By Katie Agness
During its 50-year history, Newland Communities has been involved in building more than 140 real estate developments, including more than 20 million square feet of commercial and retail space and more than 175,000 homesites. Today, Newland Communities is the largest privately held residential and mixed-use community developer in the U.S.
“Homeowners choose a Newland community because of the amenities and activities, leading homebuilders and great schools, to name a few reasons,” says Bill Meyer, senior vice president and Austin division manager for Newland Communities. “After 50 years, Newland has a solid track record of keeping its promises, and creating communities that will look as good in 20 years as they do now, if not better.”
Newland Communities’ presence in Texas is strong, with eight developments underway in Austin, Dallas and Houston. “Austin currently has four active Newland projects, more than any other Texas market right now,” Meyer says.
Newland’s four Austin-area communities include Falcon Pointe in Pflugerville, Teravista in Round Rock and Georgetown, Rancho Sienna in Georgetown, and Sweetwater near Lake Travis. “We choose the locations of our communities based on strong school districts, the beauty and character of the land, and access to major employment centers, shopping and other amenities,” Meyer says.
When developing a new community, Newland focuses on offering a diverse selection of homes, both in price and style. “We work closely with our homebuilder partners to make sure our communities offer new homes that reflect the architectural flavor of Austin and the Hill Country,” Meyer says. “This typically begins with spacious and inviting front porches, and exteriors that blend native Texas stone and other natural materials to create a very pleasant street scene.”
To address affordability in Austin, Newland has created neighborhoods with home options starting in the low $200,000s with “paired villa” duplex homes in Falcon Pointe and Teravista and single-family homes in Rancho Sienna. “This can offer first-time buyers the opportunity to become homeowners in a true master-planned community with a high level of recreational amenities,” Meyer says.
Additionally, most of Newland’s homebuilders offer customization opportunities, even in the most affordable price ranges, such as “flex” rooms that can be built as a study or extra bedroom or opportunities to move walls for a custom floor plan.
With all of the price and style options, builders within a Newland community cater to the needs and wants of various home buyers. “We try to serve as many different buyer and family profiles as possible,” Meyer says. “Our communities offer everything from low-maintenance homes with yard care provided, to plans for multi-generational families. There are also plenty of one-story homes, which are popular with all kinds of buyers, from young families who want the parents and kids all on one floor, to older buyers who don’t want to climb stairs.”
To cater to its residents, each community has a unique blend of amenities and features to fit the character of the area and the community’s distinct personality. “We also strive to serve residents from all walks of life with our recreational amenities and activities,” Meyer says. “All of our communities have at least one major community center that serves as the social hub for recreation, events and activities.”
Amenities typically include swimming pools, plus splash pads, fitness centers, meeting rooms, playgrounds, sport courts, dog parks and more. Newland Communities’ developments also offer ample activities for outdoor enthusiasts. “Hugely popular with residents, the trails are a vital connective tissue for the community, linking diverse neighborhoods with parks, schools, the community centers and other amenities,” Meyer says. “Other amenities you’ll find in our Austin communities include lakes, ponds and wildflower meadows.”
Recently, Newland Communities was selected as Developer of the Year by Green Builder magazine, and all four of the Austin-area residential developments have won Community of the Year awards from both the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and the Austin Business Journal.
“We focus on creating a true sense of community,” Meyer says. “The main goal of all of the amenities and activities is to help foster a strong sense of community among residents, so that neighbors become friends. We want to make our communities beautiful and relaxing places to live, with the goal of honoring the history and character of the land.” RL