Program ‘catalyst’ for more low-cost home construction in Burnet

At least five of about 25 proposed homes are under construction by a private developer on 13 acres off Westfall in Burnet, officials said, due to the cultivation of the housing market by the city’s economic development corporation.

At least five of about 25 proposed homes are under construction by a private developer on 13 acres off Westfall in Burnet, officials said, due to the cultivation of the housing market by the city’s economic development corporation.

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

BURNET — A public-private partnership served as a “catalyst” for a private developer to begin work on dozens of single-family homes on 13 acres adjacent to Burnet City Cemetery, officials said.

About five homes — within the Langley Homes at Westfall development — appeared to be nearing completion May 3 with as many as 25-30 more proposed on the tract at the intersection of Westfall and Cemetery streets.

The site, formerly city property, was acquired by the builder in 2017 with the aim of building low-cost or discounted single- and multi-family housing.

“It’s not part of the My Town project, but it’s an extension of the program,” Burnet Mayor Crista Bromley said. “It is close to the same style and near the (existing) My Town homes.”

My Town is a partnership involving the city of Burnet, the Burnet Economic Development Corp., private construction businesses, and real estate professionals.

Since 2014, Burnet EDC officials have worked to spur the housing market by purchasing lots and working with private real estate agents, builders, and potential homebuyers in the My Town Program.

“When we started My Town, we, being the EDC, had pretty much run out of property, so (we) thought that (13 acres) might be a good project,” Bromley said. “Basically, we wanted to take ourselves out of development. That is the goal we wanted to see reached.”

With Langley Homes acquiring the property, the Westfall project became the first since the My Town program to be cultivated by a private developer instead of the city and the EDC.

“The Langleys came in and took over the development, where before, many developers didn’t see it as something they could develop,” the mayor said. “My Town was the catalyst.”

Bromley added that a second private developer has plans underway to launch a similar project — potentially townhomes and duplexes — on several lots off Rhomberg and Pecan streets.

connie@thepicayune.com

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