Ashton Gray Development's Briarwood community is Elgin's first in-city MUD. It's just one of the many developments that the Houston-based company has on its books. ASHTON GRAY DEVELOPMENT

Austin Business Journal reports, "the company behind Elgin’s Briarwood mixed-use development has big plans for other parts of the Austin metro.

Houston-based Ashton Gray Development recently gained approval from the Elgin City Council to annex 75 acres into Briarwood, a housing development and the city's first municipal utility district. With a pipeline that ranges from Jarrell to Lockhart and stops in between, however, that's only the tip of the iceberg for Ashton Gray, which is aiming to bring more than 5,300 single-family homes to the region, plus apartments and commercial projects.

“We started acquiring land in Austin several years ago,” said Shaun Vembutty, Ashton Gray founder and president. “This was even before some of the buying frenzy that started happening right after the Tesla (gigafactory) was announced and all the associated attention that it brought."

Those acquisitions include sites in and around Elgin, Manor, Leander, Hutto, Jarrell and Lockhart — all cities that have experienced or are poised to experience population booms.

Ashton Gray develops land, retail centers, master-planned subdivisions, multifamily projects, senior living communities and mixed-use projects. Vembutty said most of its projects are split evenly between Austin and Houston, with a handful in Dallas. The firm has “zero interest” in moving outside of those markets, he said.

“A big part of being competitive and successful and being able to do what we do, especially from getting land entitled and developed, has to do with understanding the jurisdictions that we operate in,” he said. “How the counties and cities work, what are they looking for, and what are the specific nuances with every one of those jurisdictions. Learning that takes time, and it’s a process, and we’ve done all the hard work in being able to get there and hold this competitive advantage.”

Below are projects that the Houston developer has planned in Central Texas.

Briarwood, Elgin’s first in-city MUD, is already under construction, with plans for 772 single-family lots. Brightland Homes, Chesmar Homes, Coventry Homes and CastleRock Communities are building homes in the neighborhood.

The project will also have a commercial element, and Vembutty said Ashton Gray is in talks with an undisclosed commercial real estate development firm to buy the land for it.

Park Place is the name of the 75-acre tract that was recently annexed into the Briarwood MUD, though it is non-contiguous with that development. Ashton Gray is still working through the approval process for Park Place’s plans, but site plans call for around seven acres of commercial development along the southern edge of State Highway 290, about 11 acres of townhome development, two multifamily tracts of roughly 10 acres each and about 32 acres of parkland.

Outside of Elgin, Ashton Gray is developing a neighborhood called Harry Lind, along the road by the same name. Harry Lind is a roughly 94-acre residential development that will be built in two phases. In total, plans call for 595 single-family homes.

The neighborhood will be a starter home community, with affordable housing in the low $200,000 to $250,000 range. Ashton Gray is working with an undisclosed homebuilder to sell the lots in Harry Lind.

Ashton Gray is also developing land in Manor, where its Newhaven community will have 278 single-family lots. Chesmar and Brightland have purchased lots in the neighborhood, as has Westin Homes. The roughly 94-acre development is being built in four phases and is situated next to Manor Senior High School, according to its land plan. It will also have a 2.5-acre commercial lot.

Woodland Estates will rise on 120 acres in Leander, according to the company’s website. Toll Brothers and SVAG Construction are building within Woodland Estates, where the 86 single-family homes will be constructed on 1-acre lots. Quiddity Engineering is engineer.


In Hutto, Ashton Gray is developing Limmer Loop on 114 acres. The mixed-use development will be home to 205 single-family residences, 200 townhomes and 300 multifamily units, according to the land plan. It will also have about 10 acres of commercial development with frontage on Limmer Loop and State Highway 130.

The developer is planning a 519-acre residential development called Highland Creek in Jarrell. Highland Creek will have about 1,380 single-family homes, according to the land plan, with about 200 acres of green space. About half of the lots will be 5,400 square feet, while the other half will be 4,800 square feet.


JK Ranch is an upcoming Ashton Gray project in Lockhart. The 902-acre development will see 500 homes rise during its first phase of construction, with a planned 2,300 lots once complete. About 13 acres will be designated for apartments, and a similar amount of land will be designated as build-to-rent.

JK Ranch also will have non-residential development, with a planned 14-acre elementary school, 32 acres of light industrial development, 25 acres of mixed-use and roughly 5 acres of commercial development."


Source: Austin Business Journal

Written by: Cody Baird

Published: March 11, 2024

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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