I’ll focus the first part of this blog entry on what’s happening around Marble Falls, and I’ll conclude with some thoughts about how progress can affect a community.
Starting from the south and working north, I’ll begin with the Baylor Scott & White hospital. Last week, officials topped out the structure, signifying the installation of the last beam at the highest point of the building. You can see the tree on the far-left side of the construction camera image.
The Flat Creek Enoteca officially opens today. This project is a partnership between the owners of Flat Creek Estate, Rick and Madelyn Naber, and longtime property owner Jim Brewer. The tasting room and wine shop will feature award-winning Flat Creek wines, “partner” wines, artisanal cheeses, and wood-fired pizzas. This is a fantastic addition to Downtown Marble Falls.
Another great project for Downtown is Russell Buster’s mixed-use building on Third Street between the R-Bar and Grill and the Wallace Guest House. The brick façade was installed last week, and the upstairs balconies will be added soon. Contract details are being worked out on the downstairs retail space, and the two condominiums upstairs are available for purchase. The project is scheduled for completion in 6-8 weeks.
You may have seen the work being done on the former Boats Unlimited building at the corner of Highway 281 and Fifth Street. This will be the new home of One Swanky Shop, currently located at The Landing on Lake Marble Falls.
Moving further north, the former Rockhopper’s site will become the Marble Falls branch of Grand Bank of Texas before too long.
The new Highline Retail Center in front of Spec’s and Goodwill has secured Mattress Firm as its first tenant.
Across the street, Wayne Henderson is adding to his empire at Peete Mesquite with a new homestyle cooking establishment.
Finally, Save the World Brewing Company is now open for business. You can find their introductory offerings at stores around Marble Falls and beyond.
There is no doubt that the aforementioned projects are signs of progress in Marble Falls. Where questions arise is in the interpretation and analysis of progress. Can there be too much of a good thing? Will our quality of life diminish because of growth? Are there ways to control growth? Can you even attempt to manage growth without being viewed as unfriendly to development?
Here is my take, starting with a quick note to those interested in visiting or relocating to Marble Falls:
Thank you so much for your interest in Marble Falls. We warmly welcome you to learn more about our community. We feel blessed to live here and work here, and we are confident that you will share our passion and enthusiasm for this special place and the opportunities that exist here.
And, finally, a note to area residents:
It’s easy to get frustrated by unexpected traffic, the couple taking the scenic route, or having to wait in line to get a table at your favorite restaurant. But don’t begrudge someone for wanting to spend time and money in Marble Falls—or even wanting to move here. I’ll assume that everyone has taken at least one vacation or visited another town a time or two; moreover, I’ll assume that no one likes to be honked at or scoffed at when he or she is visiting another community. My final point is that everyone who lives in the Marble Falls area moved here (or stayed here) for a variety of reasons, many of which involve opportunities great and small. So, as easy as it is to talk about the good ol’ days, don’t show disdain for progress or harbor ill-will toward opportunities for others. Instead, find a way to take advantage of those opportunities for yourself, your family, and your friends. You can’t go back and you can’t stay the same, so why not play a role in how we move forward?