A new apartment for senior citizens, construction at the site of the Baker Katz shopping center and work to prepare for expansion at H-E-B led a busy month for building permits issued by the City of Brenham.

A concept of the Brenham Trails apartment building planned for construction on South Market Street
(courtesy Hamilton Properties Corp.)

The city issued a total of 48 permits in August for $15,713,749, compared to $2,686,168 on 21 permits last August.

The largest individual permit last month was issued for $5,861,495 to Hamilton Builders Contracting for Brenham Trails, a new three-story apartment building on South Market Street.  According to the website for Brenham Trails, the building will have 49 one- and two-bedroom apartments to lease for seniors 55 and older.

Update @ 7:15 a.m. Friday: According to City of Brenham Development Service Director Stephanie Doland, the apartments are a tax credit project, and the project team anticipates receiving the funding for the project later this month.  Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Also in August, the city issued several permits associated with the Baker Katz shopping center project at the intersection of Highway 290 and Chappell Hill Street.  Five permits were issued to Arch-Con Corporation for $3,525,000 for interior buildout of the PetSmart, Marshall’s, Burke’s Outlet, Five Below and Rack Room Shoes stores.  Another permit was taken out by Hobby Lobby for $1,912,118 for construction of its own store.

Doland said the Baker Katz project is on-schedule, and the first wave of retailers is expected to open to the public in the early spring.

Two permits for $700,000 last month were issued to H-E-B, including $500,000 to perform civil site work for store expansion and $200,000 to demolish the old Palais Royal building.

Thirteen new homes were permitted in August for $2,842,653.  So far this year, 108 new homes have been permitted for $17,475,997.

So far this year, the city has issued 275 permits for $45,557,949.  Through August of last year, the city had issued 191 permits for $72,667,669.

What’s your Reaction?


  1. Senior citizens are an economic plus for a community. They pay school taxes but usually don’t have kids using the schools. They are mature adults who don’t give law enforcement any criminal problems. Their tax dollars help pay for parks and infrastructure that they do not abuse. Seniors don’t vandalize or litter. They typically have their saved retirement funds and will spend them supporting local small businesses. Polar opposite from government subsidized housing. Seniors don’t leave beer bottles in the park, race through neighborhoods, blast their music, or blow diesel smoke through parking lots like the younger generations living off government handouts or their parents’ money.

    1. Play nice! This seniors rental project is also government-subsidized housing, although I won’t hold that against it. Being a retirement destination creates jobs and adds to the tax base, yes that’s true. However, that also tends to deplete the supply of desirable housing for the workforce and drives up property values. Seniors also get a tax freeze if they’re homeowners which can go on for decades, but their participation in the market pushes property values upward for non-seniors too, who pay full freight as a consequence. Seniors receive the benefit of other people’s children’s education. It keeps them from being street urchins for one thing and educates them well enough to protect, serve, insure, and reliably and responsibly wipe the butts of our most senior seniors for another. Our town is a community, not an intergenerational kleptocracy. If you don’t like the path that the next generation is going down, do them a solid and set the example about how it’s done. Share your toys, your wisdom, your positivity, and be grateful for the community left to you by its forebears, whose kids (by and large) deserve a future in it too.

  2. Why are they allowing more senior only apartments?
    What about everyone else who is not 55 yet?
    This should tell you a lot about what the planners see as the demographic in need. Seems like a bunch of Bull to me. If they are building those, allow a regular apartment building, that is not Section 8, to be built, for all of the rest of the citizens. That might be a good idea, so it might not happen.

    1. Exactly my thoughts. All of the sorry apartments for regular people and we keep building over 55 apartments. This town needs a nice apartment complex for common people.

      1. If older people move into these apartments then they’re moving out of existing housing units. Or they’re coming from outside our area and not moving into existing housing units or bidding up their price to unattainable levels. Also, if they’re downsizing then that frees up more houses for people who have families and need the extra square footage. I don’t see any downsides to this. All housing is good housing.

  3. Why is Washington county continuing to increase taxes when they are permitting $15M in new business and the school system continues to drop in quality and our teachers are leaving? It seems our county wants more and more and is providing less and less. Time for everyone to tell them No and vote them out.

    1. Why is the county raising taxes when all these new permits are being issued. Makes one wonder where all the money is going… js

    2. Will,
      Why do they increase taxes when these multimillion developments come in? It should be obvious if you follow the property tax break bread crumb trail that the city planners provide to build in Brenham. New developments get multimillion dollar property tax breaks for their flashy new buildings by city planners and old local homesteaders have to pay more and more property taxes to cover the difference for the tax breaks given to big developments. What are the incentives being given to the city planners to hand out all of the tax abatement freebies to the new developers?

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