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Townhome development inching closer to reality

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  • Graphic plan depicts two-story duplex section of the townhomes complex at Bandera Mansion. Courtesy Photo
    Graphic plan depicts two-story duplex section of the townhomes complex at Bandera Mansion. Courtesy Photo
  • Townhome development inching closer to reality
    Townhome development inching closer to reality

Bandera’s historic Mansion on Hackberry St. is edging closer to adding a neighborhood townhomes development on its northwest side.

Lyndsay Thorn of Thorn Architects and Thorn Construction expects to break ground next month upon the City’s approval, with an anticipated revised start date of July.

Thorn says they are currently waiting for final approval from the City for site and building approval.

Nestled on an entire city block in the horse-shoe bend of the Medina River, the nostalgic Bandera Mansion will be incorporating 18 two-story townhomes onto the property. The complex will be comprised of eight duplexes and 10 row homes that will be built facing Pecan St.

The townhomes, listed from $440- 450K, will offer two-bedroom row homes and three-bedroom duplexes.

Thorn designed and will build the barn-style townhomes to fit the aesthetics of Bandera.

“Sensitivity to the locale and regional architecture has always been a driving force that guides and shapes site-specific designs that blend into the local architectural context.” said Thorn.

Last month, Steve Ball, owner of the Bandera Mansion hosted a Soiree at the Mansion, where the public could see the plans and have open discussion about the townhomes and the Mansion.

Interested parties met with Ball, Thorn, and Shawn Morrison of Texas Land Lady, realtor for the townhomes.

The Bandera Mansion was built in 1890 by H.H. Carmichael and was the Carmichael home until circa 1920, after which, Dr. Butler and his wife bought it.

The North wing of the ground floor became the doctor’s surgery area, where Butler delivered babies and patched up local “Banderaites.”

Over time, it came to be known as Dr. Butler’s Hotel, when, in the 40s- 50s, the Butlers occasionally housed county jurors.

Post 1960, various owners divided the rooms into apartments to rent out, then it was reverted into a guest house sometime in the 1980s.

Ball purchased the property in 2005. Then, in 2006, Ball made extensive renovations to the house and annexed it as an upmarket guest hotel.

The Whistlejacket Inn, a private pub, was added in 2009 and was housed inside the old carriage house.

In 2008-2009, plans to build a 44-bedroom hotel on the grounds were submitted but failed due to extensive objections by the City of Bandera and citizens.

The Mansion reverted to a private residence in 2010.

Plans to build 20 town homes in the back lot of the Mansion (two acres) were submitted and approved late 2021, whereby development is aimed at the over 50s retirement demographic. The historic mansion will be preserved and retains a oneacre lot and garden.

Thorn had his architectural practice in San Antonio for twenty two years and has been practicing in the City since 1995. His formal education in the United Kingdom has given him a broad experience of Project Design especially within the historic renovation sector. He has designed and built numerous single and multi-family projects in and around San Antonio, particularly in the smaller historic towns.

Ball told the Bulletin, “I have been the ‘Guardian’ of The Mansion for almost 17 years now, and I love it! The Mansion and its grounds form a key property at the center of historical Bandera.”

Ball said the proposed quality development of town homes at the back of the mansion will be a new milestone in the history of the house which has played such an important role in the development of Bandera since the late 1880s.

“The development is aimed at the more mature buyer who will appreciate the convenience, historic central location and gated environment,” said Ball. “The mansion will retain its one-acre garden and annex facilities. The development will provide an income to ensure the future of the Mansion, its maintenance and upkeep for years to come, and provide additional income, business and trade for the city.”