Public input outlines Seguin's Wells Fargo redevelopment project

Public input outlines Seguin's Wells Fargo redevelopment project Main Photo

19 Apr 2024

City of Seguin, Downtown, News, City Council

Dalondo Moultrie | The Seguin Gazette

Things are starting to take shape and plans form as a consulting agency finishes analyzing all of the public input collected regarding the Wells Fargo redevelopment project.

TBA Douglas recently provided Seguin City Council members with an update of the work the firm is doing to help outline plans to renovate the old Wells Fargo building downtown.

Following a trio of public meetings and consultations with interested groups, Andrew Douglas of TBA Douglas Architects presented details about how planning for the project is progressing.

“We’ve completed our public input phases of the Wells Fargo Redevelopment Project,” said Kyle Kramm, Seguin’s Main Street and Convention and Visitors Bureau director, before introducing Douglas. “We’ve had three public meetings as well as some special focused meetings with some special groups. We’re here to hear those results.”

Douglas said the focused meetings included groups like the Main Street Advisory Board and a group of downtown business owners interested in what happens with the property and he highlighted what his firm learned from the meetings.

Many attendees stressed the idea of the project spurring expanded business and activity downtown, Douglas said.

“I think this has been sort of a theme through this whole process, this idea for a catalyst for the downtown and for this particular site,” he said.

Meeting participants emphasized historic preservation to maintain the charm of the downtown, Douglas said. They stressed adding upgrades to right of way spaces around the site and programs that will allow flexibility, he said.

Residents would like the project to remain true to the historic fabric permeating downtown Seguin, Douglas said. They want to make sure great attention is paid to whatever changes come to the old bank building, he said.

“It also needs to be a legacy project,” Douglas said. “It needs to be done right.”

Community wishlist items included a hotel — the highest ranked use of the building — conference room, rooftop amenities, a parking garage and more, he said.

Public assistance in guiding the project was phenomenal, City Manager Steve Parker said. And it has not come from the usual list of a few select participants, he said.

“There was a lot of new residents there that I have never seen before come to public meetings,” Parker said. “I loved their passion and their interest in our community and the feedback that they were able to give us.”

City council voted unanimously in August to purchase the Wells Fargo building at the corner of South Austin and East Nolte streets for $2.5 million.

Officials say the move will help the city control the type of business it hopes will plant roots in the historic downtown district that can potentially bring in visitors and tax revenue.

The plan is to work with a developer that will take the city’s input and design a project befitting of the community’s wishes and that will benefit the city’s tax base, Parker said.

“I also want to reiterate to people this is not the city building a hotel in downtown,” he said. “This is partnering in a partnership and being in control of a destiny of getting something that will really be a game changer for our community in the long run.”

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