Posts tagged “economic development

Video: Small business bridge loan program

The City of College Station and the Bryan Business Council partnered with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments in April to create a Bridge Loan Program to assist small businesses that have seen a substantial reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses need short-term working capital to cover essential expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities.

– Public Communications Office

 


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (May 28)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular teleconference meetings on Thursday, May 28. It’s not the official minutes.

The live audio is streamed on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 998 0711 3729. 

6:39 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

6:48 p.m.

City to create tourism office

The council voted unanimously to terminate the city’s funding agreement with Experience Bryan-College effective Aug. 1. The city will incorporate tourism into its economic development and recovery strategies by launching a new internal operation focused on the hospitality industry.

6:52 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council pulled these items for discussion from the regular meeting’s consent agenda:

  • Credit Card Processing: The council will consider approving Renewal No. 1 and Amendment No. 2 for an estimated expenditure of $240,000 with Global Payments Direct for merchant card and credit card payment processing services.
  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: The council will consider guidelines to assist households unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 disaster declarations. The guidelines will reprogram $475,000 in existing federal grants.
  • Impact Fee Semi-Annual Report: The Impact Fee Semi-Annual Report is provided to the council in accordance with state law. The City of College Station adopted system-wide impact fees for water, wastewater, and roadways in 2016.
  • Former Police Station: The city has negotiated a three-year, $1.02 million lease of the old police station at 2611 Texas Avenue to International Leadership of Texas.

7:20 p.m.

Proposed FY 20 Bond Issuance

The council voted unanimously to direct staff to proceed with reduced parameters for the proposed FY 20 bond issuance based on existing economic conditions. The certificates of obligation will be presented for the council’s consideration on June 11.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Incentives Compliance Report

The council voted unanimously to accept the 2019 Incentive Compliance Report by the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

7:43 p.m.

After the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports, Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop. The regular meeting starts after a short break.

7:57 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

8:06 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during hear visitors, when citizens may address the council on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.

  • David Flash spoke about a complaint he filed on Feb. 2 with the College Station Police Department. He said the complaint has still not been answered and asked the council to encourage the new police chief to complete the investigation.

8:11 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda. Citizen Richard Woodward gave a presentation on the impact fee item:

  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Howdy Disposal for the collection of demolition and construction debris, recyclables, and organic waste from commercial, industrial and multifamily locations.
  • Renewal No. 1 and Amendment No. 2 for an estimated $240,000 with Global Payments Direct for merchant card and credit card payment processing services.
  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance guidelines to assist with rental assistance for College Station households affected by the COVID-19 disaster declarations.
  • The first renewal of an annual electric system construction and maintenance labor contract not to exceed $750,000 with H&B Contractors.
  • The semi-annual report on systemwide water, wastewater, and roadway impact fees.
  • The BVWACS annual operation and maintenance and capital budget.
  • An amendment to the contract with Emergicon.
  • A three-year, $1.02 million lease of the old police station building on Texas Avenue to International Leadership of Texas.
  • An advance funding agreement of $35,525 with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city’s contribution for signal improvements for the intersection of George Bush Drive and Dexter Drive.
  • An advance funding agreement of $323,345 with the Texas Department of Transportation for the city’s contribution for signal improvements that are part of the FM 2818 widening project.

8:15 p.m.

Creekside PUE Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a 0.15-acre portion of a 20-foot public utility easement in the Creekside Subdivision Phase 1.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:18 p.m.

Masfajitas PUE Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a 2-foot wide portion of a public utility easement in the the Horse Haven Estates to accommodate a Masfajitas restaurant.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Dowling Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Rural, Office, and Light Commercial to General Commercial for about 15 acres at 95 North Dowling Road B, 101 North Dowling Road A & B, 103 North Dowling Road, and 107 North Dowling Road.

The change better fits the Comprehensive Plan’s designation for more intense uses.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

8:24 p.m.

Disaster Declaration Extension

The council voted unanimously to consent to extend the mayor’s disaster declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

8:28 p.m.

Standard of Care Ordinance

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to adopt standards of care for the Parks and Recreation Department’s elementary-age youth recreational program.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

10:59 p.m.

Short-Term Rental Ordinance

After a 2.5-hour discussion, the council decided to continue the consideration of short-term housing rental regulations at a future meeting.

Here’s the PowerPoint Presentation:

11:01 p.m.

