Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | July 2022

CONTINUED FROM 1 A GROWING COMMUNITY The Lake Travis area has seen a lot of development since the founding of Lakeway and Bee Cave in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Alongside this growth, the population has seen a boom of its own.

Thousands of homes have and will continue to be added to the eastern Spicewood area as developers purchase land for master-planned communities in and around 78669. SPICEWOOD AREA DEVELOPMENT




A 404

A Thomas Ranch

Homes: 3,300

Started: 2017*


B Barton Creek Lakeside

Homes: 250

Started: 1980s*


Lakeway property sales begin, Lakeway Inn (Lakeway Resort and Spa) and Marina open


C Lakecli on Lake Travis

E Sweetwater West Sweetwater West


300 homes in Lakeway, 1,000 acres developed


Homes: 201

Started: 1980s*

F Sweetwater East Homes: 1,550 Sweetwater East

Started: 2004*


D West Cypress Hills

Creation of Lakeway Municipal Utility District 1972

Homes: 500

Started: 2004*

Homes: 849

Started: 2015*

Lakeway incorporates, resulting in 1,200- acre village of Lakeway





Creation of Lake Travis ISD 1981

In 2018, there were just under 500 home sales in the Spicewood ZIP code area, according to data from the Austin Board of Realtors and the Highland Lakes Association of Realtors. This number grew to more than 700 in 2020 and 2021. This number likely would have gone much higher if not limited by inventory, said Justin Jette, a Realtor with Moreland Properties in the Spicewood area. Home sales in 2022 already were nearly 300 as of June 25. As Austinites continue to sprawl westward from central Travis County into residential developments and custom homes, longtime residents such as Molly Parker said they are worried Spicewood will lose its special spark. “Everybody loves being out here because every- body’s on acreage. But the other side of that is now the subdivisions are coming in,” Parker said. History of development Spicewood is a sprawling unincorporated area west of Lakeway that spans Burnet and Travis coun- ties from west of Bee Creek Road all the way to Marble Falls. With no local city government or cen- tralized hub, this piece of the Hill Country is often an enigma to anyone unfamiliar with the area, Parker said. “Spicewood is rarely on anybody’s radar because it’s not incorporated like Rollingwood or those other cities,” Parker said. “People don’t understand what Spicewood is.” Development began to boom in western Travis County in 1962 following the purchase of 2,700 acres of ranch land in what is now Lakeway, according to the city and historian Lewis Carlson. A subsequent purchase more than doubled the acreage for devel- opment, and in 1963 property sales began. By 1971, there were 300 homes in Lakeway and about 1,000 acres developed. To avoid annexation, residents voted to incorporate and became the vil- lage of Lakeway in 1974. Bee Cave was seeing its own growth during this time, and in 1987 the 2-square- mile community incorporated and became the vil- lage of Bee Cave, according to the city. As development in the two sister cities has grown over the years, expansion has continually moved

westward toward Spicewood. For instance, Lake Travis ISD began operation in 1981, and in years since has opened a middle school and elementary school in the Spicewood ZIP code. An additional ele- mentary school located near the middle school was approved in May. Population totals for Lakeway, Bee Cave and Spicewood each range from 14,000-19,000. Though these numbers look similar on the surface, the areas accounted for in Bee Cave and Lakeway are signi- cantly smaller compared to Spicewood, according to maps from the city of Austin. “It’s kind of unique in that [Spicewood] covers a big geographic area, but there isn’t much of a town center,” Jette said. “The area is starting to see the beginnings of a lot of new growth that will be com- As more and more families have been looking to escape the city life of Austin, considerable growth has been seen east of the Pedernales River, Jette said. In search of larger plots and a slower pace, this has resulted in families moving westward into Bee Cave, Lakeway and now Spicewood. “The biggest growth has denitely been east of the Pedernales [River], but I think the west is about to come into its own,” Jette said. Spearheaded by Newland Communities, Sweet- water is a master-planned community south of Hwy. 71. The development is split into two parts, Sweetwater West and Sweetwater East, which were approved by the city of Bee Cave in 2004 and 2015, respectively. Sweetwater West is across from Lake Travis Mid- dle School and encompasses the area surrounding Pedernales Summit Parkway. The 1,400-acre devel- opment will include 1,550 homes when fully built out, according to Moreland Properties. ing in the next few years.” Ongoing developments Sweetwater East extends just past Serene Hills Drive to the eastern side of Pedernales Summit Parkway. The 403-acre mixed-use development will include 849 units of single or multifamily homes when fully built out. Alongside the residential real estate, the site also has commercial real estate o

Intention to develop Rough Hollow announced Lohmans Crossing Shopping Center is completed 3,300 of the 5,500 acres in Lakeway developed; Bee Cave incorporates, becomes village of Bee Cave; Barton Creek Lakeside construction begins




Lake Travis High School opens 1988

Lakecli on Lake Travis construction begins 1995

Hudson Bend Middle School opens 2000

West Cypress Hills build-out begins, county approves Sweetwater West


Hill Country Galleria opens 2007

Lake Travis Middle, West Cypress Hills Elementary schools open


City approves Sweetwater East 2015

County approves Thomas Ranch 2017

LTISD approves Bee Creek Road school 2022


30 YEARS OF GROWTH Areas of western Travis County have seen large population increases since 1990, with Lakeway almost at 20,000 residents in 2020.



Bee Cave


15,000 10,000 5,000 0

1990 2000 2010 2020




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