October 27, 2020

1,000-plus homes in queue with new Parmer Ranch community

By   – Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal
 
 

Builders including Gehan Homes lined up for estimated $500M Georgetown development

There’s tons more dirt turning north of Austin as construction starts on another massive master-planned community.

A 454-acre development in Georgetown called Parmer Ranch will include more than 1,000 residential units, 100 acres of commercial development, 47 acres of parkland and sites for elementary and middle schools. Developer Joe Owen of Owen Holdings said the rooftops will take top priority, especially as more people look to move to the suburbs.

The mixed-use community will be in northern Georgetown at Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Williams Drive, not far from the Cowan Creek Golf Club. It will be centered between U.S. Highway 183 and Texas State Highway 195, about 20 minutes from downtown Georgetown.

 

“What I have intended to do all along is to start with the rooftops,” Owen said. “For the commercial, our intentions are to hold off, generate rooftops and density, and then to visit that at the appropriate time.”

The 1,043 homes will be built by Gehan Homes, Empire Communities, Sitterle Homes and GFO Home with prices starting at $250,000, according to an announcement. The 100 acres of commercial space is set to include retail, office, multifamily and medical developments, though it may be a few years until the commercial portions of the project begin to take shape, Owen said.

Owen, who is also developing homes in Liberty Hill, said he’s seeing an influx of people coming from out of state and from Austin proper.

“People are looking for more area … and interest rates are low,” he said. “Williamson County is getting overrun by demand.”

According to data from the Austin Board of Realtors, the county’s housing supply has diminished over the course of the pandemic, falling to 0.8 months of supply in September. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced housing market.

In September, residential sales increased 29% to just over 1,300 sales, with a median price of $314,000, according to ABOR. Meanwhile, rooftops continue to go up.

“There’s not a piece of Williamson County I can go to where you don’t see a sea of new home construction,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said in a recent interview.

Parmer Ranch is the latest master-planned community to emerge for Georgetown, which has consistently ranked among the fastest-growing cities of its size in the United States in recent years, clocking in at No. 7 from 2018 to 2019. Homes are slated to be available next spring at the 164-acre Wolf Lakes Village, according to its website, and, over the next few years, 1,700 single-family homes and 900 multifamily units are planned for Wolf Ranch in Georgetown.

Master-planned communities are growing rapidly on Austin’s periphery. Sunfield in Buda, Santa Rita Ranch in Liberty Hill (west of Georgetown) and Easton Park in far Southeast Austin ranked among the nation’s 50 top-selling master-planned communities for the first half the year, according to real estate advisory firm RCLCO.

Owen said the initial timeline for Parmer Ranch called for about eight years to reach full buildout, but demand is making him move quicker. He estimated that the project will be valued at more than $500 million.

“With the demand we have, we think it’s closer to four to five years,” he said. “I could sell every lot I have now if I was ready.”

Project plans include extending the city’s sewer system to the northwest side of town to allow for future commercial growth, according to the announcement. Owen called this move a “catalyst for growth,” adding more communities will begin to pop up in the area over the next five to 10 years because of the sewer connection.

The first phase of construction will include 155 homes, a 10-acre park and a nature reserve and space for a food truck court. Phases two and three are still being planned. The city of Georgetown approved construction plans in March, Owen said.