Residential, commercial building booming on 620
Road to add new residents, businesses in 2015
With plans in the works for major projects in Bee Cave, Lakeway, Hudson Bend and Four Points, a wave of new construction along the RR 620 corridor during 2014 points to continued growth for the region in the coming year.
“The [RR 620/Lake Travis] area will continue to do very well in 2015,” said Mark Sprague, director of information capital at Independence Title Co. “Will it do better than this year or the previous year? Well, that’s pushing it.
“Values will continue to escalate. We’re blessed to be in Austin.”
Construction on the city’s largest project, the 175,000-square-foot Oaks at Lakeway, began in late 2014 but took two years to plan, said Jon Andrus, a partner at Stratus Properties, the project’s developer.
The 90-acre development is expected to be a “true neighborhood retail center” driven by anchor H-E-B that is anticipated to open Oct. 30, he said.
The store will be an upscale model, he said.
“[H-E-B’s] goal is to design a unique store that reflects the culture and character of the area,” Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said.
The Lakeway Visitors Commission is also considering the tract for a possible arts and/or conference center, Commissioner Gary Shoemaker said.
The 65-acre Lakeway Medical Village is under construction, with its Goddard School—a preschool and after-school care program—expected to be up and running in April, school owner Raul Alvarez said. Alvarez and wife Isa broke ground Oct. 24 on the school site.
Additional medical offices, a Randolph Brooks Credit Union and two hotels—La Quinta and Marriott brands—are proposed for the tract, developer Joel Canfield said.
The Harbor at Lakeway, a 150-room, assisted-living and memory-care community in Lakeway Medical Village, is expected to open in 2015, he said.
A 125-room independent-living facility will also begin construction in early 2015 on the parcel directly behind The Harbor at Lakeway, Canfield said.
The project on the backside of the tract bordering the Lakeway Regional Medical Center—the Wild Cherry Drive development—was approved for rezoning Dec. 15 by Lakeway City Council. This measure will allow future plans for medical offices on the 6-acre site, Canfield said.
Lakeway witnessed the opening of its first acute medical rehabilitation facility—Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital—Nov. 24.
Site plans for Lexus of Lakeway were approved in 2014 by Lakeway City Council, marking a change in the city’s longstanding prohibition against automotive dealerships.
The Customer Convenience Operation includes a service center and car dealership and is expected to open mid-July or August, Marketing Director Cassie LaMere said.
“The city’s focus [in 2015] will be to ensure the success of the projects that are underway and help them live up to everyone’s expectations,” Jones said.
Residential development in the traditionally moderately priced Hudson Bend area gained ground in 2014 with four communities slated for construction in the city of Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, off RR 620. The neighborhoods are all zoned to Lake Travis ISD, a factor developers said influenced their decision to proceed in the area that abuts Mansfield Dam.
Lakeside Villas is slated to have its 32 duplex units completed in 2015, said developer Rob Swett. Each unit will have about 400 square feet of outdoor space and an elevator, with the project’s driveway located on Mansfield Dam Road, he said.
A 71-homesite development—Vistas of McCormick Mountain—had been on hold for seven years following the area’s economic downturn, said developer Mike Wilson of McCormick Hilltop Investment Partners. However, the project was greenlighted in 2014, he said.
“It was the last undeveloped parcel in the Hudson Bend area with hilltop and lake views,” Wilson said.
A 14.75-acre project—Canopy at Hudson Bend—is being developed jointly in the La Hacienda Estates subdivision by builder Castle Rock Communities and Eck Lane Properties, developer Cosmo Palmieri said.
The gated neighborhood will feature 38 detached homesites with 40 percent of the property dedicated to greenspace, said Lance Wright, owner of Castle Rock Communities.
“[Canopy] should be a really nice enclave community,” Wright said. “[Its style] will be more consistent with the modern areas of Austin—a more hip, contemporary product.”
Waterfront community Waterfall on Lake Travis will feature lake views from some of its 36 condominium units, said Palmieri, who is developing the project with Kelly Gray. Buyers will have the option to rent a boat slip from the adjacent South Shore Marina, he said.
Reaching east of Lake Travis, developers are adding more commercial and residential projects on RR 620.
