A new library and neighboring housing development is turning a previously unused stretch of land off of Lohmans Crossing into a happening hub in Lakeway, said Morgan McMillian, Lake Travis Community library director.
The new Lake Travis Community Library is scheduled to break ground in late April. Meanwhile, houses and townhomes are being built in Tuscan Village, the library's neighboring housing community for people age 55 and older.
"That strip is going to be a vibrant, exciting place to be," McMillian said.
The plan is for Tuscan Village to have approximately 270 condos, townhomes and houses on 42 acres. As of March, Tuscan Village had about 25 townhomes and houses under construction, built or sold with another 12 slated to start construction within the next two to three months.
Tuscan Village developer Haythem Dawlett said he hopes to have Tuscan Village's condos approved for permitting and be ready to be built by the beginning of next year. The approximately 100 condos would start at $189,000 and be about 1,000 square feet with one bedroom and den.
The townhomes start at around $235,000, and the houses start at $345,000.
"By providing three types of price points, we serve three parts of the market," Dawlett said.
Dawlett said he expects buyer interest in Tuscan Village significantly to increase now that construction has started on the community's clubhouse. Construction on the clubhouse, which was originally slated to be built after 75 homes were built and closed, was able to move forward after Tuscan Village received new financing, Dawlett said.
The clubhouse will be built in phases and include a pool, locker room, gym, social area and bistro. Construction is expected to take about two-and-a-half years.
Dawlett said interest in Tuscan Village has nearly doubled since construction started on the clubhouse.
"That's what people in this demographic want: They want the activities and the ability to socialize," he said. "This demographic really wants to have some unification with who their neighbors are."
At Tuscan Village, the bills for residents are bundled together, and the residences are designed with plenty of storage areas and smaller kitchens. Dawlett said the developers conducted a year of focus group studies to see what the older generations wanted in a home.
Cynthia Jobling moved into Tuscan Village in March and said she is happy with her new home.
"I've already made friends with several people who have similar interests and are similar ages," she said.
The nearby Lakeway Regional Medical Center, the acute care hospital scheduled to open in May, will be a benefit to all Tuscan Village residents, Dawlett said. He said having a nearby hospital is important for older prospective homebuyers.
Lake Travis Library
Tuscan Village and the new Lake Travis Library will be beneficial to each other, McMillian said.
The 11,000-square-foot library in Lakeway's Tuscan Village will serve almost 21,000 people in the Lake Travis area. The new library will have more chairs and tables, a bigger teen section and more space for special programming than the current 3,330-square-foot library at 2300 Lohmans Spur.
"We really need to have this better facility to serve our patrons," McMillian said.
Dawlett said he was approached by the Lake Travis Library about five years ago asking for help finding a location for a new library. He said he decided that Lohmans Crossing next to Tuscan Village would be an ideal location and donated the land to make it happen.
"Nobody was stepping up the plate to do anything about it, and sometimes you got to step out there and say it's the right thing to do," he said.
Dawlett said he expects that more than half of the volunteer workers at the future library will come from Tuscan Village. Jobling, a retired librarian, said she hopes to be one of the future volunteers.
"I'm delighted about [the library]," she said. "I hope they can use me sometime."
Voters last year approved of $1.25 million in bonds to help fund the new library. The library district has been holding a fundraising campaign and collecting sales tax revenue to help round out the library's funding.
Lakeway City Council approved a resolution authorizing an interlocal agreement between the city and the Lake Travis Community Library District. Under the agreement, the library district will make all bond payments.