Buda: Developer Eyes Mixed-Use, Master-Planned Community Within 179-Acre Tract
Featured Illustration (above): A conceptual of the entrance to commercial development in Persimmon, a proposed mixed-use neighborhood in Buda. Image: Milestone Community Builders
By Edmond Ortiz
Buda (Hays County)–A mixed-use, master-planned development is planned to feature 250 multifamily units, 60,000 square feet of space split 50-50 between retail and office, and 525 single-family units.
Austin company Milestone Community Builders has been working with Buda city staff for nearly two years on a development agreement for 179 acres northeast of Farm Road 967 and just east of the Coves of Cimarron subdivision.
Site plan for Persimmon. Image: Milestone Community Builders
The prospective development is located within the larger Bailey tract, in Buda’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and close to Austin’s ETJ.
On March 3, City Council was briefed on the project, tentatively named Persimmon because of the persimmon trees found on the land.
According to the term sheet associated with their proposal, the commercial part of the new neighborhood would be somewhere between 10 and 14 acres.
Multifamily building types will be allowed by right, and no special use permit will be required for dedicated apartment buildings within the commercial portion of the development.
Robert Deegan of Rialto Studio, the project’s landscape architecture firm, said the commercial section will appeal more to smaller businesses and retail, such as groceries.
“We see this as a mixed-use, neighborhood-scale commercial piece,” Deegan added.
A 30% minimum of the single-family residential land will be designated for open space, including public parkland and a 3.5-acre private amenity park.
Much of the public parkland will cover the northern sides of Garlic Creek, and could include a disc golf course, according to one conceptual rendering.
Both the public and private parks will feature playgrounds.
Photos of an existing former dairy barn and former Bailey family house, and renderings of how those structures could be incorporated in a new building in the private park. Image: Milestone Community Builders
Irrigated open space areas will use reclaimed water. There will be detention ponds, too. The developer pledged to preserve more than 2,000 trees on the
The project features construction of Garlic Creek Parkway, a major east-west arterial road that will act as a buffer between the residential properties and the commercial section, which will be accessible from FM 967.
Plans call for the parkway to connect to 967 via a new roundabout, and turn northward to a future extension of Texas Highway 45.
Milestone plans to fund the design and construction of improvements at the intersection of FM 967 and Garlic Creek Parkway, as well.
Altogether, the developer estimates it will cost $3.76 million to fund construction of Garlic Creek Parkway and the improvements at 967.
That figure does not include planned smaller internal roads within the new development.
The developer will fund construction of an urban trail along Garlic Creek Parkway, a natural trail following Garlic Creek, and a neighborhood trail connecting the two inside the North Greenbelt.
Plans also call for restoring an existing dairy house and historic dairy barn on the property and incorporating the two structures in a new modern amenity building that “echoes and honors the historic structures,” the term sheet states.
That new amenity building will be a key feature of the private amenity park, which will also have a clubhouse, pools, paths, a great lawn, and a fitness center.
WGI is the project traffic engineer and transportation planner. Engineering consulting firm BGE is listed as another project partner. BGE provides a range of services, from construction management and land/site development to planning.
Milestone developed The Grove at Shoal Creek, a 75-acre mixed-use community in central Austin that includes nearly 200 affordable housing units.
Milestone has also developed several single-family residential communities in North and South Austin.
As of this report, there’s no estimated total cost or timeline for the build-out of Persimmon. The city still needs to finalize annexation and zoning of the property. VBX members may track this project using ID number: 2020-1FB7.
Persimmon will be developed within the sprawling Bailey tract off Farm Road 967, and will be part of an expanded northwest part of Buda. Image: Milestone Community Builders
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.