The Barton Creek Community, Austin, Texas

By: Joe Cline

Fifteen minutes from downtown Austin, yet worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Barton Creek offers high end living in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. A gated community, Barton Creek boasts a members-only pool, three championship golf courses, a tennis center, miles of nature trails, as well as the beautiful green hills, lakes and streams that the Hill Country is famous for.

History

Barton Creek is named after William Barton, who settled near Barton Springs in 1837. A spa grew up near the area and it became a popular vacation spot. In 1974, development began on a country club, golf course, and conference center by partners Ben Barnes and John Connally. They went bankrupt, however, and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. purchased it in 1988 and proposed a 4,000-acre project named the Barton Creek Planned Unit Development. The project included homes, apartment units, and retail space as well as three golf courses.

Controversy sprang up around the plan in the early 1990s, though, and legal battles between the developers and environmentalists began. Local residents and environmentalists were concerned about deteriorating water quality. Barton Creek is part of the Edwards Aquifer which supplies water to area towns and the city of Austin. In August 1992, Austin residents voted on what was known as the SOS Ordinance (Save Our Springs) and agreed on a compromise wherein Freeport-McMoRan was given 30-year development rights if they complied with the ordinance, reduced the number of residential units, and kept some land free of development for wildlife preservation. In the next year, Freeport-McMoRan filed plans for just under 5,600 homes and 620 acres of commercial property and construction began. By 2000, the Barton Creek population stood at 1,589 and covered 4,000 acres.

Economy/Jobs

In 2007, the population in Barton Creek had risen to 2,184, which is a growth of nearly 37.5 percent since the year 2000. Jobs in the area have risen 2.73 percent and unemployment stands at 3.1 percent. Over the next ten years, experts predict a 26 percent growth in jobs. Median income is just over $193,000. Barton Creek's proximity to Austin means a good number of residents commute to the city. Still, there are a number of local retail and professional businesses in the immediate area including banking, medical, retail, restaurant and hospitality, and fitness operations.

Real Estate

Luxury living is the rule in Barton Creek. The median price for a home is over $1 million and appreciation was 4.05 percent in 2007. Single-family homes offer gourmet kitchens, spa-style bathrooms, and high-end appliances. Homeowners outnumber renters by about 2:1 and housing vacancy is only 6%.

Attractions

The beauty and tranquility of the Texas Hill Country is the main draw for residents of Barton Creek. They can vacation right at home, with the three golf courses, the tennis center, and the nature trails. Barton Creek offers amenities for the whole family such as the members-only pool, the Kids Club, and numerous social events.

Europe Properties
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Europe Properties