$500M Hines project planned near Tesla; Plan includes 2,500 single-family homes

A Houston-based real estate developer announced Jan. 20 that it has closed on 1,400 acres southeast of Tesla Inc.’s gigafactory that it intends to develop into a master-planned community that includes 2,500 single-family lots and 75 acres of commercial space.

Representatives from Hines, along with its partners, said that Mirador will also include 50 acres of multifamily homes and townhomes, as well as on-site amenities including a 60-acre lake, over 600 acres of greenbelt, trails and a swimming pool. It is located near the corner of Pearce and Wolf lanes.

Dustin Davidson, managing director at Hines, said in an email that the project is expected to cost at least $500 million. He added that it has already received the necessary zoning from the city of Austin, and the square footage for the retail-led mixed-use development is still to be determined.

Homebuilders signed on to bring Mirador to fruition include Gehan Homes, Lennar Homes, David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes, and MHI Homes, with additional builders added later on, according to an announcement. Hines said the deal was in partnership with Trez Capital, Caravel Ventures and Sumitomo Forestry.

Construction is expected to begin this year, with the first home sales beginning next year. The Austin-American Statesman noted that the land was purchased from Qualico and was previously planned to be part of the company’s Sun Chase subdivision, which is just south of the planned Mirador project.

“As Austin continues to grow into the tech epicenter of Texas, coupled with a supply-constrained market, the demand for new housing is at its highest,” Davidson said in a statement. “Mirador will be critical in providing more options for Austin’s growing population and we are excited to work alongside our partners given they each provide a unique and valued perspective in single-family development.”

The Mirador project marks long-expected housing and commercial development in eastern Travis County, largely spurred by the construction of State Highway 130 and the $1.1 billion Tesla gigactory, where production on electric vehicles is slated to start soon. Prices for houses within 10 miles of the Tesla campus rose 22% year over year, from $437,050 to $534,502 in Q3 2021, according to past Austin Business Journal reporting. The price per square foot is now a whopping $353 in the area.

It would also mark a large influx of homes for a region that has been plagued by lack of housing stock and rising prices.

The housing inventory for the five-county Austin metro stood at 0.6 months in December, according to data from the Austin Board of Realtors. Experts like to see that number closer to six months. But builders are rushing to put homes in the ground, especially on the periphery of the metro where land is cheaper. In fact, one Williamson County city — Leander — recently ranked among the hottest neighborhoods in the country for home sales.

In Travis County, where Mirador will be located, housing inventory was 0.5 months in December, according to ABOR. There were 20,586 sales in 2021, up 2.3% year-over-year, versus 13,871 in Williamson County, 4,913 in Hays County, 1,567 in Bastrop County and 379 in Caldwell County. The median price rose 28.4% year-over-year to $545,000 in Travis, compared with $425,680 in Williamson County, $370,000 in Hays County, $323,000 in Bastrop County and $268,400 in Caldwell County.

No information was immediately available about the pricing at Mirador, but Davidson said in his email that “Mirador will be welcoming to families of all kinds from low-income housing all the way to luxury homebuyers and everything in between.”

Hines, a global real estate investment firm, noted that it now has a presence in over 250 cities and 17 countries, overseeing investment assets totaling approximately $83.6 billion. That includes one other master-planned community in the Austin-area, the 877-acre Lakeside at Tessera on Lake Travis in Lago Vista.

Information provided by – Austin Business Journal

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