After the council discussed future agenda items, Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again by teleconference on Thursday, June 11.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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City creates program to aid local small businesses

By Debbie Eller, Director of Community Development

While the COVID-19 outbreak has arrived with a high human cost, it’s increasingly evident that the economic impacts could be substantial as well. In response, the City of College Station has created an Economic Assistance Grant Program for our small businesses with low-to-moderate income employees.

The city council unanimously approved the program’s guidelines as part of a special Monday afternoon teleconference meeting.

Funded with almost $300,000 in CDBG Economic Development Funds, the program could help prevent job losses for employees with families in the low-to-moderate household income range, such as a family of four that earns under $54,800 a year. In the long term, the program could also contribute to job creation or enable businesses to reach their pre-disaster employment numbers.

Grants of up to $40,000 will be available, based on the number of employees. Businesses need to provide information regarding their business before and after implementation of the COVID-19 declarations, including financial documents, employee information, and their willingness to comply with local, state, and federal requirements. 

To apply, click the link below, register as a vendor, and download the required documents. After you log-in, click on Current Bids and the Eco Assistance Grant link, where you can upload the documents.

New applications are reviewed and funds awarded each week, and each entity may receive only one grant. We expect the requests to outpace the available funds.

Funds will be disbursed in four installments, with the first distributed after the agreement is executed. Subsequent payments will be made following the submission of payroll documentation showing that the funding has helped retained job funding. 

For more information, email me at deller@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Community Services Coordinator Debbie Eller is in her 21st year with the City of College Station. She has led the Community Services Department since 2010. A native of Fort Worth, Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M in 1984.


 

 

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All Up In Your Business: Walk-On’s

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Who better to open a Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in College Station than a former walk-on to the Texas A&M football team? Cory (’08) and Jenny (’01) Davis are poised to open their business in south College Station — their first foray into the restaurant business — and talk about how College Station was the only city they ever considered for such a major endeavor.

Also in this episode, Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and Communications Director Jay Socol talk about how the City of College Station sometimes spots opportunities to help new businesses or developers find just the right location for whatever they want to bring to the market.

Finally, Nat shares updated info on some additional restaurants under development in south College Station or, as Jay calls it, “SoCol.”

All Up In Your Business is now available via Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Podcast: College Station eco-devo 101

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

We hear it all the time: “Hey, College Station, how come you don’t bring a [fill in the blank] to town?”

The other side of that is, “Hey, bozos, why do you keep bringing more [fill in the blank] to our city?”

First, some of you have anger issues. Seriously, though, a lot of people don’t understand:

  • What the city can be credited for bringing to town.
  • What the city should not be credited/blamed for bringing to town.
  • What our economic development staff is actively recruiting to CS.

In this episode of AUIYB, Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I discuss all these points, as well as some things about Post Oak Mall you may not know. (cliffhanger!)

Subscribe to All Up In Your Business at your favorite podcast source — Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, or Podbean.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is starting his 11th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Podcast: Breakfast you’ll be la Gladeleine about

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

In this podcast episode, College Station Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz returns to talk about new restaurants, office space, commercial expansion and more. We also dive into an email from a pod listener (we have one!) who expressed concerns about what feels like constant expansion in College Station.

All Up In Your Business is now available via Podbean, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Neighborhood Conservation Overlay: In the workshop, the council will consider recommendations related to the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay zoning district and its associated standards and processes.
  2. CS Business Park Land Sale: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a contract to sell about seven acres at the south end of the College Station Business Center to a light industrial user.
  3. Renaming Greens Prairie Road West: After a public hearing, the council will consider renaming Greens Prairie Road West to maximize efficiency for emergency responders. The action would change the name to Victoria Avenue between Wellborn Road and Victoria, to Woodlake Drive between Victoria and Woodlake, and to Greens Prairie Road between Highway 6 and the city limits. Greens Prairie Trail between Wellborn and the city limits would become Greens Prairie Road.
  4. Cain Closing at Rail Crossing: After a public hearing, the council will consider closing the Cain Road crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad with the opening of the new Deacon Drive crossing.
  5. Brazos County MUD No. 2: The council will consider four items related to the formation of Brazos County Municipal Utility District No. 2 in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction along Peach Creek between Wellborn Road and Highway 6.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 13)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 13. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:23 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:29 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Northgate Park: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $418,000 contract with Caprock Construction for the development of Northgate Park, a 1 ½-acre neighborhood park that will include lighted trails, open play areas, benches, a small lighted pavilion with picnic tables, and drinking fountains.

5:46 p.m.

BVEDC Incentive Report

The council heard a presentation from the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation about incentive compliance in 2018. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:15 p.m.

