According to a recent story in the Austin American-Statesman, the 255 acre Spillar Ranch property has changed hands. Dallas-based Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Co. has purchased the property for an undisclosed price. The property, a large undeveloped tract south of Circle C in Southwest Austin, has had development plans in the works for some time, but the original plans never came to fruition. Gage Davis Associates states on their website that they completed a project and planning assignment for Spillar Ranch, but no date is listed.
The previous development plans called for a 350 room hotel and golf course and was within a proposed residential development called Avana. But Avana was posted for foreclosure last year and the 1000 acre property has not been auctioned off by Colonial Bank. Plans seemed to be moving forward earlier this year when Standard Pacific Homes announced a purchase of 163 lots on 111 acres within the Avana property.
Now, Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Co. is changing the plans for Spillar Ranch. Rather than build the hotel and golf course, Liberty is seeking a zoning change to allow single-family housing to be built instead.
But, that’s still not the end of the story. Further research of past articles led to the discovery of a piece published in the September 29, 2000 edition of the Austin Chronicle outlining a dispute for land rights, easements, water, and right-of-way between the original Spillar Ranch owner and the owner of the nearby Heep Ranch…a critical agreement that would provide Spillar Ranch with access to I-35. At that time, the owner of the Heep Ranch was involved in a heated dispute with Spillar Ranch’s original developer Gary Bradley over statements made regarding water rights and easements. At that time, there appeared to be no agreement in place, creating a potential water supply issue for any development on Spillar Ranch.
The most recent articles make no mention of water rights or right-of-way disputes, so it remains to be seen whether Liberty will face similar opposition when developing plans to provide water to the area.