Victoria has multiple housing projects under way
By BY ALLISON MILES
July 15, 2010 at 2:15 a.m.
Updated July 17, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.
A brick sign sits to the left as you enter Capstone Estates while, to the right, a pond and putting green meet the eye.
The high-end neighborhood just outside Victoria city limits is among several local housing projects under way.
Such developments offer the area an economic boost through added construction jobs and increased business for the construction industry as a whole, said Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corporation. They also help Victoria prepare for future growth.
If a big employer moves into the area, it will want to know where its potential employees can live, Fowler said.
"To have developments available, or at least in the planning stages, is a good thing," he said.
Here's an update on the ongoing projects.
This 14-lot subdivision going in off Oliver Road is catered to people who show animals and would like to keep them at home, something they can't do within city limits, said Kenneth Marbach, one of the land owners.
Each lot can house up to four show animals, as long as they're penned.
Most lots are 1.5 acres, although two are 2 acres.
The project got its start in September as developers met with the city planning committee, had the subdivision approved and got the engineering under way. Although the soggy weather slowed down putting in the road, that is nearly complete.
The project will cost Marbach about $225,000, he said, explaining he saved money by doing some work himself. He and others are working to bring an arena to South Victoria, he said, and the subdivision is one way to bring in funding.
Although no lots have sold yet, he said between 45 and 65 inquiries come in weekly.
"Interest has really grown," he said.
Capstone Estates is selling lots and building homes, said Tim Rampey, who owns the land.
The project, now more than three years in the making, got off to a rocky start.
"We opened the week the market dropped 2,000 points," he said, explaining that, at that point, some people involved considered pulling out. "Now things are good."
Rampey named the subdivision "Capstone" after a verse from Psalm 118, which states "the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.'"
Rampey, a Christian, said he wanted to incorporate that into his project.
The neighborhood offers one-acre lots, something Rampey said is no longer possible within city limits; natural gas; and is in close proximity to Victoria's shopping and restaurants.
Future plans include amenities such as a walking trail and stocking the fishing pond that sits near the entrance, he said.
Rampey said he's already invested about $3 million into the project and expects another $700,000 or so in the future. The subdivision, which can accommodate 26 lots, is well under way, Rampey said.
"It will be the only thing in town like it," he said.
A wooden fence partially surrounds Tuscany, a master planned residential community off U.S. Highway 77.
The community boasts one completed home and another that's nearly complete, said Tracy Graves, a Realtor with RE/MAX Land and Homes. About eight other lots have been sold or reserved.
"We have activity in the neighborhood, that's for sure," Graves said.
The 143-acre, Tuscan-inspired development includes concrete streets and a lighted walking trail, complete with benches, said Ben Gonzales, one of the project's partners.
Corpus Christi-based Ball Airport Road Development is the company behind the development.
The overall project has been in the works a couple of years but construction began in February, Gonzales said, explaining developers spent about $1 million just extending infrastructure to the subdivision.
Overall, it's in the second of 12 phases. The company will move on to further develop the area as market conditions allow.
With projects such as the University of Houston-Victoria's expansion and growing medical community, the area is growing, Gonzales said.
"We're very excited about Victoria's economy in the future," he said.