Water Fund and Rates

The council discussed the city’s water utility fund and the challenges it faces from growth, future capacity needs, and the impact of rainfall patterns. Staff recommended a 15% rate increase for FY20, which would raise the monthly bill by about $3.42 for an average single-family residence.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:38 p.m.

Smart City Initiatives

The council heard a workshop presentation about the city’s technology-driven smart city initiatives. The discussion included public sector trends and the types of advisory boards that exist in the industry.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:38 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:44 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:49 p.m.

Giles Completes Managing Officer Program

Mayor Mooney recognized Capt. Jason Giles for completing the National Fire Academy’s Managing Officer Program. Giles has been with the College Station Fire Department since 1999. Pictured below with the mayor are Kyler Giles, Capt. Giles, Fire Chief Jonathan McMahon, and Councilwoman Elianor Vessali.

6:55 p.m.

Men’s Health Month

The mayor proclaimed June as Men’s Health Month. Pictured below with the mayor are representatives of the Brazos County Health Department.

7:06 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Marine Capt. Lyle L. Gordon as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 30-year-old Midlothian native died on Jan. 26, 2005, in a helicopter crash near Ar Rutbah, Iraq.

7:07 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Authorized the city manager or designee to execute documents for a grant application for police bomb squad equipment to the Office of the Governor’s Homeland Security Division.
  • A $418,266.89 contract with Caprock Construction for the development of Northgate Park.
  • A change order reducing by $91,555.33 the contract for the Sandy Point Improvements Project.
  • An interlocal agreement with Region 8 Education Service Center to participate in The Interlocal Purchasing System.
  • A contract not to exceed $162,271.92 with ASAP Security Services for implementing Phase II of the city-wide integrated video surveillance system.
  • An annual price agreement not to exceed $712,700 with Techline for wire and cable.
  • Services by Global Payments Direct for merchant card and credit card payment processing services: a) additional funding of $285,000 for the second year of the initial contract term ending May 31, 2020; and b) amended the contract to allow for an estimated annual expenditure of $1.3 million.
  • An annual contract not to exceed $100,000 with Larry Young Paving for the repaving of utility cuts.
  • The first renewal of a contract not to exceed $432,000 with Brazos Paving for the installation of one-inch overlay with specialty mix.
  • An annual contract not-to-exceed $101,640 with Buyers Barricades Houston for 2019 Texas A&M football postgame traffic control.

7:14 p.m.

Budget Amendment No. 2

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a $2.33 million amendment to the city’s FY19 budget that includes an attenuator truck and two equipment operators for the Solid Waste Division, parkland dedication funds, an assistant to the city manager, medical claims, and a cemetery water line.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:23 p.m.

Updated Building Permit Fees

The council voted unanimously to adopt amended building permit fees to align with state law and the city’s policy of full fee support for the costs of permitted services.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:32 p.m.

University Drive Rezoning

The council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning from Office with Corridor Overlay to General Commercial with Corridor Overlay for about three acres at 1101, 1103 and 1105 University Drive East.

The change would allow for a wider range of uses in the existing development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:48 p.m.

Interlocal Agreement for Prisoners

The council voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with Brazos County to house City of College Station Class C misdemeanor prisoners at $55 each per day.

The Police Department’s new headquarters that will open early next year will not have a holding facility. State Law mandates that the local sheriff accept and house arrests from county agencies that are a Class B misdemeanor and above.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:00 p.m.

Harvey Mitchell Parkway Multi-Use Path

The council voted unanimously to approve a $102,735 contract with Dudley Construction for the Harvey Mitchell Parkway multi-use path landscaping project, which includes trees and shrubs along the existing path between Texas and Welsh Avenues.

The 2013 South Knoll Area Neighborhood Plan gave direction to continue enhancing park and trail facilities. The landscaping project was specifically identified and also helps implement the Comprehensive Plan as it relates to FM2818 as a primary image corridor.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:26 p.m.

Semi-Annual Impact Fee Report

The council voted unanimously to accept the semi-annual report on the system-wide water, wastewater, and roadway impact fees adopted in 2016. The fees have been implemented in phases with full implementation occurring in December.

The city limits bound the service area for roadway impact fees, but service areas for system-wide water and wastewater impact fees also include areas in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. Land use assumptions and the related capital improvement plans were unchanged in the reporting period, and the report documents the fees collected in each service area.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:28 p.m.

Interlocal Agreement with Wellborn SUD

The council voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with the Wellborn Special Utility District for cost participation in the city’s Greens Prairie Trail Phase 1 Widening Project. To reduce costs and make sure the project is completed on schedule, Wellborn SUD will reimburse the city for relocating its water lines located in the city’s right-of-way.

