UPDATE: The EV Studio-hosted public input session for Friday, Sept. 18, has been moved to the Marble Falls City Council Chambers, 800 Third St. in Marble Falls. It had originally been scheduled at the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce executive building on Second Street.
CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — A group of architectural planners will meet with residents and leaders during two sessions to gather input and offer information about how development at the U.S. 281 and Texas 71 corridor might evolve over the next several years.
EV Studio will host two sessions, both at 1:30 p.m., on Sept. 15 and Sept. 18. The Sept. 18 session is at the Marble Falls City Council Chambers, 800 Third St. in Marble Falls. The Colorado-based consulting firm has an Austin office.
The first session will introduce the community to representatives and property owners to solicit ideas for development of the 500-acre site in far south Marble Falls.
During the second session, planners will unveil the first draft of a potential mixed-use, master-planned site concept.
The proposed development is catty-corner from the newly opened Baylor-Scott & White Hospital, just off the northwest corner of the intersection.
The corner is also the site of at least three fledgling housing developments.
“Everybody in the area realized that after the hospital was opened, all the property down in that part of the city and county was going to get some high-profile attention and obviously has some real potential for growth,” said Bill Rives, executive director of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce and Conventions and Visitors Bureau. “From what I’ve seen of Central Texas growing up for the past 40 years, the fact that we’re going to grow is inevitable.
“How we grow is certainly up to our city leaders and our community to guide and direct that growth, so what we have is what we want and will serve our community best,” Rives said.
Trey Hailey, an architect and planner with EV Studio, said “the timing may be perfect” for drawing up plans.
“Central Texas is growing so quickly anyway, so it’s a huge opportunity for a model community,” he said. “We would like to get some ideas from some people who live in the community, what they would like to see there.
“They may see a need there that an outside person wouldn’t see,” Hailey said.
Ideas could range from housing, retail and restaurants to park space, health care services and assisted-living facilities.
“We see it as a very important site in the Marble Falls area,” Hailey said.
Rives added that initial planning could launch a ripple effect for development in the area.
“We need more rooftops here in the city, and one of the things I’ve learned here at the chamber is that retail will follow rooftops. So once we get some houses down there, there’s going to be some new retail opportunities,” he said. “That whole area has such potential to grow and be a vital part of Marble Falls.”