STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
MARBLE FALLS — Developers of a new Marble Falls apartment community with an adjacent commercial component said they will fill a niche in the housing market for those who settle in the area in the midst of a budding health care industry.
Crews recently broke ground on The Residences at Panther Hollow, a 200-unit project, in the 900 block of U.S. 281 south of the Lake Marble Falls bridge.
Officials say the project will feature one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 525 square feet to almost 1,200 square feet.
“You’re going to have units more like apartments that are being built in Bee Cave and the suburban Austin area,” said development team member Bill Smyrl. “The project will be affordable for individuals working in the service sector here in Marble Falls, but it will be a needed element for people coming to this area wanting to buy a home, wanting to live here, while their home is being built or they’re looking for a home.”
Along with the SMYRLgroup, NE Development, RVK Architects of San Antonio, and general contractor NE Construction LLP, local investors Mid-Horse Royalties LLC and Horseshoe Bay ONE Real Estate Inc. are involved in the development on 13.7 acres within 108 acres.
The group launched the project after a market study revealed that, in the next five years, the region could experience a demand for as many as 600 apartment units primarily connected to the growth in health care-related jobs.
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, located on Texas 71 West just off U.S. 281, opened five years ago and has resulted in hundreds of jobs as well a spike in ancillary health field services.
The apartment complex is expected to complement the fledgling Panther Hollow subdivision, a master-planned community within the 108-acre site.
“The development will include commercial and retail from 281 back to the west where the apartments are, which are about a quarter of a mile off the highway,” Smyril said. “You can see all sorts of retail uses tied to (the) medical (industry) as well as restaurants.”
Commuters can currently see heavy equipment turning dirt on the apartment project just south of other structures such as Westlake Dermatology and First Baptist Church of Marble Falls.
“It’s in an area of Marble Falls that is growing and will continue to grow as the city grows beyond the lake on the south side,” Smyrl said.
Among apartment features are a clubhouse with a coffee bar, lounge areas, a kitchen, a conference room, and a fitness room.
Outside amenities include a resort-style pool, a hot tub, a wet deck, an outdoor kitchen, and a pavilion.
“The apartments themselves will be two to three stories clad in stone and siding,” Smyrl said. “They’ll have a very good look as far as the Hill Country is concerned and will be very reminiscent of some things that have been built in the past.
“It will be built in one phase and probably take about 16 months to complete the project,” he added. “The clubhouse and the first buildings will come online in about 10 months, and we’ll start leasing then.”
Developers said residents could begin leasing as early as late summer to early fall 2018.
A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 2 on Panther Hollow Drive, adjacent to the project.