The project will reconstruct and widen Greens Prairie Trail from Royder Road to the city limit and will include the replacement of the existing asphalt pavement with a four-lane concrete section.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:30 p.m.

Greens Prairie Preliminary Engineering Report

The council voted unanimously to approve a $234,500 contract with Jones & Carter for the preliminary engineering report for the rehabilitation of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road to Victoria Avenue.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:33 p.m.

McCulloch Utility Rehabilitation Project

The council voted unanimously to approve an $839,800 contract with Kimley Horn and Associates for the McCulloch Utility Rehabilitation Project, which includes water and wastewater lines in the Southgate area near Arizona Street, Phoenix Street, Carolina Street, and Georgia Street.

The sewer lines need to be replaced because of service disruptions caused by deteriorating lines, shallow lines, and poor access to mains located near back lot lines. The water distribution lines need to be replaced due to service disruptions caused by deteriorating lines and inadequate fire protection from small lines.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:38 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:38 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume.

8:42 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports.

The council meets again on Thursday, June 27.

 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Water Fund: In the workshop, the council will discuss the status of the water utility fund and the challenges it faces from growth, future capacity needs, and the impact of rainfall patterns.
  2. Smart City Initiatives: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the city’s technology-driven smart city initiatives. The discussion will include public sector trends and the types of advisory boards that exist in the industry.
  3. Northgate Park: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $418,000 contract with Caprock Construction for the development of Northgate Park, a 1 ½-acre neighborhood park that will include lighted trails, open play areas, benches, a small lighted pavilion with picnic tables, and drinking fountains.
  4. Budget Amendment: After a public hearing, the council will consider a $2.33 million amendment to the city’s FY19 budget. Items include an attenuator truck and two equipment operators for the Solid Waste Division, parkland dedication funds, an assistant to the city manager, medical claims, and a cemetery water line.
  5. University Drive Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider changing the zoning from Office with Corridor Overlay to General Commercial with Corridor Overlay for about three acres at 1101, 1103 and 1105 University Drive East. The change would allow for a broader range of uses in the existing development.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (May 23)

Sitting (L-R): Mayor Pro Tem Linda Harvell, Mayor Karl Mooney, Eleanor Vessali. Standing (L-R): Bob Brick, Jerome Rektorik, John Nichols, Dennis Maloney.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, May 23. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:24 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action out of the executive session.

5:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled no consent items for workshop discussion.

5:50 p.m.

Economic Development Update

The council reviewed the city’s economic development efforts and discussed ways to enhance our economic competitiveness. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Fire Asset Reliability

The council reviewed the Fire Department’s adequacy and response reliability.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:32 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:38 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. Mayor Mooney said item No. 3 on the regular agenda (parking restrictions on Langford, King Arthur, Guadalupe, and Lancelot) has been pulled and will not be considered tonight.

6:58 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Seven people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Army Capt. Sean P. Sims as part of the Fallen Heroes Project. The 32-year-old El Paso native died on Nov. 13, 2004, when his unit received small arms fire while clearing a building in Fallujah, Iraq.
  • Carlos Espina, Eduardo Espina, Carlos Prida, and Raphael Cruzan asked the council to bring soccer fields back to Anderson Park.
  • Donald and Patsy Deere spoke against the proposed parking restrictions on Langford, King Arthur, Guadalupe, and Lancelot. That item has been pulled from tonight’s agenda.

6:59 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $287,305 contract with Air-Tech Brazos Valley for facilities corrective maintenance services.
  • The $330,029.53 purchase of furnishings from multiple vendors for the renovated Larry J. Ringer Library.
  • An ordinance amendment that clarifies that customers are responsible for placing solid waste containers out for collection and for removing them afterward.
  • An ordinance amendment that clarifies that payment is not a defense for a violation of prohibited parking. Some Northgate parking spaces transition at times to prohibited parking for loading zones or passenger pick-up and the payment system can’t prohibit payment during these times.
  • An ordinance amendment that increases the civil fine for parking without paying in the Northgate Garage from $50 to $115 for payment within 10 days and from $60 to $125 for payment after 10 days.

7:14 p.m.

Parking Restrictions on Poplar, Ash, Live Oak and Nimitz

The council voted unanimously to remove stopping, standing, and parking along one side of Poplar, Live Oak, Ash, and Nimitz Streets, and on one side of a segment of Edelweiss Avenue from 7-9 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m. on school days.

