The Travis County Commissioners Court approved plans to develop a 2,200-acre master-planned community off Highway 71 and Paleface Ranch Road near Austin.

Known as Thomas Ranch, the community will surround extensive shoreline along the Pedernales River, natural creeks and streams and have access to Lake Travis.

Thomas Ranch will include approximately 3,300 homes with choices from custom to cottage houses. The community will also include apartments, a marketplace of shops, entertainment venues and restaurants, a resort hotel and spa, a town square and community gardens. A network of trails suitable for walking, jogging and hiking will connect the areas. Neighborhood streets will provide multiple points of convenient entry and exit that enhance access rather than feed to a single main entrance.

"This is not going to be another subdivision with a sea of residential rooftops," said Tom D'Alesandro of Blakefield, LLC, lead developer of the project. "This is a full community built to have the heart and personality of a real Hill Country town, with everything from beautiful homes and apartments at a range of prices, a resort hotel for visitors, merchants and restaurants that the region can enjoy and offices to encourage working close to home."

Thomas Ranch aims to preserve native trees and respect natural topography, using low-level lighting to preserve the sky views. Thomas Ranch will also be a FireWise™ Community, engaging future residents and adhering to policies created to protect and preserve water, property and nature.

"As Western Travis County continues to grow, it's important we welcome developers who can provide infrastructure for thoughtfully planned communities," Gerald Daugherty, Travis County commissioner, Precinct Three, said. "Thomas Ranch is a community that the Spicewood area will benefit from, providing economic opportunity as well as improvements to existing streets off Paleface Ranch Road."

The project is being developed by a team in the development and master planning industries. D'Alesandro comes to Thomas Ranch with more than 25 years of experience developing master-planned communities, including The Woodlands in Houston and The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio. Hart Howerton, a team of planners, architects, landscape architects and interior designers, has prepared the community master plan to ensure the natural environment is integrated into the development. Keith Young of Doucet & Associates brings more than 40 years of civil engineering design experience to the project and is working on the development's infrastructure planning. Dannenbaum Engineering, Sherwood Engineers, SWCA Environmental Consultants, Kimley Horn, Ten Eyke Landscape Architects, and Integra Group have each advised the team in their areas of expertise.