Bulverde Spring Branch is booming.
Transforming from countryside to bustling community, it is experiencing strong residential and business growth.
Businesses that come here stay here. Conveniently located approximately 22 miles from San Antonio to the south, Boerne to the west and New Braunfels to the east, the Bulverde Spring Branch region is an economic axis.
Throughout the last decade, Texas has been booming, even during difficult times. In fact, millions of people are moving to the Lone Star State.
Census data shows everything really is bigger in Texas. Cities with the largest numeric population increase in the nation 2010 – 2019 include San Antonio in third place and Austin at number five. New Braunfels made the list by posting a population increase of 56.4% during the last decade.
Local counties reflect that increase. Six of 10 counties with the largest population increase in the United States are in Texas, including Bexar and nearby Travis. Among the top 10 fastest growing counties in the last decade, four Texas counties made the list, among them Comal County with 43.9% growth in the decade.
With a low cost of living, plentiful jobs, educated workforce and easy lifestyle, it’s no surprise people and businesses are coming to this part of the state. According to the Bulverde/Spring Branch Economic Development Foundation (EDF), the area has a median household income of $98,149, median home value of $347,633, unemployment rate at 3.6%, and overall growth rate of 2.4%.
“The city is transitioning from a rural landscape to a more urban development,” says Danny Batts, city manager, Bulverde.
The highly rated Comal Independent School District ensures an educated workforce is available for local and relocating businesses. Its wide range of programs includes dual high school/college enrollment, advanced placement classes, gifted and talented programs, career and technical education (CTE) programs and bilingual/ESL instruction. All students take the SAT, and Comal ISD boasts a 98% graduation rate.
“Bulverde is uniquely placed to San Antonio,” Batts says. “A lot of the space between has already been developed. It’s about to evaporate. You see San Antonio-style development a few minutes after you leave Bulverde. And we’re seeing growth expanding to the west.”
The cities of Bulverde and Spring Branch, along with the Bulverde/Spring Branch EDF and Chamber leadership, work to foster business growth and retention. Together they support infrastructure, transportation, housing, education and services to support this economic success.
The EDF provides new and existing businesses with a suite of financial incentives and related tools from Comal County, the State of Texas and City of Bulverde. Through its Business Retention and Expansion program, the EDF assists local firms with site selection, facility expansion, infrastructure assistance and access to qualified job applicants.
“COVID-19 created a temporary pause in new businesses development during the lockdown,” says Joseph A. Byers, executive director, EDFSince reopening, we are seeing our projects return and new opportunities emerge. The Bulverde Spring Branch market area has maintained strong economic support from our community during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. The economic support is attributed to residential development and recent population growth of our area.
A recent EDF business survey revealed, on average of participating businesses, 40% of local businesses were unaffected by the lockdown, while 60% of businesses suffered some form of economic loss. The average loss in revenue was approximately 32% with very few employee layoffs. The Bulverde Spring Branch area survey revealed greater economic support for local businesses when compared to a Texas Business Outlook Survey conducted in July 2020 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. That report indicated 81% of businesses in Texas suffered from economic losses with an average loss in revenue of 40%.
A diverse set of industries have chosen to make their home here. Included are communications, technology, engineering, construction, financial services, healthcare, education and retail. Contributing to the economy are GVTC Communications, M & S Engineering, Centre for Emergency Health Sciences, Geosource, A & E Air Conditioning and Heating, and an array of branch offices of financial institutions.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot), together with the City of Bulverde and Comal County, have begun improvements to SH 46 from Bulverde Road to Smithson Valley Road. Changes to the east-west artery will include expansion of the road to six lanes to reduce traffic congestion due to area growth.
Also underway is an expansion of US 281 from San Antonio Loop 1604 to the Comal County line. The widening will enhance transportation to and from Bulverde Spring Branch, the city of San Antonio and San Antonio International Airport.
Deep in the heart of Texas, business is stable, and the future shows signs of expansion and growth.