Ash Street residents contacted the city about cars parked on both sides of the road that could impede emergency vehicle access. Additional evaluation led the Traffic Management Team to also recommend parking restrictions on Poplar, Live Oak, and Nimitz.

The principal of Rock Prairie Elementary contacted the city about cars parked on both sides of the road during the afternoon pick-up times, which affects the ability to see children crossing. In addition, when vehicles park along Edelweiss, the road effectively becomes a single-lane roadway for a two-direction operation.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

7:22 p.m.

Landscaping and Mowing Contract

The council voted unanimously to approve a $1.06 million contract with Green Teams for citywide mowing and landscape maintenance. The contract does not include regional parks and athletic fields.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:31 p.m.

Wellborn-Holleman Intersection

The council voted unanimously to approve an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements at the Wellborn Road-Holleman Drive intersection. The agreement has no budgetary impact and covers work within the state’s right-of-way. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:33 p.m.

Southwood Valley Sewer Line

The council voted unanimously to approve a $1.22 million contract with Palasota Contracting for the Southwood Valley Trunk Line Phase 1 Project to increase capacity for development.

The project area starts about 160 feet south of Bee Creek on the west side of State Highway 6, runs south for about 1,000 feet toward the northwest corner of FM 2818 and State Highway 6, then goes southwest about 1,250 feet toward Brothers Boulevard.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Highway 6 Gateway Sign

The council voted unanimously to approve a $149,486 contract with JaCody Construction for a gateway sign located just north of Peach Creek Cutoff along State Highway 6 within TxDOT right-of-way.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:44 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items, and Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 13.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Economic Development: In the workshop, the council will review the city’s economic development efforts and discuss ways to enhance College Station’s economic competitiveness.
  2. Parking Removals: In separate items, the council will consider a trio of ordinance amendments to remove stopping, standing, and parking along Poplar Street, Live Oak Street, Ash Street, Nimitz Street, Langford, King Arthur, Guadalupe, and Lancelot to provide emergency vehicle access; and Edelweiss Avenue during pickup and dropoff times at Rock Prairie Elementary.
  3. Wellborn-Holleman Intersection: The council will consider an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements at the Wellborn Road-Holleman Drive intersection.
  4. Southwood Valley Sewer Line: The council will consider a $1.22 million contract with Palasota Contracting for the Southwood Valley Trunk Line Phase 1 Project that will increase capacity for development.
  5. Gateway Signage: The council will consider a $149,486 contract with JaCody Construction for a gateway sign to be located just north of Peach Creek Cutoff along State Highway 6 within TxDOT right-of-way.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Podcast: Real talk about Gringo’s and Buc-ee’s

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

College Station Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I had a jaunty (thanks, thesaurus!) podcast discussion this week about some businesses either recently on the ground or that we at least have a really good shot at.

But we also talked about one that appeared to be a sure thing until it wasn’t: Gringo’s.

Others topics we cover:

  • How genuine the interest is from Buc-ee’s in a College Station location vs. Nat’s own wishful thinking?
  • Why does it matter so much that the extensions to Lakeway Drive and Pebble Creek Parkway are now open? (Hint: Midtown)

For those brave enough to sample the video version of this episode, we apologize profusely for obscuring Nat’s face with the new microphone. A partial Nat eclipse is definitely visible to the naked eye.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Podcast: How Krispy Kreme finally came to town

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Like BBQ, burgers, tacos — or any other food type you can think of — donuts are a pretty personal thing for people. College Station has a variety of options, all with loyal followings.

But long-suffering fans of Krispy Kreme can finally rejoice: The red light of happiness is in Aggieland.

Franchisee Brian Davis doesn’t have the typical connection with College Station or with Texas A&M University. He talked to us about why he chose College Station, why the Harvey Road location was actually his second choice, how it takes nearly 100 people to operate a single location, and how he plans on giving back to a community that he’s only spent limited time in.

Enjoy this first episode of All Up In Your Business!


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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Podcast: Is This a Thing? (Episode 10)

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

In this episode of “Is This A Thing?” we share Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz’s recent presentation to the Economic Outlook Conference, which recapped market trends and successes from 2018, along with a look ahead through 2019 and into 2020.

Natalie then took a deeper dive into the city’s emerging Midtown Business Park and why that entire area of College Station is so important to the city’s future. (more…)


Small Business Saturday focuses on entrepreneurship

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

When our family’s business closed its doors in 1987, it ended more than six decades of serving families in our small, West Texas town — and families in many of the towns around it.

So, maybe it’s in my DNA to shop and dine at mom-and-pop establishments — even when online or big-brand storefronts might save me a few bucks.

