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Planned to grow on its own

This article originally appeared in San Antonio Express-News (print only)
Mar 11 2018

For a community to grow organically, it must be designed meticulously. Street layout, landscaping and home aesthetics all go into planning for future growth. Everything must be carefully taken into account to make sure the community doesn’t lose its identity as it grows. In the case of this active new community, the result of this planning is a thoughtfulness in design that exceeds not only expectation, but every other community developed in the area. Welcome to The Crossvine, it’s a new leaf.

Developed and opened in 2014, The Crossvine is a 540-acre master-planned community just outside San Antonio in Schertz, TX. The neighborhood is planned around activity. Every part of The Crossvine is connected by hike and bike trails. Residents can easily commute to any number of the neighborhood’s amenities without ever having to get in their car. Because of this careful planning, the neighborhood will continue to feel like a welcoming, connected community even after multiple phases of expansion.

As of 2018, The Crossvine has completed three phases of single-family homes by partnering with esteemed home builders. The home designs are rooted in Texas heritage, inspired by the farmhouse architecture of the early Texas settlers who brought European design ideas and adapted them to the Texas climate. The result is an elegantly simple marriage of local building materials and building techniques that sustainably respond to the environment. Facades of stone and board and batten extend to all four sides of every home. Whether seen from the street or the trail, this gives each home a welcoming Texas aesthetic from nearly every vantage point. Porches and covered patios connect residents with the land and encourage community interaction. Many backyards run right up to the 12-mile trail network, seamlessly connecting residents to nature and the rest of the neighborhood.

The amenities at The Crossvine are active in theme and thoughtfully placed throughout the neighborhood. The pool and pavilion at the heart of the neighborhood serve as the centralized gathering space. Residents can host parties and events or take in the ample Texas sun poolside. A nearby amphitheater can host outdoor movie screenings and small concerts for residents. The greenbelt itself runs along varying elevations and includes many pocket parks equipped with play structures and exercise facilities. The Crossvine’s extensive landscaping features meandering block-stone walls, native plants, environmentally-sensitive landscaping, and open welded-wire fencing.

If The Crossvine is active at heart, the curvilinear streets bring in the whimsey and fun. Doing away with the grid, streets in The Crossvine wind throughout the neighborhood. Single-loaded streets and cul-de-sac lots border the greenbelts, paving the way for the trail system, which meanders organically throughout the community. In planning the street layout, The Crossvine established the greenbelts as the connective tissue of the neighborhood between the residential and the commercial sections.

The land plan’s attention to detail also includes careful consideration for future expansion of The Crossvine. Looking forward, current and future residents can expect garden homes, a multi-family complex and local commercial retail. The greenbelt system will extend as the community grows. Residents and visitors will never be far from a trailhead that they can take home from virtually anywhere in the community.

Schertz values community, which is why it’s an ideal home for The Crossvine. Historically, Schertz is a military community, and it is still home to Randolph Air Force Base, one of The Crossvine’s closest neighbors. Schertz is also one of the fastest growing towns in the United States, growing by a third since 2010. And while its proximity to San Antonio has led to a more diverse, culturally rich population, it is still connected to its military roots. Over the years, many businesses have made a home in Schertz and its highly-rated Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District.

The Crossvine was crafted for now and the future. New and future residents can expect the community  to only get more active as it grows, with more homes, amenities and commercial offerings. It is in this planning where the difference between development and true community planning emerges. And the results will grow for themselves.