Development doesn’t always go in a straight line. The paths
that turn vacant land into shopping centers, grocery stores and homes are full
of unexpected twists. In the mid-2000s I was involved in developing a
significant commercial corner in Buda that opened up land for over a thousand
homes. It is important to keep histories of Buda’s past alive as the city
grows, this is one story of how Buda came to be.
In 2004 The land at the Northwest corner of FM 967 and FM 1626 was undeveloped and owned by the Dahlstrom Family. On the tax rolls, it was in the name of Cecilia Austin. Knowing the potential for the property I called her to discuss it. Mrs. Austin explained that the land was tied up in a complicated family partnership and selling the property would be difficult due to conflicting interests.
After several months of family negotiations, I successfully listed the property for sale. Michael Thames and Terri Wimmer then bought the property.
In 2005, Michael Thames and Terri Wimmer, donated the land just west of the intersection for the Fire & EMS station that is now there. They also sold the corner lot to Sac-N-Pac for a convenience store which has since been bought by Stripes.
Thames & Wimmer sold the majority of the remaining land (98 acres) to the Buda Economic Development Corporation. I was one of the agents that negotiated the land sale. In July of 2005, the Buda EDC then donated 14.19 acres for the Hays Communities YMCA. The Buda EDC then started developing the baseball fields as a Sportsplex that could hold baseball and softball tournaments. In 2008 the Sportsplex baseball fields were completed. The EDC also developed 7.5 acres of frontage lots which were bought by many businesses.
As part of developing the 7.5 acres of commercial lots the Buda EDC extended the city sewer lines to this property. The first commercial lots were sold in 2006. The sewer line for the commercial lots also provided city sewer for the land that was later developed into Garlic Creek, Elm Grove, Whispering Hollow, and Summer Pointe residential subdivisions.
To many the growth in Northwest Buda around FM 1626 and FM 967 seem like a natural process of time. But in fact these changes required dozens of actors all working in concert for years. Buda has come to be the city we love in spurts and twists. In this case it was from a phone call that turned vacant land to a commercial corner that provided sewer access to many new residents.
John B. Sanford, Realtor – Community Builder