That’s what Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24) is all about. While we appreciate all the businesses that operate in College Station, Small Business Saturday allows us to place additional focus on the entrepreneurs who took tremendous personal risks to invest here and compete in an incredibly tough retail, dining and services landscape.

If you happen to own one of these small businesses, let us hear from you in the days leading up to Small Business Saturday by tweeting at us (@CityofCS) with your business name and what it offers. Be sure to include the hashtag #ShopSmallCS.

Including small businesses, like the one my family operated for 60+ years, in your shopping and dining habits is a great way to support our community. And there’s no better time to start than after Black Friday (Nov. 23) and before Cyber Monday (Nov. 26).

Thank you, small businesses, for investing in us. Let’s all commit to investing more in you.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Is This A Thing? Krispy Kreme, Lululemon and Spice World

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Episode 8 of “Is This A Thing?” finds College Station Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz talking about the status of some restaurants and businesses you’ve been hearing about for a while, plus new trends that are showing interest in College Station, such as “entertainment uses.”

Total run time: 32:22

  • 00:00 — Open.
  • 00:57 — University Town Center: Lots of interest, looking for an anchor.
  • 02:34 — Chimney Hill: Republic/Primrose Path, drive-thru Starbucks, hotel, restaurant.
  • 05:18 — Century Square: Lululemon, Clean Juice and more on the way.
  • 08:38 — Northgate: Stunning number of new beds, commercial demands, food trucks.
  • 13:05 — Texas Avenue activity
  • 13:43 — Harvey Road update: Krispy Kreme IS A THING.
  • 15:12 — What does old Toys R Us location lend itself to?
  • 16:44 — Jones Crossing + H-E-B.
  • 17:47 — City View Southwest at SH40/Barron Road.
  • 19:24 — CapRock + Tower Point: What’s working, what’s coming?
  • 20:52 — The Yard (sounds kinda cool).
  • 21:39 — Gringo’s is STILL A THING + Walk-Ons and Starbucks.
  • 22:56 — Highway-6: Stella Restaurant, BV Autoplex, At Home (opening soon!).
  • 24:14 — More interest in entertainment, such as bowling/games, rock climbing.
  • 26:40 — What it was learned at the largest retail conference in the U.S.
  • 31:10 — Next time + show close.

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Podcast: Jones Crossing H-E-B built for technology – and pizza

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

H-E-B‘s newest store in College Station is set to open Sept. 12, and there will be striking differences when compared to locations at Holleman Drive and at Tower Point.

In this edition of the podcast, H-E-B Area Community Coordinator Diane Besosa talks about everything from app-based shopping/checkout to the restaurant that will be located inside.

Total run time: 23:30

  • 00:00 — The Name Game, what exactly Diane does for H-E-B.
  • 02:25 — A typical day for an H-E-B area coordinator is …
  • 03:30 — What’s the strategy for the new store?
  • 04:53 — There really is a difference in the way each store location is stocked.
  • 05:17 — Let’s talk about how the Jones Crossing store will be unique.
  • 05:41 — Coming: A new app, HEB60, that puts the shopping/payment power in your hand.
  • 08:03 — Full-service restaurant to be located in-store: SoFlo
  • 09:20 — This store will have full buildout for curbside service.
  • 10:32 — Next-level floral presence + delivery.
  • 14:48 — Anxious ahead of opening? State of the store right now?
  • 19:02 — How do BCS shoppers behave differently than in other parts of Houston market?

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Podcast: Is This A Thing? How the At Home deal was sealed (Episode 7)

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Home decor superstore At Home has announced it will occupy the property that was formerly Gander Mountain on Earl Rudder Freeway in College Station. That’s great news for consumers, but also for those in the economic development business since empty box stores along a major highway is not the image you prefer.

On this edition of Is This A Thing?, College Station’s Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and Oldham Goodwin Group EVP Clint Oldham talk about how the At Home deal came about, how fragile this deal – and all eco-devo deals, to be honest – really was, and how retail attitudes are no longer cowering from The Amazon Effect.

