In southeast Austin, Texas, Benchmark Land Development, along with various home builders, is transforming 700 acres of a former dairy farm into a mixed-use neighborhood with a variety of single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes, apartments, and affordable housing.
The project, called Goodnight Ranch, is in its beginning phases, with a complete buildout estimated to take 10 to 15 years. When completed, the neighborhood will include up to 3,500 homes, a mixed-use town center, three schools, 226,000 square feet of retail space, and more than 120 acres of open space.
The community dates back to the early 2000s when the developer and the Goodnight family approached the city with the idea of creating a unique neighborhood that could appeal to people in any stage of life, including entry-level buyers, renters, and seniors.
“The family wanted to do something different and outside of the regular single-family lots,” says Myra Goepp, vice president of Benchmark Land Development. “They wanted to have an impact on Austin and provide reasonably priced housing.”
Although the developer received entitlements in 2006, the market conditions delayed construction until 2011 when the team started prepping for the new middle school site. The first residents arrived in 2016.
The community's first section of 100 single-family homes is sold out. An additional 107 lots were added in 2018 and the developer estimates a total of 140 homes will be complete by mid-2019. A third phase of 92 homes will also be available for purchase this year.
For the single-family offerings, homes are built on 35-, 45-, and 50-foot lots by either Empire (formally Centerra Homes) or M/I Homes. The houses range in size from 1,200 to 3,500 square feet and in price from $220,000 to $360,000.
Work is also under way on 90 new townhomes and 33 duplex units. Designed with both two- and three-bedroom units, the townhomes and duplexes, built by Homes by Avi, will expand the diversity of floor plan options.
As for multifamily dwellings, LDG Development has broken ground on the Commons at Goodnight, a 304-unit affordable housing complex that will be available for residents whose income does not exceed 60% of the area median income. The complex offers one- to four-bedroom units and its own amenity package with an on-site clubhouse, pool, and library. It is expected to be finished at the end of 2020.
The community also plans to appeal to active seniors with its Nightingale at Goodnight addition. The plans for the senior housing include a three-story, elevator-served building with 174 units, a private fitness center, community room, auditorium, and library.
“We are thrilled with how Goodnight Ranch is expanding and has the opportunity to better serve the needs of residents in South Austin by providing a wide range of price-points and home sizes buyers and renters can choose from,” adds Goepp.
Goodnight Ranch also borders and connects to the newly improved Onion Creek Metropolitan Park, with roughly 120 acres of green space. Plus, residents with children are within walking distance from Blazier Elementary and will soon have access to a new middle school, projected to be complete by late 2020. Land has also been allocated for a future high school.
“It will be a place where open space, quality design, and thoughtful community planning foster interaction,” says the community’s website. “It will feel a lot like Austin, but remain unique in its own right.”