Commercial development along West Highway 71 moves forward in 2018

W. Hwy. 71 looking eastward from Electric Ave. near Spicewood.

W. Hwy. 71 looking eastward from Electric Ave. near Spicewood.

Image description
Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 8.03.08 PM
Image description
71 Warehouse
Image description
Bella Colinas retail
Image description
Bee Creek Road and Hwy. 71
Image description
Bee Cave Retail
Image description
ARC Bella Colinas
Image description
Bee Cave Retail
Image description
Medical Center
Image description
LTW-01-18-46-1
In late 2017, the Spillman family, descendants of Hill Country pioneers and namesakes of Spillman Ranch, put under contract 20 acres of land located at 14310 W. Hwy. 71 in the city of Bee Cave, Realtor Jerry Stein said. As part of the sale the family will retain 4 acres, reserving them for future commercial development.

Stein, who is with Buyers Incentive Real Estate in Lakeway, said those 4 acres are zoned for community services use and have 800 feet of Hwy. 71 frontage. There is already interest from a buyer for 2 of the 4 acres, Stein said.

The pending Spillman land sale is an example of how investors value properties along the West Hwy. 71 corridor from Spicewood to Bee Cave as an attractive opportunity, real estate experts said.

“More [commercial properties] are coming up on the market, and more things are selling; you can just see it,” said Realtor Janie Quisenberry with Bee Creek Real Estate. “I’ve got three or four people now who have me looking for property along Hwy. 71, but I just can’t find it for them.”

Spicewood to Bee Creek Road


Near Spicewood, real estate broker Joe Connors with McAllister & Associates is completing leasing the second of two phases of 71 Warehouse, a newer office complex west of Bee Creek Road and home to businesses such as Charity Auto Sales and pet boarder Camp Bow Wow as well as a children's day care, a fitness center, a coffee roaster, homebuilding trades and an auto repair shop that caters to local residents.

“I’m looking ahead to serving people in the planned Thomas Ranch development [slated to have 3,300 homes on 2,200 acres] in the next few years,” Connors said, pointing out he is moving forward with building a second three-building office warehouse located at Hwy. 71 and Gregg Drive.

An existing building on the property is now leased to Lifted Trucks of Texas, Community Impact Newspaper reported in December.

Accountant Mindy Smith leases part of an office in a small, one-story professional building on Hwy. 71 west of Bee Creek Road that also houses a law firm, a dentist, a homebuilder and a windows and doors provider.

“We really need retail space out here," Smith said. "There are not a lot of choices, and my client base is starting to really saturate between [the communities of] West Cypress [Hills] and Briarcliff."

Quisenberry said the most affordable commercial tract she has seen is listed at $1.2 million for a few acres with highway frontage near Bee Cave.

Sweetwater West


Rising property values are an old story for land developer representatives such as Bill Meyer, senior vice president and regional manager at Newland Communities. Newland and its partner homebuilders are about a third of the way through constructing Sweetwater West, a master planned community that will have 1,550 homes when completed.

With about 680 homesites sold at the end of 2017, Meyer said site work on 14 acres of highway frontage at Pedernales Summit Parkway will be finalized in mid-to late January to support retail and services. Newland’s parcel across the road from Bee Creek Parkway is being subdivided into six commercial lots, he said, declining to reveal committed tenants at this time because of client confidentiality.

Another 3 acres or so is to be available for future retail use when Pedernales Summit Parkway eventually loops back to Hwy. 71 at the far western end of the community, Meyer said.

At Lakeway’s Serene Hills Drive, the planned Serene Hills Commons will feature a Chase Bank on the northeast corner, one of four lots, said Justin Poses, the tract’s real estate broker.

On the northwest side of the intersection of Serene Hills and Hwy. 71, H-E-B owns the 21-acre parcel, Travis County property records show. An H-E-B public affairs representative said in late 2017 the grocer has no plan or timeline to develop the parcel.

Sweetwater East


Crossing Hwy. 71, Serene Hills Drive is being extended as Sweetwater Crossing into Sweetwater East, a 400-acre, master planned community in Bee Cave’s extraterritorial jurisdiction governed by a separate development agreement. That deal ensures the developer follows rules similar to city ordinances.

Published literature dated 2017 from developer Wheelock Street Capital of Greenwich, Connecticut, shows a dozen available commercial parcels ranging in size from 1 to 23 acres.

The Wheelock literature also shows a parcel on the eastern portion of Sweetwater East dedicated to Covert Auto Group. The owner of the 32-acre tract is listed as Covert's representative, Matthews-Barnes Brothers Investments.

Wheelock sold the parcel to the Covert group in July 2015, Community Impact Newspaper reported. The land, zoned commercial, is adjacent to the Lake Travis ISD property that now houses the district’s bus barn and is also the future location of Middle School No. 3, school district leaders said.

