that focus to achieve the right outcome. And to get to that outcome it set goals, developed a strategy, and implemented those goals,” he said.
 
A test of that strategy is the ability to maintain a small town feel while having many of the amenities of a big city and having standards to foster quality development, the city manager said.
 
Kessel said the city’s strong development standards protect investors today and long term by requiring quality development that is geared to be self sustaining.
 
“We have said ‘no’ to some developments and avoided what we thought would be a bad fit for the city. Things have to line up right before we say ‘yes.’ And when we say ‘yes’ it means something, and other developers know it,” Kessel said.
 
Things work best when the city’s vision is shared by the community and especially the development sector.
 
“When that happens the developer takes ownership in the vision along with the city and the community. Then the vision becomes long term, generational and self sustaining,” the city manager said.
 
Public sector investment has played and continues to play an important role in making Schertz a popular place for private money.
 
“Oftentimes public investment lays a foundation upon which private investment grows. You want to leverage public investment so that for every $1 in public money spent there should be a tenfold or 100 times return on that investment. That has worked well in Schertz, which is a city with a strong tradition of investing in itself and inviting others to invest here as well,” Kessel said.
 

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