- This Sunday, December 8, CNN will air the documentary special CNN: Operation FINALLY HOME, chronicling the charity’s work in providing mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans and their families. The special is a follow-up to CNN’s 2010 feature on Operation FINALLY Home (OFH) founder Dan Wallrath, when he was named a Top Ten Hero for the year, and features the SouthStar Communities neighborhoods of King Oaks in Bryan-College Station, Vintage Oaks in New Braunfels, and Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake between Dallas and Fort Worth.
SouthStar Communities and OFH have now partnered on 10 mortgage-free homes for American heroes, including three that are currently being built at King Oaks, Vintage Oaks, and Lake Ridge. Expected to be part of the CNN special is coverage of OFH’s first home in the Bryan-College Station area, currently being built in the SouthStar community of King Oaks for Sgt. Monte Bernardo. The mortgage-free King Oaks home is going up on a large homesite in partnership with OFH, SouthStar Communities, and the Home Builders Association.
It was during Sgt. Bernardo’s second tour in Afghanistan in 2012 that he stepped on an IED and was critically injured, losing both of his legs and his left hand last. This happened on the Fourth of July. King Oaks is Bryan-College Station’s ultimate master-planned acreage community, offering a unique combination of privacy and convenience.
CNN had cameras rolling when Marine Sgt. Ken Kalish was surprised to learn he was receiving a homesite and custom, mortgage-free home at Lake Ridge. Kalish’s home is being made possible thanks to OFH, SouthStar, Lake Ridge, the Dallas Builders Association, Former NFL Players Association and Victory Custom Homes.
Kalish is an American hero who suffered multiple injuries resulting in the amputation of three limbs during his second tour of duty. His home is being built on a scenic, one-acre, treed property overlooking Joe Pool Lake in the exclusive gated community of The Sanctuary at Lake Ridge.
Also expected to be part of the special is the homesite and custom, mortgage-free home being built for Army Specialist Cody Nusbaum at Vintage Oaks. Nusbaum was shot by a Taliban insurgent while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011 and spent four months in the hospital rehabilitating injuries including more than 11 gunshot wounds, a shattered hip, a broken calf, a severed femoral artery, and extensive injuries to the groin.
Nusbaum’s home is being built in partnership with OFH, SouthStar Communities, Vintage Oaks, The Structural Building Components Association (SBCA), National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Building Systems Councils (BSC), Operation Finally Home and the members of the New Braunfels Home Builders Association. Vintage Oaks is the premier community in the Texas Hill Country and was recently named the fastest-selling community by Metrostudy.
OFH, which was established in 2005 by Wallrath, has provided more than 80 homes to wounded veterans and widows of servicemen across the country.
For more information about OFH or King Oaks, visit King Oaks.
This is just one of many great events in Bryan-College Station over the holidays
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and that means the holidays aren’t far behind. There are several holiday events in Bryan-College Station in November, and we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun.
Mark your calendars for these fun and festive November holiday events in Bryan-College Station, and keep checking back as we update the schedule and add more holiday events through the New Year.
Santa’s Wonderland—a Texas Christmas Experience
- Texas’ largest Christmas attraction
- Daily through December 30
- Christmas lights spectacular, Santa’s hayride tours, Santa’s Town with Christmas movies on an outdoor screen, petting zoo and pony rides, VIP Horse & Carriage Tours, Frost Bites Food Village, and live music.
For more information, click here.
Carriage Inn’s Bazaar and Food Drive
- Holiday gifts, food, and entertainment
- Free admission but food donations appreciated
- All proceeds taken to Twin City Mission in Bryan
- Carriage Inn, 4235 Boonville Road, Bryan, TX 77802
For more information, click here.
2nd Annual Christmas Mile & 5k FunRun
- Run through Santa’s Wonderland and its two million LED Chrstmas lights
- Race begins at 5pm
For more information, click here.
Miniature Christmas Villages
- More than 600 square feet of porcelain miniature villages with 200+ lighted houses, 1,000 trees and miniature people
- Benefits area non-profit groups
- 4001 E 29th Street, Bryan, TX in the former “Tuesday Morning” space
- November 29, 1–6pm
- November 30, 10am–6pm
For more information, click here.
World’s Largest Gingerbread House
- Be a part of this attempt to break the world record!