Total run time: 15:46

  • 00:00 – Show Open
  • 01:20 — Conversation started last summer when Gander Mountain was rumored to close.
  • 02:28 — What happened when CS initially reached out to At Home.
  • 03:40 — Some expansion of this facility will need to happen.
  • 04:30 — When Oldham Goodwin engaged Gander Mountain ownership.
  • 05:25 — Among the challenges of that property.
  • 07:07 — Among the positives of this location.
  • 08:33 — The effectiveness of a CS-OGG partnership to make the deal happen.
  • 09:35 — What people don’t see: How close deals are to NOT happening.
  • 10:50 — Other areas in College Station where OGG is working.
  • 11:30 — Could’ve announced this sooner, but didn’t want to jinx the deal!
  • 12:38 — Conditions this year feel different regarding which retailers are ready to expand.
  • 13:33 — Amazon Effect not as smothering; brick and mortar still matter.
  • 14:30 — Guesses on when At Home will be ready to open? (Spoiler: Nope)

 

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Why doesn’t College Station have a Waffle House?

By Jennifer Prochazka, Economic Development Manager

On Monday, I received an email asking a simple question: Why has the City of College Station not reached out to Waffle House or made plans to build one in our community?

Since Waffle House is the mecca of waffle aficionados across much of America, the question is reasonable — and it’s one we hear a lot.

So why don’t we have a Waffle House?

Restaurants such as Waffle House are planned and built by private businesses. We proactively recruit many companies, including restaurants, and we’ve pursued Waffle House for several years. Unfortunately, its management has repeatedly said it has no plans to expand to College Station anytime soon.

The role of the city’s Economic Development department is to identify commercially zoned property with good visibility and access that companies such as Waffle House would find attractive. We then help that business navigate our development and permitting processes.

I’m a big fan of waffles and would love to see a Waffle House in College Station. If you have an influential contact who could change the company’s decision and bring a location here, you’d be a local hero.

Get to work!

 


About the Blogger

Jennifer Prochazka has been the city’s economic development manager since 2016 and has been with the City of College Station since 2000. She previously worked in Planning & Development Services. Since 2015, Jennifer also has been an adjunct economic development specialist with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. She is a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M (Environmental Design) and earned a master’s in Urban Planning from A&M in 2002.


 

Photo Copyright: dehooks/123RF Stock Photo

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Podcast: Chef Wade Barkman dishes on The Republic and Primrose Path

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

After 10 years of owning and operating The Republic Steakhouse in College Station, executive chef Wade Barkman is finally building his own restaurants – an updated Republic, plus a brand-new concept that shares a common slab – from the ground up.

In this podcast, Wade talks about life leading up to this point, and what people can expect with these new properties.

Total run time: 32:03

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 01:00 – PART ONE: Wade starts from the beginning, including how he found Texas A&M, moved on to culinary school, then California, Vegas (thank you, Aggie Network) and finally back to CS in 2006.
  • 08:20 – Wade finds his restaurant location — home to three or four previous ones. (Can you name them?)
  • 11:42 – The highs and lows of Chimney Hill: Why did Wade stay?
  • 14:30 – How he found a concept — The Republic — that the town needed, even if he wasn’t a steakhouse guy.
  • 17:48 – Why dozens of restaurants have come and gone in 10 years, but The Republic has survived. “I would not wish this business on anyone.”
  • 19:47 – PART TWO: The Republic is being recreated + Primrose Path, a “gastro-pub wine bar.”
  • 21:13 – The differences between the old Republic and the new one.
  • 24:14 – What is Primrose Path going to be?
  • 26:58 – Will you miss the old building, or take anything with you to the new place?
  • 28:07 – How was your development experience with the city of College Station?
  • 30:11 – Sometime in fall 2018: Republic will open, with Primrose Path doing so about a month later.
  • 30:49 – What’s your guilty pleasure in terms of food?
  • 31:49 – Show close.

 

Transcript:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Is This A Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 6)

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

It’s been a long time since Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I talked rumors versus reality in terms of restaurants, retail, and more. This episode of “Is This a Thing?” covers a lot of ground, including flip-flop scenarios about In-N-Out Burger.

Using examples of Academy and Gander Mountain, Nat also gives great insight into why vacant properties stay empty so long.

