Company to build 3,200-acre community between SA and Austin


As the land between Austin and San Antonio fills with housing developments, stores and warehouses, and the populations of towns along the corridor grow, a Dallas company is looking to capitalize on this boom.

RREAF Communities recently purchased 3,173 undeveloped acres in Texas 130 and Texas 80 south of Lockhart and east of San Marcos.

It is approximately 60 miles from downtown San Antonio and 50 miles from downtown Austin.

The company’s master plan includes 4,000 to 6,000 single-family homes for purchase, 2,000 to 2,500 single-family homes to be built, and 2,500 to 3,000 apartments. He is looking to work with home builders.

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Retail, restaurants, hotels, offices, health services, light industrial facilities and schools would also be part of the development. It also requires walking and biking trails, outdoor pavilions, sports fields and fitness centers.

“We feel like this area is experiencing explosive growth and has great access to MSAs in San Antonio and Austin,” said Shannon Livingston, president of RREAF Communities.

The company is a division of commercial real estate company RREAF Holdings and was created last year to focus on planned communities in fast-growing areas.

Prior to RREAF acquiring the land, an earlier concept of planned development called Cherryville had long been proposed there.

Cherryville developers had applied for a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a sewage treatment plant that would discharge into Dickerson Creek, which empties into the San Marcos River, the American statesman from Austin reported. That raised concerns residents and conservationists on the effects on water quality of private and public supply wells and the river.

The permit is being transferred to RREAF Communities and the company expects to begin preparing the site for development in early 2023.

Amid soaring prices in the Austin and San Antonio metros, it’s too early to tell what home prices might be, Livingston said.

“It really will be sort of the center of a big metroplex for years to come,” he said.

As the Austin and San Antonio subways swell, people are flocking to suburban towns such as New Braunfels, San Marcos, Buda and Seguin.

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Hays County – which includes San Marcos, Wimberley, Dripping Springs, Kyle and Buda – was the fastest growing county nationally between 2010 and 2020 among those with at least 100,000 residents.

Its population increased by 53.4% ​​during this period, from 157,107 inhabitants to 241,067 inhabitants. In Comal County, which includes New Braunfels and Canyon Lake, the population jumped 48.9%, from 108,472 to 161,501.

Caldwell County, where the development of RREAF communities would be located, increased by 20.5%, from 38,066 to 45,883.

The rapid growth has raised concerns about the effects on the environment – ​​especially water resources – and limited infrastructure. And some residents are loath to lose the small-town vibe and bucolic beauty they once enjoyed.

“We live in a beautiful, wooded place, and now we have AstroTurf and landscaping companies and homeowners associations telling people what they can and can’t plant,” said Sharri Boyett, a resident of San Marcos, to my colleague Annie Blanks last year. “It’s the quintessential reflection of those lyrics, ‘You’ve paved heaven and put in a parking lot.'”

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Home sales prices are also rising. In Hays County, the median price was $440,000 in March, up 27.6% from the same month last year, according to the Four Rivers Association of Realtors. The median rose 20.2% to $395,510 in Comal County and 31.2% to $329,000 in Caldwell County.

The supply of available housing remains tight. All three counties had about a month’s inventory in March, relatively unchanged from the previous year.

Livingston said he expects the development of RREAF communities to be attractive to working families in Austin and San Antonio and retirees looking to be closer to their children in those cities.

“We believe it is very well positioned to play an important role in meeting the ever-growing demand in this area,” he said.

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