Wayfinder thaws Dripping Springs’ construction freeze

Wastewater limitations have given city officials pause over new housing

A Texas Hill Country exurb of Austin is adding more housing, but town officials say they’re near capacity.

Wayfinder Real Estate has begun construction on a 241-unit multifamily development called Lookout, in Dripping Springs, the Austin Business Journal reports.

This relatively dense community is planned for an undeveloped area on the western edge of Dripping Springs’ extraterritorial jurisdiction, off U.S. Route 290. Project costs were not disclosed, though property records show the site sold for $4.1 million at a bankruptcy auction in 2020.

This project is one of the first to start following a nearly year-long moratorium on development in Dripping Springs and its ETJ. Wayfinder’s groundbreaking Nov. 2 arrived less than a month after Dripping Springs City Council allowed the moratorium to expire.

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“Lookout is one of the only multifamily projects under construction in the Dripping Springs area,” Wayfinder co-founder Mac McElwrath said. “This is in large part due to the fact we’re located in one of the few pockets of town that can accommodate higher density with utilities already available to the site.”

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The moratorium gave city officials time to develop new planning guidelines ahead of construction growth, the ABJ reported. Big projects like Lookout will face increased scrutiny, city officials said.

“The city’s responsibility is to protect how our community grows. We enacted the temporary moratorium to ensure future development was done in a sustainable manner and beneficial to the city,” Dripping Springs Mayor Bill Foulds said in a statement. “The moratorium allowed us to pause and make sure we planned for addressing the growth now and in the future, and we will continue to do so now that it’s been lifted.”

— Maddy Sperling

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