Hines partnership buys land for Austin community

The Houston developer Hines said it has acquired land for a new master-planned community that would bring up to 2,500 single-family homes to southeast Austin to help fill the need for housing in the booming tech city.

Hines, in partnership with Trez Capital, Caravel Ventures and Sumitomo Forestry, acquired 1,400 acres off the Texas 130 Toll Road and Highway 71 for the development of the Mirador community. The land purchase closed in November. Terms were not disclosed.

Homes are expected to begin construction in 2022 with initial sales targeted for 2023. Builders so far include Gehan Homes, Lennar Homes, David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes and MHI Homes.

The project is in a bustling region for development spurred by the new Tesla Gigafactory.

Lawrence Dean, regional director Houston at the Zonda housing consulting firm, said builders started 25 percent more houses in the Austin market in 2021 compared to 2020. He noted that metro area’s population grew by 33 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Much of the housing growth — including nearly 27,000 homes in the last year — has been in regions from the south to the northeast where land is available and easier to develop than the rocky terrain on the west side, Dean said.

Prices are zooming with demand. Homes in southeast Austin sold for an average of $450,652 in the third quarter, up from 337,701 the year earlier, according to Zonda.

Home prices in Mirador, which will be about 15 miles from downtown, have not been set, according to Hines.

Mirador is south of Highway 71 and south of Tesla’s factory, east of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and north of Circuit of the Americas, a race track where the globally-watched F1 races occur.

“As Austin continues to grow into the tech epicenter of Texas, coupled with a supply-constrained market, the demand for new housing is at its highest,” sDustin Davidson, Hines managing director, said in a statement. “Mirador will be critical in providing more options for Austin’s growing population and we are excited to work alongside our partners given they each provide a unique and valued perspective in single-family development.”

The Mirador community will set aside 50 acres for multi-family and townhomes and 75 acres of commercial land. Amenities will include a 60-acre lake and more than 600 acres of greenbelt, parks and trails.

Mirador will be the largest of Hines’ master-planned communities in Austin, which include Lago Vista and Spicewood Springs.

Hines has more than 20,000 additional lots under development in 26 communities across the southwest.

Barvin expands to Austin

Barvin, an apartment development, management and investment company based in Houston, purchased its first property in Austin.

Aura on Lamar, a five-story, 279-unit complex at 5629 N. Lamar Blvd. in north central Austin, was developed by Trinsic Residential in 2021. The property is six miles from the Domain and five miles from downtown. Amenities include a sky-lounge with kitchen, billiards table and outdoor deck and an athletic center with cardio and spin rooms..

After adjustments to the portfolio favoring newer properties, Barvin owns 4,700 units in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Atlanta. The company purchased 1,300 Class A units and sold about 900 Class C units in 2021.

Barvin cited Austin’s strong job growth with more than 100 tech companies relocating to the city in the last two years and expansions by Amazon, Apple, Tesla and other companies as reasons for the investment.

The company recently purchased Elan Heights, a 10-story, 326-unit complex in Houston. It was developed by Greystar in 2016.

Founded by Eric Barvin in 2009, Barvin has more than $850 million in assets under management.

Rental community breaks ground

Houston-based Lēva Living unveiled designs for its first project, a single-family rental community planned for 162 homes in the Atascocita area designed to offer the amenities of an upscale apartment complex with the privacy and lifestyle of a house.

Lēva plans to begin site work in February, with construction expected to follow in mid 2022. The 16-acre yet to be named development at 17260 West Lake Houston Parkway is south of Atascocita Park.

Designed by Austin-based Danze & Davis Architects, the detached modern style homes have metal roofs and a mix of brick, stone and siding. Geis Development, a local custom homebuilder in Spring Valley, will build the homes.

Jennifer Orr, president and co-founder of Lēva Living, said the community “will appeal particularly to empty nesters and millennials looking to leave apartment life behind.”

The first phase will consist of 20 homes and the amenity center featuring a clubhouse with seating, a fitness center, outdoor kitchen and swimming pool and spa. The houses will range from 773 to 1,358 square feet and have gated backyards. One-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans will feature open living areas, walk-in closets and front porches.

Rents have not been set, but are typically at least 10 percent higher than same-size apartments, according to Jeff Williams, executive vice president of finance and co-founder of Lēva.

katherine.feser@chron.com

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