BlogApril 2023Transforming the Texas Coast

Transforming the Texas Coast


Our Urban Designer Tells Our Story in Architectural Digest Advertorial~

In the June 2023 Austin edition of AD, we're pleased that Mark Schnell, who designed the master plan for Cinnamon Shore, tells the story of his vision for the community. Here's his first-person account of discovering Cinnamon Shore and catching the vision cast by developer Jeff Lamkin.

In His Own Words

When I first ventured to Mustang Island, located on the Gulf of Mexico in South Texas, I found a place that’s straight out of a Robert Earl Keen song. The iconic Texas musician sings that “the road goes on forever, and the party never ends.” But Mustang Island offered a twist on his lyrics: the road literally ends at the ship channel (and a ferry) in the old town area of Port Aransas.

Even though the road does not go on forever, the party in Port Aransas never ends: lively beach bars, a robust restaurant scene, some of the best fishing around, and a funky beach town vibe that comes in part from a location at the very end of the road.

But I didn’t find the kind of walkable mixed-use communities that so many people – including many Texans – have come to love along Florida’s Highway 30A, a place that I call home.

I met Jeff Lamkin in 2006 after he had purchased 60 acres on Mustang Island. He loved Port Aransas, but also saw potential in the wide open spaces just outside of old town to create a new community for beach-loving Texans. I designed the master plan and wrote the design code to generate a walkable mixed-use community unlike anything constructed on the Texas coast. With a strong emphasis on design, we set out to create a new place to complement the old.

In the 15 years that followed, the original 60-acre tract has been largely built out. Hundreds of additional acres were purchased, and new phases are now under construction, with even more in the planning stages. Cinnamon Shore has grown to become the community that transformed the Texas coast.

Learn More about Mark's Master Plan

Mark shares more about why Cinnamon Shore embodies the principles of New Urban thinking and planning in "What Makes Cinnamon Shore Special."

Published on Saturday, April 29, 2023

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