New Development Services Center for city to provide customer convenience, more elbow room for city employees
Posted on 4/17/2018 7:28:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- The Seguin City Council recently approved architectural services with TSG Architects to provide renovation designs and specifications for a new Development Services Center. The center will be located at 108 E. Mountain Street. The facility will revitalize an empty, abandoned building (Cutcher Motors) at the corner of Mountain and River streets just north of Seguin City Hall.

Seguin City Council members originally balked at the proposed construction costs for the building, which to many of them seemed high for what was essentially office space. The new proposal brings construction costs down to a level around $191 per square foot. The lower costs per square foot gave the council the information it needed to allow the design phase to begin, with the hiriing of TSG Architects.

City officials say the facility will be a convenient, one-stop-shop for potential developers, business owners and citizens within walking distance of City Hall in downtown Seguin.

“The renovations are being designed to provide a more convenient and productive space for both the staff and the customers. It's also important for us to have a space we can grow into as development in Seguin increases and additional staff is needed to serve the community's needs.” said Pam Centeno, director of planning/codes.

Currently, customers requiring services from Planning & Codes and Engineering staff are directed to the second floor of City Hall to an area without a lobby -- leaving little room to congregate. Officials say this frequently results in a lack of privacy for both customers and staff. Customers must also stand around a hallway-sized area near the permits counter, which often becomes crowded and noisy.

They say there is little to no privacy for meetings that sometimes include sensitive issues like compliance with city regulations. As the city grows, the number of customers needing planning and development services will continue to increase, facilitating the need for the additional space.

“The lobby area in the new facility will be a great convenience for our customers. It will include a waiting area as well as meet-me rooms that will allow City staff to meet with customers. The meet-me rooms will be equipped with computers to ensure that the customers have direct access to the information they need. There will also be a conference room for larger groups to meet with City staff,” said Centeno.

The new Development Center will house all development-related departments including building permits, building inspections, planning, code compliance, environmental health, engineering, project management and inspections.

“Preserving a historic building and occupying a vacant space is always a plus for downtown Seguin. We are glad that the development center will be located downtown since it will ensure that one of the first stops for someone developing a new business or property will be in the heart of our historic city. They’ll be able to see first-hand the revitalization taking place,” said Kyle Kramm, director of Main Street and CVB.

The location is described as across the street and caddy-cornered to city hall. They say this will be very convenient for the public who may need to visit both during the same trip. It’s also helpful for staff members who may need to attend meetings at either location. In addition, the city’s existing parking lot to the east of the new center will provide more convenient space.

Construction is expected to begin this fall with completion slated for late summer 2019.
city of Seguin

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