Members of the Goodnight family and Benchmark Development have begun constructing the first lots of what will be 3,500 homes in the Goodnight mixed-use development on East Slaughter Lane in the Onion Creek area in May.
Goodnight, formerly known as Goodnight Ranch, is a 700-acre development with homes for sale in various price ranges, 225,600-square-feet of retail and business space and land for a future Austin ISD school. Construction of the development is expected to take 10-15 years.
Since the 1960s, the Goodnight family owned the property as a dairy farm. But now family members say they have found the right redevelopment plan.
“Over the years, we ever so slowly dipped our toes into the redevelopment waters,” said Dean Goodnight, managing partner for Goodnight family interests. “We had been approached many times by many folks interested in opportunities with the land. Yet for various reasons, each time we felt like those concepts or proposals were lacking in our pursuit of establishing an affordable and thoughtfully designed community within Austin. We started trying to find ways to do something differently, and we think we’ve matched up with a great set of partners that have a similar vision and goals.”
Benchmark Development Vice President Myra Goepp said the company has specialized in master-planned communities in the past. However, the Goodnight project is unique because the Goodnight family wants to see the land become something special, not just a grid-based subdivision.
Amenities planned for Goodnight include 120 acres of interwoven public green space, 3 miles of trails and community pocket parks, shaded sidewalks and pedestrian walkways under Slaughter Lane, an amenity center with a swimming pool and meeting spaces and close proximity to Onion Creek Metro Park.
“We see Goodnight as an opportunity to create a value that we don’t believe has been made available in this part of the city,” Goodnight said. “We’re excited to take features that we all love about Austin—community parks, trails, sidewalks along tree-line[d]streets, kids riding bikes or walking to school—and meld those into one community.”
The city of Austin purchased Onion Creek Metro Park in the late 1990s with the intent to maintain it near the same level as Zilker Park. However, a lack of funds prevented enhancements, Goepp said. With that in mind, developers thought of creating a park tax district within the Goodnight neighborhood.
As development continues on the property, taxes will be collected, which will then transfer to the operations and maintenance of Onion Creek Metro Park, Goepp said.
“This land that was purchased by the city now has a future as [an]amenity,” Goepp said.
As of June, construction of 107 single-family home lots have been completed, Goepp said. The first park improvements will be made in July.
The first three homebuilders for Goodnight will be Homes by Avi, M/I Homes and Centerra Homes.
“As a dense mixed-use hub with a mix of housing options priced along a spectrum of affordability, we’re the hole in the doughnut for the Austin metropolitan area,” Goodnight said.