Austin Business Journal reports, "the developers pitching a 570-acre community near Elgin said they were attracted to the area by "the beauty and economics of the blackland prairie" as they aim to create more than 1,800 single-family homes, hundreds of multifamily units and nine acres of commercial space northeast of Austin.

Representatives for New York City-based Blossoms Development LLC provided Austin Business Journal more details about the Lund Farm community, which would be located off State Highway 95, north of Elgin. Intrigue in the project has been building since it was first announced last month at an Elgin City Council meeting.

The project would be the first in Texas for Blossoms, which has global development experience, representatives said. They aim to start horizontal construction next summer.

They said Elgin marked the best location and regulatory environment to deliver the master-planned community, which they're hoping provides "missing middle housing," consisting of diverse home types and prices. The project aims to create a walkable neighborhood that leverages the natural features of the site by using floodplains as amenity space and restoring historic blackland prairie. In addition to the single-family homes, Lund Farm could have nearly 650 multifamily units, as well as parks, an amenity center and a possible public safety facility.

"The beauty and economics of the blackland prairie provide the ideal environment for families seeking the next best place to call home," said Renee Lewis, founder and CEO of Houston-based L&P Marketing, which is handling media relations for the project. "Austin's growth has historically been north and south. The west is limited by access to utilities, so the east provides a natural growth opportunity. Proximity to economic growth in the area is also appealing to families."

While they said it's too early to start working with commercial tenants, developers are working with a number of local companies as well the original land owners of Lund Farms on the project. Others involved include landscape architecture firm TBG Partners, civil engineering firm BGE Inc., architecture firm DTJ Design, RCLCO Real Estate Consulting, McLean & Howard Law and numerous unnamed homebuilders.

The additional information from Blossom came about a month after Lund Farm Investment LLC, affiliated with the developer, secured approval from Elgin City Council for a consent and development agreement. The city framed the agreement as a way to enhance community benefits. It approved several stipulations, including: the developers agree that sales tax from the commercial space will go to the city; the developer will pay $3 million in master development fees; the developer will contribute either $500,000 or a school site to Elgin Independent School District; it will donate two acres for a public safety facility; it will make the 100-plus acres of parks and seven miles of trails open to city residents; the developer will build streets, drainage and sidewalks to city regulations; it will provide funding for a new wastewater treatment plant and more.

Elgin City Manager Tom Mattis noted during an Aug. 15 meeting that the developer doesn't need city agreements to move forward but said that the deal will help both sides. Property taxes collected in the neighborhood would go to a municipal utility district, not the city, and Elgin would provide water.

A MUD filing was not found on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website and developers declined to discuss the MUD process.

Debate over the new neighborhood continued at a Sept. 5 Council meeting, where two Elgin residents expressed concern about the project, including stress on schools and public safety services.

While questions and concerns remain, Lund Farm would add a major injection of housing in a mostly rural area on the northeast side of the Austin metro. It's an area that could be in line for substantial growth, given its location between the Tesla Inc. factory operating in eastern Travis and the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. plant under construction in Taylor.

The neighborhood would be in the unincorporated community of Lund, which was settled by Swedish immigrants in the late 1800s and has remained a primarily agricultural community. Nearby Elgin had a population of about 11,350 in 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. A number of companies are moving or eyeing a move to the city, including Carr Lane Manufacturing Co., a specialized parts manufacturer; semiconductor supplier Yerico Manufacturing Inc.; Mosaic Housing LLC, a maker of manufactured homes; and OnePointe Solutions LLC, a custom laboratory furniture and industrial workbench manufacturer.

Public registration tie the developer to New York-based Blossoms L&Y Development LLC. A website for Blossoms Development lists an Elgin address and points to past projects such as two single-family homes in New York and two large, mixed-use developments in China.

In Bastrop County, Lund Farm Investment LLC owns two parcels totaling 541 acres that were valued for tax purposes at $403,146 in 2023, according to property records. It also owns four parcels totaling 28.5 acres in Travis County, with a valuation of $108,306, according to Travis County property records.

Other big housing developments planned in the area include nearly 2,000 homes in Trinity Ranch from Plano-based Green Brick Partners Inc. and Colorado-based Century Communities Inc. and 2,500 homes from Texas Bridle Trails LLC for the Brickston community."


Source: Austin Business Journal 

Written by: Justin Sayers

Published: September 12, 2023


Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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