Taylor Morrison broke ground Oct. 6 on its final Steiner Ranch neighborhood—the 84-homesite The Grove at Steiner Ranch, Vice President Adib Khoury said. It adjoins a tract slated for TR Vista’s custom home community.
Shopping center High Pointe Village is being offered for lease and purchase, said owner Nancy Bui of the planned 70,000- to 80,000-square-foot commercial development. However, further progress on the project may wait until the Texas Department of Transportation completes a study for a bypass roadway to cut through the tract and make access easier, she said.
Four Points received two major medical facilities along RR 620 in 2014—the Austin Diagnostic Clinic and the Austin Regional Clinic.
Owned by Jennifer Burton, preschool Goddard School of Steiner Ranch opened Dec. 1 in the Quinlan Crossing shopping center.
A 150-unit duplex project is in the works for Steiner Ranch tract MU-14—at RR 620 and Quinlan Park, Khoury said.
A CVS/pharmacy and an unknown commercial building are planned for a 7-acre tract at the northwest corner of RR 620 at the intersection of RR 2222, tract owner James George said.
Embrey constructed 344 apartment homes at Escape at Four Points in 2014. Standard Pacific is completing The Preserve at Four Points’ 146 single-family homes.
Four of nine homesites have been sold in The Preserve at Zimmerman Lane with a tract across the street zoned for an additional 25 homes, developer Jeff Arsenault said.
Phase 2 of Trails at 620 is slated to include new dining, entertainment and a 35,000-square-foot child care facility—Children’s Learning Adventure—in 2015, adding to a Holiday Inn Express hotel now under construction in Phase 1, developer Leslie Sloan said.
The Shops at Boulder, an 8,800-square-foot retail center, broke ground Jan. 5. Sherwin-Williams will be the anchor tenant when the project is complete June 1, Hunington Properties agent Evan Dyer said.
Three new residential projects on RR 620 are zoned to Leander ISD and Vandegrift High School.
Taylor Morrison’s Montebello, a 50-acre gated community slated to begin construction early this year, will offer single-family homes, Khoury said.
The project backs up to preserve and was annexed into the Austin city limits in October.
A 25-acre tract along RR 620 at Buckner Road is being developed into residential neighborhood and retail center, Stokes Ranch. The project will include 30 single-family homes and an 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot neighborhood retail center, HTH Capital partner Kevin Hunter said. Two neighborhood entrances will be on Buckner Road and RR 620, he said.
Land on RR 620 has been cleared for a 120-unit affordable housing complex, Windy Ridge Apartments, set to open this fall, said Roland Broussard of Realtex Development, the project’s developer with Generation Housing.
During the past year the city of Bee Cave paved the way for additional development on RR 620.
In March, developer Adrian Overstreet led a groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s first major hotel—Sonesta Bee Cave in the Hill Country Galleria. The 195-room hotel is slated to open in June and feature a rooftop bar overlooking the Hill Country, Overstreet said.
“The rooftop bar transformed from being considered an accessory amenity at the beginning of the project, in my mind, into what amounts to the crowning jewel of the entire project,” said Steve Edmiston, associate principal at DCI Engineers.
Sister projects Terrace at Bee Cave and The Backyard at Bee Cave were approved Dec. 10 to add entertainment venues, movie and television production studios, office buildings, dining, parking garages, residences and hotels to the planned development districts located just off RR 620.
Hill Country Indoor, an 85,000-square-foot sports facility, will be going forward with construction in 2015.
Following years of controversy, City Council approved site plans Oct. 28 for the 16.8-acre Park at Bee Cave commercial project. It will offer office, retail, and commercial space beginning in early 2015, developer Bill Walters said.
Phase 1 of Gateway to Falconhead—an open-air commercial project including office, dining and retail space—was greenlighted Dec. 15 by Bee Cave City Council. The site development permit approved for Phase 1 includes 46,000 square feet of retail with the remaining 80,000 square feet of office space reserved for Phase 2, said John Elges, the project’s leasing agent. Groundbreaking on the development is expected in January, he said.
Three apartment developments added residential space to the city in 2014, beginning with the July opening of the Estates at Bee Cave, a 316-unit apartment complex. Construction on the 315-unit Cielo Apartment Living was finished in August, and the adjacent 228-unit Madrone Apartment Homes opened its first units in October. The project, located in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, will be complete by March 30, leasing agent Ally Bravo said.