The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

VIDA development prepares for home building

VIDA development prepares for home building - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

SouthStar Communities' VIDA development progress on Sept. 1 2021. SouthStar prepares to start home building later this year. Photo by Raymond Calderon III

SouthStar Communities will begin building homes later this year in the development near Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Homes are expected to be ready for move-in next year.

The New Braunfels company announced in a press release on Aug. 24 its three home builders: Lennar, Perry Homes and Highland Homes.

Gretchen Howell, senior vice president of SouthStar Communities, said all three home builders have previously worked with SouthStar and shared the same vision for the VIDA development. 

Howell said Lennar is an exceptional award-winning home builder and has built great homes across the Southside. Perry Homes and Highland Homes are well-recognized Texas home builders as well.

Howell said there will be changes at the construction site in the northwest corner of the 600-acre lot as SouthStar prepares for builders to start home construction.

“A lot of the construction and site work that occurs right now is really preparing for structure, for homes, for apartments, retail, parks and trails,” Howell said in an interview on Aug. 27.

The development will start with 285 single-family homes. Howell said it is expected to have “homes on the ground” in early 2022 and for residents to move in during the spring.

“Homes are constructed based on people purchasing them,” Howell said. “The builder will start and deliver the first collection of homes if people can purchase. They’ll start building those either (at the) end of this year or beginning of next.”

Howell said as more information about the development is shared, more interest is shown. People are reaching out to SouthStar expressing interest in living in the community.

Move-up homes will also be constructed in the VIDA development. Howell said these houses often have different finishes, are larger homes and are built on slightly larger lots. They are also expected to be on the ground in 2022.

Single-family homes are expected to start in the high $100,000s with move-up homes starting in the low $300,000s.

Howell said there will be more student housing options as the development continues to progress. 

SouthStar plans to start construction of duplexes and apartments early next year. Apartments are scheduled to be ready in 2023.

“The university is seeing such success and such growth and we’re anxious to play a role in helping accommodate professors, staff and students,” Howell said.

Howell said SouthStar looked at plans for public areas such as the Madla Greenway and the town center ㅡ the Zocalo ㅡ over the summer. The town center will be located directly in front of campus. The land has been cleared as SouthStar plans to build the Zocalo early next year.

The Zocalo will be used for social gatherings and events with music and food trucks. Howell said she expects the Zocalo to be ready to host events by this time next year.

Howell said it is important for SouthStar to understand what the community needs. She said regional perspective is important to see what is valuable to the surrounding community.

“As we began to develop VIDA, we spent a lot of time asking community members (and) community leaders what would be most beneficial as we start developing VIDA,” Howell said. “We got some great feedback about the need for varied types of housing.”

Howell said there has been great dialogue between the university and SouthStar. She said university feedback is especially important as they strive to provide housing options for the campus community. 

“We don’t look at our community as a stand-alone,” Howell said. “We say, ‘everything we create has to have an added benefit to the community around it.’”

About the Author

Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada
Managing Editor
Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Allen County Community College in Kansas in 2019. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music and watch either sitcoms or k-dramas. She wants to explore the world as a journalist after graduating.

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