Thomas Ranch, a 2,200-acre residential development that is planned for the Spicewood area, has been approved for a preliminary plat by Burnet County.

545 acres of the 2,200-acre development are on the Burnet County side of the Spicewood region, while the rest of the future development is in Travis County.

During the Burnet County Commissioners Court meeting Feb. 14, the commissioners unanimously approved the preliminary plat, according to a press release from Thomas Ranch owners Arete Collective.

A preliminary plat details a map of a proposed subdivision and allows infrastructure to be constructed, according to Travis County.

Thomas Ranch was originally approved for development in 2017 and will be one of the largest residential developments in the area with about 3,300 homes, apartments, restaurants, a hotel, marketplace shops and more, according to plans approved by Travis County. The project is estimated to take two decades to complete and will have a population of 6,000-10,000 people.

“We are extremely grateful to Burnet County for being great partners on our journey to bring new and innovative housing options to the Greater Austin area,” said Rebecca Buchan, chief executive officer and co-founder of Arete Collective. “This plat approval is a milestone moment, demonstrating Arete Collective’s ability to make progress on a project that we acquired in January of 2022. We are committed to bringing a global expertise to collaborations with local leadership and business partners to benefit the local economy and community.”

Joe Rentfro, the managing director for Arete Collective, said they also have to give credit to Ralph Thomas, who Arete Collective bought the property from in January 2022.

Thomas, he said, purchased 17 different parcels of land over 25 years to accumulate the 2,200 acres the ranch sits on today.

“The great part was we didn't just buy 2,200 acres of real estate,” Rentfro said. “We were able to come in and buy a property that had been carefully thought of and developed [for] some land planning.”

Rentfro said the current plan for the development is to also have around 40-plus miles of total trail networks throughout the 2,200 acres.

“Our hope is that almost every front door becomes a footpath to a trailhead of connectivity throughout the rest of the community,” he said.

In terms of next steps, Rentfro said community members can expect to see some construction on the development’s planned golf course in the third quarter of 2023; it will likely be between 2033-2035 that the entire project is finished.