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  1. A few...though I think they'd have to be insane to do it, lol. The population of Bryan is a little less than 70K, and the population of college station is about 83K. The library was opened in 1997....and this renovation had a lot to do with updating the technology. It's much more multimedia focused, from what I've been told. Here's a little snippet from wikipedia: I hope you get a chance to make it through!
  2. Agree with the poster above. A lot is going on...both on campus and around town. Traffic wise: the widening of Texas Avenue is getting close to completion, and Tx-dot is reworking the Rock Prairie Road Exit off Highway 6. I don't think Highway 40 was around...at least not in its present state, in 99...and development continues to march south. Work will begin soon...I think 2009...on the George Bush Drive/Wellborn road intersection. If I remember correctly, TX-dot has come up with a very interesting design for how to do it...George Bush will be buried beneath the railroad tracks and traffic not turning on to George Bush off of Welborn will...I think...go strait without stopping on an elevated road. The trashy apartment complex on the corner will be mostly torn down, I believe, which is good news for the city aesthetically. Two very large...and, most agree, very ugly, football/track practice facilities are nearly completed on Welborn road South of Kyle Field. Downtown Bryan is a completely different place. Restoration began in full force I think in the early 2000s and I doubt it's ever looked better. You should come and visit for a weekend...basketball games are half-priced in December and traffic is very light without students in town, so you could drive around and re-acquaint yourself with the town. Central park is nice this time of year and a drive through Santa's Wonderland is always fun. Also, the George Bush Library has just been reopened after an extensive renovation...so that's worth looking through. It'd be a nice relaxing way to spend a weekend.
  3. More info from the THSRTC Website A video with more info...
  4. The Eagle: This could be really big for BCS....any thoughts?
  5. Great news, Scotch. Thanks for the update. Bryan has been doing great city-wide lately, from what I've read.
  6. Too bad, too. I thought it would be cool to have another high-rise in BCS.
  7. I may be stating the obvious...but the academy used to be in Redmond Terrace...
  8. I'm excited to see how they turn out after they get a much need makeover...
  9. Plans for Northgate condos in doubt http://www.theeagle.com/stories/072907/local_20070729043.php -April Avison Plans to build a $25 million condominium in Northgate are falling apart because College Station officials won't concede to minor changes in the project, developers with Dallas-based The Staubach Co. said Friday. Staubach is the second developer to try to build the facility - once billed as the largest investment in Northgate - at the northwest corner of First Street and Church Avenue near Cafe Eccell. A deal with Atlanta-based Gameday Centers Southeastern fell through earlier this year. The plans with Staubach aren't scrapped, city officials said Friday, explaining that they're trying to work out an agreement that benefits both parties. The matter was discussed during closed session at a College Station City Council meeting Thursday night. Although the issue was posted for a council vote, no action was taken, and City Manager Glenn Brown said after the meeting that he had nothing new to report on the ongoing negotiations. The Staubach Co., founded by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, originally wanted to take over an economic development agreement that was drafted when the city was negotiating with Gameday Centers. The agreement required that the developer spend $20 million, although about $350,000 would be repaid by the city as an incentive, said Steve Sanders, a vice-president with Staubach. Developers were willing to forego the incentive and invest $25 million if the city would allow the building to be six stories, Sanders said. But College Station officials insisted on at least seven stories, which essentially is the reason for the stall in negotiations, Sanders said. "We would love to go forward with the project," he said. "We simply don't see how we can, given the conditions the city has placed on us. We wanted the design flexibility to do a project of anywhere from six to 15 stories, but the city insisted on seven. The reason this matters is, it forces the entire project to be built under high-rise construction, which is significantly more expensive." Previous plans submitted by the Atlanta-based Gameday company showed a 10-story building with a spa and fitness facility. About 10,000 square feet of retail space was planned for restaurants and gift shops, according to Gameday's original proposal. Furnished condos at the facility, which would be marketed to Texas A&M University graduates, were scheduled to sell for $130,000 to $750,000. The complex's taxable value would be in excess of $40 million, Sanders estimated. Sanders said his client, Texas investment firm EKW Partners, already has contributed "tens of thousands of dollars" planning the project, even though the land is still owned by Southeast Property Management Co. of Kentucky. EKW, which hired Staubach as the project and development manager, has been under contract since April to buy the land but won't close the deal until an agreement can be reached with the city, Sanders said. Sanders said the height of the building is one of two problems in the negotiations. In the 2-acre area where the condo is planned, College Station sold five of the lots and the developer assembled another 10 lots, Sanders said, explaining that when the lots were merged, the land became more valuable. "The city said if we don't go forward with the [economic development agreement], they have the right to buy their lots back," Sanders said. "That never was in dispute; of course they have that right. But then they said they wanted to put a clause in the agreement to buy our 10 lots at appraised value. It's an unusual request because it's not their property and it never was a condition in the original deal with Gameday. "We didn't think the city would have a way to pay fair market value for our lots," he said. "No appraiser is going to value it at what we pay for it. The way they're setting this up, we were guaranteed to lose money if we don't build for whatever reason." To complete the deal, Sanders said, his client eventually agreed to what he called an "onerous" 10-lot buyback provision, asking for the city to concede, in exchange, to a six-story building. But College Station officials wouldn't agree, he said. David Gwin, College Station's economic development director, has been the city's lead negotiator. Gwin said Friday that he was not at liberty to discuss the issue. "From our standpoint, there's nothing to report," he said. "It is our intent to have a condo built at Northgate. We don't have a time frame. I can't comment any more than that." City Manager Brown also declined to discuss the specifics of the negotiations. When asked to respond to some of Sanders' comments, Brown expressed concern about violating the city's policy of conducting economic