- Daily through December 14, 6–10pm
- Traditions Club, 3131 Club Drive, Bryan, TX 77807
- Proceeds benefit the St. Joseph Trauma Level II Program.
For more information, click here.
Coming in December
Holiday Party Sneak Peek
Save the date for the King Oaks Neighborhood Holiday Party Saturday, December 7 at 6pm! King Oaks residents will be hosting a festive get-together to celebrate another year of gracious living in Bryan-College Station’s premier master-planned community. For more information about King Oaks, with acreage properties priced from $39,900 and one of Bryan-College Station best locations, visit King Oaks.
Pallets of Kyle Field’s playing surface will be auctioned tomorrow morning
Special offer for Aggies! If you’re an Aggie fanatic (and we know you are!), make sure you block out some time tomorrow morning, Monday, Oct. 14, to get your very own piece of Kyle Field. Texas A&M will be offering pallets of grass from the playing field starting at 10 am tomorrow morning on AggieAthletics.com.
The grass “will be removed at season’s end as part of the redevelopment of the stadium,” said The Dallas Morning News. “Texas A&M will harvest the playing surface following the final home game on Nov. 9.” The cost for each harvested pallet of sod measuring approximately 450 square feet is $400. “A limited number of single squares of the grass will be offered for $20 each via the website.”
See AggieAthletics.com for rules, and then get ready for the fun: figuring out where to showcase your Aggie playing surface, made of tifway-bermuda and over-seeded with rye grass. If you own a homesite at King Oaks, the premier master-planned acreage community in Bryan-College Station, you could have acres to work with.
If Aggie love is any indication, the playing field will go quickly, so make sure you are online at the start of the auction. After all, Aggie alum and fans are fanatical about their team and their school, and for good reason. A good example: Recently, William Sager, who worked at Texas A&M in the College of Geosciences for nearly 30 years, recently discovered the world’s largest volcano, and named it for Texas A&M University. Located in the Pacific Ocean and measuring roughly the size of New Mexico, the volcano was named Tamu Massif–Tamu being the abbreviation of Texas A&M University, and massif a scientific term for large mountain mass.
King Oaks is proud to be part of the A&M family. Within our revered master-planned community, the Aggie flag waves proudly. Here, former students and family have carved out the perfect spot to call home, within minutes of games and campus events yet in a private, serene location away from the hustle and bustle.
King Oaks recently announced a special offer for Aggies to increase priority point status for season ticket holders who have already chosen their section in the new redeveloped Kyle Field through November 30. informationFor more, call (800) 836-4902 or email us here.
King Oaks is also the future home of Sgt. Monte Bernardo, a wounded American hero who is the recipient of a mortgage-free custom home at King Oaks in partnership with Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH) and the Home Builders Association. To find out how you can help, visit King Oaks OFH page.
Bryan-College Station is quickly becoming a top retirement destination. Texas A&M graduates and many others are choosing Aggieland for their forever home. The economy is booming, the university is nationally recognized, not only for athletics but also for service and academics.
Retirement in Aggieland – A New Tradition
Not long ago, “buying a plot” meant someone was preparing to be laid to eternal rest but not anymore! Aggies have since taken that old phrase and given it a whole new meaning.
An interesting trend is taking place in the Brazos Valley. Older generations of Aggies are reaching retirement age and seeking a place to rest after years of hard work. These Aggie retirees are “buying a plot” and returning to make Aggieland home again. The Brazos Valley offers a myriad of options for retirees but at the top of the list: Texas A&M University and SEC sports.
Ashley Ralph, a buyer specialist with Zweiacker & Associates at Keller Williams, has noticed an increase of Aggies and retirees moving back to the Brazos Valley.
“Along with a general increase in sales, we are seeing an influx of retirees. Many successful Texas A&M graduates have hit retirement age and discovering this is a great place to live, with a good real estate market and expanding medical facilities. Some are finding homes in local, age-restricted communities,” says Ralph.
With the current excitement surrounding Texas Aggie football, many former students are purchasing “gameday” properties. Primarily a weekend getaway for Texas A&M sporting events, these properties later serve as retirement properties. These aren’t just condos or townhomes; according to Ralph, some of these homes are in the $400,000-500,000 price range.
