Recent news indicated that the long-stalled development known as Sweetwater on West Hwy 71 may finally start building homes on the 1,400-acre site. The land has been through quite a journey on its way to becoming one of the area’s largest new housing communities. Previous plans called for the constrution of as many as 1,800 homes and it is unknown how much of the original plans will be executed and how many will be rewritten.
Roads and other infrastructure construction and engineering began years ago, but stalled when the original developers weren’t able to make their expected loan payments. The community was first announced back in 2004 and expectations at the time looked for building to begin within a couple of years. Legal fights with Save Our Spring and other neighborhood groups caused some delays. In the end, the bank who issued the loan to the developers, Bank Western, decided to post the property for foreclosure. In September 2010, the entire property was listed at the foreclosure auction and was scooped up by the original lending institution. The bank had loaned roughly $58 million to the project and was able to buy it out of foreclosure for just over $34 million, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Then, in 2010, Wheelock Street Capital purchased the property for an undisclosed price with the intention of completing the housing project. Activities resumed and the Travis County commissioners recently gave their blessing to the new owners to sell lots and continue road construction, a sign that the long-stalled project will soon resume. According to Sweetwater, the first phase will entail four neighborhoods and construction of model homes are expected to begin in the spring. The complete build out of the area may take as much as a decade or more.
We’re excited to see which home builders are selected and to review the community standards. The area west of Bee Caves had begun to really flourish prior to the housing downturn and Sweetwater’s return may be a sign of good things to come.