Master-planned community in talks for tracts
More than 10 years after selling about 100 acres of her familys land to Simon Properties for construction of the Wolf Ranch Town Center, Iva Wolf McLachlan is planning the next phases of development for her familys property.
McLachlan, who serves as the propertys managing partner, said plans include developing nearly 1,000 acres that once belonged to her father, who purchased the property while attending Southwestern University.
After 65 years of owning this property we are very interested in making sure we are good stewards of what weve been entrusted with, she said. I feel a great [sense of] stewardship to properly manage this property and see it developed in the most optimum way with the highest and best use. Thats our goalto help the community and to maximize our stewardship of this property.
McLachlan is in talks with Dallas-based developer Hillwood Communities for a large residential master-planned community, to be known as Wolf Ranch, on 750 acres of land, she said.
We are extremely pleased to be working with Hillwood and think they are an excellent company, McLachlan said. [We] know that they can produce a world-class project. We chose them because of their great capability and their reputation for excellence.
Hillwood Senior Vice President Brian Carlock said the company was under contract to develop the property but not ready to disclose details on the project.
Hillwood has developed residential communities throughout the United States and has two developments in the Austin area, including Sarita Valley in Leander.
A portion of the Wolf Ranch development would be located adjacent to Wolf Ranch Town Center and to the south of Hwy. 29. The remainder of the property is located north of Hwy. 29 and to the west of Wolf Ranch Parkway.
It will be a large development that will essentially be transformative to the city of Georgetown because of where its located, McLachlan said, referring to its proximity to downtown and Wolf Ranch Town Center.
Georgetown Realtor Troy Hellmann, co-owner of Century 21 HSK & Associates, said based on the propertys size, about 2,000 to 3,000 single-family homes could be built.
The potential is there. But it ultimately depends on how much land they buy and how they choose to develop it, he said, adding that it will be a significant investment once built. Its definitely going to be one of the largest developments in Georgetown.
Although no plans have been submitted to the city, Georgetown Planning Director Andrew Spurgin said city staff met with Hillwood developers to discuss preliminary designs.
It is still very early in the planning process, he said.
The property, which is currently in the citys extraterritorial jurisdiction, has an agricultural exemption, which means once it is developed it will be annexed into the city limits, Spurgin said.
Right now it is outside the city but it has this agreement that when the property is developed it will be annexed, he said.
Other Wolf properties are also under development including approximately 4 acres to the north of Hwy. 29 at Simon Road known as Wolf Ranch North, which is being developed by McLachlan in partnership with Simon Properties, she said.
It should [start] soon, but we dont have a definite [construction] schedule, she said.
In early February, a portion of the property had already been cleared.
The property, which included a mini-storage facility, retailer Southwest Imports, a cellular tower and vacant land, and was rezoned to a planned unit development, or PUD, with a base zoning of local commercial C-1 by City Council in January 2013, Spurgin said.
The development is expected to complement Wolf Ranch Town Center, according to the PUD agreement, and will include design elements similar to what is included in the shopping center.
I think its fairly recognized that Wolf Ranch [Town Center] is a great asset to our community, and thats what we intend to do with the remainder of our property, McLachlan said.
Spurgin said the cellular tower would remain on the property, and a wall will be constructed to separate the development from the neighboring city-owned Community Cemetery. Automotive-related uses are not allowed in the development.
In 2012 a similar PUD rezoning for the property was denied by City Council. The proposal included a possible Firestone tire shop; however, the sites proximity to the cemetery caused concern.
Future development could also include a 160-acre commercial and retail mixed-use development known as Wolf Lakes, she said.