Two very significant real estate announcements were released today with the potential to greatly impact the market, especially in the southwest region of Austin. We have been following both of these stories and will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come.
Spanish Oaks Foreclosure Update
Spanish Oaks is an upscale, luxury residential housing development located off of Highway 71 near Bee Caves. The development was initially slated to eventual include over 400 homes. According to today’s story in the Austin American-Statesman, as of March only 270 lots had been sold and just 125 homes actually built. The average price of those 125 homes was $1.5 million.
In August, Comerica Bank posted the development, including the 18 hole golf course for the foreclosure auction. Yesterday, Comerica bought back the entire project including the golf course, all undeveloped land, and all unsold lots for roughly $29 million. The outstanding loan balance was $32 million. The fate of the golf course is yet to be determined. Originally, Spanish Oaks had been owned by Hillwood Development Company, CCNG Realty, Daniel Porter’s development company, and Discovery Land Company. The entire development spans 911 acres.
Comerica has not officially announced their plans for the acquired property. They could choose to hold the land until the local real estate market will support higher list prices or they may elect to sell the developed land and unsold lots at today’s lower prices to rid themselves of the land and book a loss to get clean of the project. They also have not announced specifically what they intend to do with the golf course which is currently closed.
Rocky Creek Ranch Bought Out of Foreclosure
Another large development in Southwest Austin met a different fate just a few days ago, as announced in today’s Austin American-Statesman. Rocky Creek Ranch is a 468-acre residential community on Hamilton Pool Road. In an ironic twist of timing, Hillwood Residential, a division of Hillwood Development Company, purchased the development, despite also factoring in on the Spanish Oaks announcement. The company was founded by Ross Perot, Jr. and is based in Dallas.
400 homes are planned for the development and two builders were introduced as the primary builders of the first phase. Highland Homes and Drees Custom Homes are on tap to buy the first 151 lots which are currently ready for building. While the original plans were met with some opposition from neighbors and environmental groups, the current developer is planning to move forward quickly with as many as 10 homes up by January 1st. The article did not mention concerns about waste water that impacted the previous project. It remains to be seen how the current developer plans to manage waste water and when those plans might be filed. The project is reported to include an amenity center, playground, trails, and 300+ acres of open space.
When the original plans were underway, Rocky Creek ran into opposition from the Save Our Springs Alliance, an environmental watchdog group. It also helped spur the creation of the Hamilton Pool Scenic Corridor Coalition, a neighborhood group that opposed dense residential development in the area. Neither group was mentioned in yesterday’s announcement and it remains to be seen whether they will remain opposed to the new plans.
Mission Mortgage will continue to monitor this project with great interest and will report additional information as it becomes available.