Vail Divide and Bella Colinas


Closer to the city of Bee Cave, at a recently installed stoplight at Vail Divide and Hwy. 71, Nitro Swimming has new neighbors. A Dallas couple is readying to reopen the Hill Country Golf & Guitar entertainment venue around February, according to the real estate broker involved.

In front of that property facing the highway, the new Bee Cave Shopping Center located at 15500 W. Hwy. 71 is preparing to open in early 2018. Tenants include Serasana, a local yoga and massage therapy business; Domino's; Bee Cave Nails, and Luv Braces & Kid's Dentistry, according to Ryan Ridgeway with Stream Realty.

“I think [the emergence of retail and service-oriented businesses will] be good for the community because [homeowners] out here won’t have to go into town as much. And it’ll be more of a community [environment],” said Guy Oberg III, the real estate broker behind the sale of Hill Country Golf & Guitar. “I’m curious to see how long [various leases are] going to take. We don’t know how big of an appetite [there is for new offices and services] just yet because it’s still hard to get the workers out to the locations. And it is expensive retail; some of it is [priced at] $30-$40 per square foot. It’s similar [pricing] to in-town [Austin], along South Lamar Boulevard and the Burnet Road area."

But commercial investors are anticipating the market will stay robust. On one of three lots adjacent to Nitro, a tract called The Village at Vail Divide, will be home to Acrotex Gymnastics, now temporarily housed at a property on Bee Creek Road, according to Ken Satterlee, founder of St. Croix Capital Corp. of Austin.
The Vail Divide lots still have to undergo site development before future tenants can build vertically, likely sometime in 2019, he said.

On the south side of Hwy. 71 near Vail Divide, commercial plats are being advertised on about 23 acres in front of the Bella Colinas subdivision.

Kiddie Academy is planned on one of 11 lots and nearby at 15801 Hwy. 71, Bldg. 1, Ste. 100 Bee Cave, a new office of Austin Regional Clinic opened in mid-January.

At RM 620, a medical and wellness plaza is welcoming tenants, including Alive & Well and Elle’s Café & Coffee, said Eric Perardi, managing partner at Hat Trick Development.

Second-level tenants slated to be moving in by the end of March include Lone Star Podiatry, Legacy Bone and Joint Orthopedics, Austin Gastroenterology and Sanova Dermatology.

Perardi said other plats on that corner, called the Park at Bee Cave, behind Bee Caves Baptist Church are in development and include a new concept Schlotzsky's, a 40,000-square-foot surgical center as well as a salon, other retail and a proposed day care.

Editor’s note: Development and real estate broker-related information gathered for this article does not represent a comprehensive view of available land or development proposals along West Hwy. 71.

This story is one update from Lake Travis-Westlake January Issue. View the full list of Top 5 stories to follow in 2018 here.
By


MOST RECENT

Local health leaders are urging caution ahead of Thanksgiving. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Travis County health officials urge caution

Austin Public Health leaders say gatherings with people outside one's household held indoors and without masks pose the greatest risk.

Harini Logan, 10, won the 66th annual Express-News Spelling Bee at the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus on March 17, 2019. For 2021, the event is slated to be held in March at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels. (Photo by Jerry Lara, courtesy the San Antonio Express News)
New Braunfels to host regional spelling bee and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

P. Terry’s Burger Stand is expected to open its long-awaited Pflugerville location this January. (Courtesy P. Terry's Burger Stand)
P. Terry's to open in Pflugerville in January and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Austin voters approved a $7.1 billion public transit expansion Nov. 3 that will add bus and rail in Austin. (Design by Miranda Baker/Community Impact Newspaper)
After historic public transportation vote, here is what's next for Project Connect in Austin

Shovels won't be hitting the ground on the light rail and downtown tunnel for years, but work is getting started now after Austinites approved the $7.1 billion plan Nov. 3.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Hamilton Pool Road residents protest outside of Bee Cave City Council on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Nancy Hernandez)
West Travis County Public Utility Agency delays settlement decision on development off Hamilton Pool Road

A lawsuit between the West Travis County Public Utility Agency and the developers of a Provence, a subdivision off Hamilton Pool Road, will remain unresolved following a decision made during a Nov. 19 board meeting.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
Inaugural interactive light festival coming soon to Bee Cave and more Central Texas updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Fluff Meringues & More will be featured at The Wayback Cafe & Cottages. (Courtesy Fluff Meringues & More)
Fluff Meringues & More opens pop-up at The Wayback and more Lake Travis-Westlake-area business news

Here is the most recent business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions ended its grand opening event with a fireworks display Nov. 14. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions celebrates grand opening in Round Rock and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular stories from the past week from the Austin area.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
New interactive light festival generates buzz in Bee Cave

Nonprofit arts organization, the Bee Cave Arts Foundation is gearing up for its first annual light festival, Buzzfest, which will take place at the Hill Country Galleria.