Total run time: 44:09

  • 00:00 – Show open.
  • 02:20 – University Drive: Kinds of businesses interested in University Town Center, its challenges; announcements by fall, then construction.
  • 05:45 – Chimney Hill: The Republic Steakhouse and Primrose Path; drive-thru Starbucks looks like a thing; what else has potential; the REAL story about In-N-Out Burger.
  • 10:36 – Burger Mojo update.
  • 11:50 – Century Square: Review of all the recent openings + what else is coming soon. How sustainable are all these businesses?
  • 15:43 – Northgate: Seeing more restaurants and retail interests. Food truck park. Small grocery has to be on the horizon.
  • 18:15 – Texas Avenue: Ace Hardware, Red Lion.
  • 19:15 – Pappadeaux status.
  • 22:05 – Honest talk about Harvey Road.
  • 26:15 – Why “available” buildings aren’t always…available. Example: The old Academy building.
  • 30:15 – Status of the Gander Mountain building.
  • 32:35 – Jones Crossing: Status of H-E-B and more.
  • 33:37 – Chef Tai’s Urban Table (I botch the name).
  • 34:15 – CapRock and Tower Point: Rx Pizza, Casa do Brasil, Ground Shuttle Transit, The Yard, Bottleneck Wine Bar, offices and more.
  • 36:05 – Gringo’s now has a building permit. Walk-On’s moving forward. TaD’s Louisiana Cooking.
  • 37:05 – Stella (from the owners of Harvey Washbanger’s).
  • 38:13 – New car dealerships.
  • 38:40 – Dunkin’ Donuts — anything?
  • 41:00 – Big boxes hit pause on new developments in 2017. Now, “the Amazon Effect” has forced brick-and-mortar brands to be creative with new online partnerships.
  • 43:51 – Show close.

 

Transcript:

 

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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CS primed for bright 2018 – but don’t take our word

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

No one is surprised these days when College Station gets ranked among the nation’s top college towns, as a great place for business, or as one of the best places to live.

The criteria publications and financial websites use to compile those rankings are usually based on data from the past year. The lists are usually divided into population categories, too.

A website called CardRates.com is different. This week it was bold enough to make predictions about what’s ahead by publishing a list of “10 cities Primed for Economic Growth and Opportunity in 2018.” It included cities as small as 5,178 people (Evansville, Wisc.) to as large as 947,897 (Austin).

By now, you’ve probably guessed that College Station made the list. Why else would we be blogging about it? But you may be surprised that we are ranked No. 1.

That’s right. CardRates says College Station’s economy could be as good as it gets in the entire country in 2018. In developing the list, CardRates took factors such as pay, cost of living and unemployment rates into consideration.

Here’s what they had to say about us:

College Station is located roughly equidistant from Houston and Austin. Although the city has seen a population increase of about 25 percent over the last 10 years, College Station, with fewer than 120,000 residents, is large enough to offer city amenities, while still being small enough to maintain that hometown feel.

College Station’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 2.7 percent, the lowest among the cities on our list, and the median household income has grown more than 80 percent since 2000. The city’s largest employer is Texas A&M University, which has its main campus in College Station, and is nationally recognized as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant Institution.

Here’s the full list:

We already knew we were doing pretty well, but it’s nice – and a bit exciting – to know others feel the same way.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Podcast: Is This A Thing? Dallis family’s Burger Mojo

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Talk about a down-and-dirty episode…

Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and I met after hours in our neighborhood – using a portable recorder – to talk about a new restaurant concept coming to College Station.

It’s called Burger Mojo and is the latest restaurant venture for the Dallis family, which is best known for Cafe Eccell and La Bodega.

“We are very excited to be able to develop this class A location at the main crossroads of our community,” Costa Dallis said. “To be neighbors with both the brand new Embassy Suites Hotel, as well as such a strong local brand as Aggieland Outfitters, is an opportunity we count ourselves fortunate to have.”

Natalie explains what the Dallis family has in mind, where it will go, and how that business will fit into its surroundings.

Total run time: 4:20

 

Podcast Archive

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his ninth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Podcast: ‘Hotel folklore’: How Embassy Suites built across from A&M

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Whenever we hear about new businesses, it’s typically an initial announcement about what’s coming, where it’ll be and when it’ll open. Maybe you’ll eventually hear about the ribbon cutting, but that’s about it.

In this podcast episode, we talk with Ted Ent — president and COO of Mac Haik Hospitality — about the new Embassy Suites that’s scheduled to open Oct. 2 near the Texas A&M campus. Ted describes how he was able to secure a location that no one thought was available, what successes and challenges were part of the development process, and whether or not College Station has too many hotels.

00:00 – Introduction

01:45 — Ted talks about his background in the industry

03:00 — How did College Station get on your radar?

04:40 — “Folklore in the hotel industry”: How he secured such a prime location.

09:28 — College Station provided the most-pleasant development experience of his career.

13:08 — Ted’s role throughout the development process.

14:53 — The use of a local artist; other Ted touches.

16:30 — The Sabre

17:24 — Challenges along the way (traffic, utilities).

21:12 — Don’t we have too many hotels in College Station?

25:34 — What amenities are needed in the area that don’t currently exist?

29:40 — Show close

 

Podcast Archive

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is completing his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M, Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he is also president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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