The familiar landscape of Ranch to Market 1431 west of U.S. 183 toward the Texas Hill Country is changing.
Yes, its serpentine path is still lined with seemingly endless groves of mountain cedar, live oaks and the occasional stand of silver maples. But emerging from the hillsides along the highway — running more or less parallel to Lake Travis — is a different strain of growth.
We’re talking planned residential communities that expect to bring upward of 5,000 new homes to the North Shore of Lake Travis. And, as the real estate axiom goes, retail follows rooftops, so the projects will likely spin-off additional commercial development.
About equal distance from New Hope and Nameless Roads on 1431, the Travisso project is clearly visible to the north from the highway.
The “under construction” feel is evident as soon as you turn onto Lonesome Creek Trail toward the 10 model homes along Venezia View. New residences coexist with the parade of construction material delivery flatbeds, concrete mixers, and moving vans.
The 2,100-acre project is the brainchild of Taylor Morrison and Toll Brothers, and their homes are joined by those of Drees, Grand Haven and Highland Homes.
Travisso’s master plan calls for more than 2,900 home sites with 42 acres — mostly near the highway — set aside for commercial use. There are 355 acres of open space that includes a 10-mile nature trail system and a 58-acre regional park.
Plans for the Club at Travisso call for a Mediterranean-style clubhouse, space for private parties and community events, a pool, and a fully equipped workout facility. Travisso is in the Leander Independent School District.
Tessera on Lake Travis
Tessera’s construction is not yet visible from the highway, though its signage just past the point where 1431 toward Marble Falls squeezes from four lanes to two is hard to miss.
The newly built road leading into the 875-acre project winds more than a mile and a half before the homes emerge from the wooded canyonland. Many of the homes are already up and occupied with others in various stages of completion. And at the end of that main road is the community center and pool that overlooks Lake Travis.
Tessera’s builders are Highland Homes and Wilshire Homes. The developer is Hines, an international company with locations in 199 cities around the globe. Home prices start around $300,000 and range north of a half-million dollars.
The project received a boost in 2012 when the the Lago Vista City Council gave a thumbs-up to plans to issue $25.9 million in bonds for improvements to property within the development, which is in the Lago Vista Independent School District.
The Hollows at Lake Travis
Between those new residential development projects is the Hollows at Lake Travis, just before Lohman Ford Road in Lago Vista.
If you’re out cruising 1431, you would be hard pressed to miss the old-style wooden water tower with the fancy H marking the entrance at Destination Way.
This project got under way just before the big bust of 2008 and has far less construction activity going on than the others.
The development sits on 1,400 acres and is being marketed largely as a vacation rental destination with access to heated spas, paved walking, biking, hiking trails and a private marina on Lake Travis.