development negotiations behind closed doors. "I will not talk about the deal points publicly," he said. "I am disappointed that [sanders] has chosen to talk about the negotiations in public. Beyond that, I don't know what to say, other than the city of College Station would very much like to see Gameday happen. It has to be a good deal for the private investor and the citizens of College Station." Brown said dozens of condos were pre-sold by Atlanta-based Gameday. If the project does not proceed, the original developer would be obligated to refund the money, Brown said. The next step for the city, Brown said, is simply to continue negotiating. If an agreement is reached with Staubach, it will be discussed again by the City Council in closed session, he said. Any vote on the matter would be taken in public. Staubach's Sanders said, however, that he ought to have the opportunity to present his plans to the council in a public setting rather than working solely with Gwin and Assistant City Attorney Carla Robinson. A public meeting is customary for a project of this magnitude, he said. "I think the City Council would have loved our project and understood why we needed our changes if we'd gotten a chance to meet with them," Sanders said. "We were told we couldn't have a meeting without a deal. My question for three months has been, how can we get to a deal without a meeting?" Sanders said that if he'd been permitted to meet with the council, it's likely ground already would be broken on the project. The facility could take about 16 months to complete, officials have estimated. "Had they just changed the dates that expired in the original contract, we'd already be working on this," Sanders said. Brown said developers are never allowed to present to the council during a closed session and it's unusual for a concept to be made public before an agreement is signed. "Developers relay comments to staff, and staff relays them to council," he said. "If it's publicly aired out, it could place either the public entity or the private entity at a disadvantage." But despite some trouble with the agreement, the city manager said he doesn't think the project has slipped away just yet. "From the city of College Station's perspective, this deal has not fallen through," he said.
  10. Officials gear up to bring $435 million facility to town http://www.theeagle.com/stories/032007/local_20070320008.php By APRIL AVISON Eagle Staff Writer A proposed national agro-biodefense facility at Texas A&M University matters to College Station, which is planning traffic solutions. It matters to Bryan, which is partnering to build a nearby Health Science Center campus, and it matters to the Chamber of Commerce, which is heading to Washington D.C. to lobby legislators about regional issues in May. That's what officials from several governmental entities said Monday as they heard from Garry Adams, associate dean for research at Texas A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, during a monthly intergovernmental committee meeting.
  11. Bryan council approves strategy for city's future http://www.theeagle.com/stories/011007/local_20070110004.php
  12. Senior center, east side study on College Station agenda http://www.theeagle.com/stories/011107/local_20070111059.php College Station leaders will talk this week about awarding an $80,000 contract for a consultant to study and make recommendations about transportation needs on the east side of Earl Rudder Freeway. The City Council also will discuss design plans for a senior citizens facility to be built near a planned "city center" complex on Krenek Tap Road. Both topics are scheduled during the council's 3 p.m. workshop meeting Thursday. Public Works Director Mark Smith is recommending the city hire Kimley Horn and Associates of Houston to study transportation needs east of Earl Rudder Freeway between Harvey Road and the Nantucket subdivision. The work will take about 90 days, according to a proposal submitted by the Houston-based firm. When city staff suggested in August that a transportation study be devoted to the east side of town, Councilman John Happ opposed it, saying it was a piecemeal effort and a waste of money, especially because the city is conducting a comprehensive plan update that includes a citywide thoroughfare. But Smith said this week the east side needs to be studied immediately, and the comprehensive plan rewrite will take more than a year to complete. "This part of town is a developing area," he said of the eastern portion of College Station. "We didn't want to wait that long to get data on an area that is growing so fast." The consulting firm is scheduled to meet with an advisory committee - which will include representatives from the neighborhoods included in the study area, members of the city's transportation committee and developers who work in the area. Two public meetings are planned, and the consultant will develop a model of potential roadway scenarios. An implementation strategy also will be developed. The consultant will identify and prioritize steps that should be taken before the adoption of the updated comprehensive plan in order to accommodate traffic, according to the proposal. Design projects are not chosen based on the lowest bid submitted. Kimley Horn and Associates, which has not done prior work for College Station, is being recommended by staff for a couple of reasons, Smith said. "They specialize in traffic work," he said. "And, honestly, it's important for this particular study to have a very objective consultant, one that doesn't have any local connections." Prior to Smith's presentation to the City Council on Thursday, Parks and Recreation Director Steve Beachy will discuss a design concept for the planned senior center. The senior center has been under consideration since 2000, and probably will be included as part of a bond package set to go before voters in 2008. The facility could cost about $5 million to $6 million to build, Beachy said Wednesday. Specific cost estimates will be released Thursday. The design work was performed by architects from Brown, Waterford and Reynolds for $75,000. When the conceptual plan is presented Thursday, it will include a three-dimension model and floor plan, and it will define the scope of the project, Beachy said. The architect also is recommending that the facility be built between the future extension of Dartmouth Street and Central Park. "The seniors wanted a building in proximity to Central Park so they can use the walking trails," Beachy said, noting that the architect met with a senior advisory committee several times while preparing the concept. The City Council has said it wants to build the senior center in the Central Park area because other municipal buildings already are there, and a future City Hall is planned. Beachy said if the design is approved by the council Thursday, the next step would be to put the project in a future capital improvement program, such as the 2008 bond referendum. "Once the funding is approved, typically I think you could allow about one year to complete the design process and another year to build it," he said. "This has been something our seniors have talked about for seven years now. It's a dream for them. It's an exciting project."
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