“Texas A&M and the local economy are both growing and there’s no shortage of Aggies returning to our area. That will more than likely continue, as people my age that went to A&M already have plans to move back someday,” says Ralph.
Aggie Glynna Leiper, class of ’80, and her husband Bob were not really thinking about retirement plans, but received a brochure in the mail at their Baytown home that changed their future.
“Strangely enough, it was sort of weird. We received a brochure in the mail about King Oaks Ranch. We had not given much thought to where we would retire. We thought that College Station was a nice, clean, happening and progressive place. There are sports to watch and concerts to go to. We thought, hey! That sounds like a good idea,” says Glynna.
Originally a 650-acre working ranch, King Oaks subdivision appealed to the Leipers. “We only went to look, and ended up purchasing our land that day,” says Glynna. The Leipers have since started building their house, with a completion date in mid-October.
The Leipers have been coming to Aggie home football games for 25 years. At first, they would periodically rent an RV spot at Olsen field. After being on the waiting list for six years, they were finally able to get their own spot, number 31, which they have had for 19 years. They have two Aggie children: Kelsey, class of 2012, is business honors and business management graduate and now attending law school; Chad, future 2017 graduate, is currently studying biomedical science.
Long time neighbors and church friends of the Leipers, Bill and Lori Woods, have a similar story. After hearing about King Oaks, and also receiving a brochure in the mail, the Woods decided they should check it out.
Bill, class of ‘80, and Lori, class of ‘81, also live in Baytown, Texas. Deciding to retire in College Station was an easy decision for these two. “We just come up to College Station so often. We always have to travel. We come to all of the football games, sometimes occasionally to see a basketball or baseball game,” says Lori.
The Woods have purchased their “plot” of land in King Oaks, but have not yet started the construction of their home. They plan to start building in about five years when Bob retires from Koch Chemical.
The Bryan/College Station community is attracting Aggies back because of its closeness to Texas A&M and SEC sports, and also, because it is a safe, growing community rich in Aggie tradition. “Buying a plot,” as it turns out, is just the beginning of the rest and best of their lives in Aggieland.
Now is the time to buy your own piece of Aggieland. King Oaks is the perfect retirement destination, offering beautiful walking trails, fishing ponds and a new amenity complex scheduled for Spring 2014, the community has homesites available now in one of the nation’s top locations. Schedule a tour today and take advantage of the special pricing with lots starting at $39,900.
Read more of the orginial article by Lana Timbs, in Insite Brazos Valley
Courtesy of KBTX
Great news for Bryan-College Station! The area has seen an economic boost as a result from SEC visitors. The new conference presents new opportunities for the area to make money and have more traffic flow.
COLLEGE STATION- Thousands of visitors are flooding into Kyle Field for the games and are bringing in millions of dollars to the community.
“It was crazy,” said Shannon Overby, the President and CEO of the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It was a great turnout.”
The Aggies are ready for their fourth home game in a row, but even with the loss to number one Alabama, it was a win for Bryan-College Station.
Overby says the start to the SEC season has surpassed their economic expectations.
“I think that has given us some national recognition so it certainly is bringing in more visitors, more Aggies and more SEC visitors to come in to see my community,” Overby said.
And this weekend is no different.
“It’s already proven to be a really good weekend for us,” Overby said. “We sold out all of the hotels in Bryan-College Station and surrounding communities.”
With the flood of visitors into the area, Overby said the cities have made well over $25 million this far into the season; and as of September 1, even raised the Hotel Occupancy Tax 30 percent. Now the tax is 15.75 percent; so on a $100 room you are going to pay $115.75.
“That additional three-quarters goes to help fund Kyle Field,” she said.
The sales tax is also up from last season. Overby said this benefits us as residents. “It keeps our property taxes lower,” she said.
She said the home of the 12th Man is now known to the nation as a friendly city and hopes the positive economic trend will continue throughout year. “We want to make sure we go above and beyond and show them true Texas hospitality,” Overby said.
This article originally appeared on KBXT.
Now is a great time to take advantage of the booming Bryan College Station economy. King Oaks offers acreage property starting at just $39,900. Schedule a tour today and start building your dream home.
Call today to schedule your private tour of our beautiful property. Viewings are by appointment only. Call (877) 490-3259 or email here.