Families in Castro aim to create a new urban recreation district

Families in Castro aim to create a new urban recreation district

GASTROVILLE – As we look at the extension to the small town west of San Antonio, a group of residents are coming together to preserve the taste of the small town of Castroville and revitalize their historic city.

More than 30 families have invested in the Downtown Redesign Fund in Castro, which will own and remodel up to a dozen buildings with the money raised so far.

“There are many ways to renovate a neighborhood or historic building,” said Joshua Kemp, an executive partner who is a resident of Eighth Generation Castro. “We hope that people who are deeply concerned about the future of the city will perform better than someone who is here to make an economic deal without a genuine interest in heritage.”

He declined to release the amount raised, but confirmed it was “seven digits”.

The fund purchased three buildings, two of which were vacant. Under the fourth purchase agreement.

Kemp said fund managers are working with Alo Architects, HighWorks and DPG Partners and the first restructuring project is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

The fund plans to renovate historic buildings in the city center to create this recreational area.

Town center redevelopment fund in Castro | Courtesy

Investors aim to fill the renovated buildings with businesses such as top-notch European-American restaurant, micro-brewery, grocery store, ice cream shop, custom western clothing factory, art gallery and grill.

Without going to Tim Hiltonbrand San Antonio, people from outside the city and locals can come and relax and have a nice dinner and ice cream with their kids. Partner

The downtown area has been neglected and “may need a little facelift,” said Trey Cherhardt, a resident who invested in the fund. He said Castroville did not have high-quality equipment.

The idea for the fund came from conversations between Kemp, Hiltonbrand and other locals about the area’s development.

Castroville, with about 3,000 residents, is located on the city’s riverfront, about 40 kilometers west of San Antonio. According to the census, the population of the city district where Castroville is located increased by about 10% from April 1, 2010 to April 1, 2020.

The population of Pexar County is also increasing, increasing by about 17% over the same period. Over the years, the area on the western edge of the district has led to the construction of new homes, and as the city moves in that direction, productivity in the south has also increased.

The team at Castro began working on the concept of the fund in May, contacting local families about the investment and raising the necessary funds in mid-July.

“All of these national retail and fast food chains, home builders – this economic activity aside, while none of the people here own these businesses,” Kemp said. “The company benefits as a customer, but as an owner it doesn’t really benefit.”

Preserving the uniqueness of the city and supporting its development is an essential aspect of the finance strategy.

“This is an opportunity to give them a wider ownership of key parts of our history and heritage, which we hope can make money through their redesign,” he added.

Castro was founded in 1844 by the French Emperor Henry Castro, who signed an agreement with the Texas government to colonize the area.

Most of the European families he drew by land pledge belonged to Alsace – once traded between France and Germany in the northeastern region of France – and in Castro is known as the Little Alsace of Texas.

The architecture of the city reflects its roots, and it is recognized as the National Historic District of Texas, according to the Texas State Historical Society Guide.

Bradford Bohme, the sixth generation of Castroville residents and investor in finance, is interested in the city’s history and upholds its Alsatian heritage. He and his family, like their ancestors, established a farm in the area and are involved in various historical organizations and activities.

He said the city is like a time capsule, this fund is a way to preserve its beauty and enjoy its historic buildings.

“Yes, growth is happening, yes, change is happening, but both can be achieved if we keep our magic and do something creative as a team, thrive and successfully build a business,” Bohme said.

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