Case Studies

Spicewood Communities

Providing low-maintenance lifestyles for residents of multiple demographics

For more than 20 years, Spicewood Communities has been a streamlined, cohesive team with integrity, enthusiasm and vision. These core values translate into a strong commitment to produce quality, creative communities. Located in Austin, Texas, Spicewood primarily serves central Texas. Spicewood has become a household name as a land, multifamily and mixed-use development company that holds itself accountable to high standards, while remaining conscious and aware of its impact on existing neighborhoods.

Founded by Randy Ziehe in 1994, Spicewood was launched as a company based on Ziehe’s experience in the development industry. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1977, Ziehe went to work in commercial real estate and by 1980 began building apartment communities in the Austin area.

A niche market

Spicewood is a unique development firm in that all land development, vertical construction, marketing and sales are managed by Spicewood employees, which results in high degree of control in cost and execution. “We are a self-performing developer-builder,” Ziehe explains. “We do not hire third-party general contractors; all of our projects are within our construction capacity.”Spicewood Communities

As an owner-operator on all projects, Spicewood provides its own construction management and works with highly qualified subcontractors. This allows Spicewood complete flexibility in dealing with any changes or unexpected modifications throughout the course of a project. “We consider our company a community creator,” says Ziehe. “Our entire business model is not about being fee driven, but about market value creation.”

As far as target market is concerned, Spicewood develops communities and apartment complexes for all age demographics. Ziehe says that the type of real estate that the younger generation is interested is evolving, especially since the housing market crashed in 2008. “When I got out of college in the late ‘70s, the desire of most people was to get married and buy a house once they got out of school,” Ziehe recalls. “This day and age, more people are marrying later in life and renting. We see the percentage of homeownership of people in their 20s and 30s continuing to go down and the apartment rentals going up.”

Building Community

Spicewood specializes in garden-style, highly amenitized, low-maintenance, urban infill-type communities. In December 2016, Spicewood began the development of a community in Georgetown, Texas, called Gardens at Verde Vista. This neighborhood will include 149 homes spread out over 34 acres. Residents of Gardens at Verde Vista have eight different styles of homes to choose from, ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,800 square feet. Each home comes with additional options, such as an outdoor kitchen, indoor fireplace, wet bars and second-floor bonus rooms, including a game room, bedrooms and a bathroom.

Gardens at Verde Vista boasts many exquisite standard features in each home as well. All units feature stone and stucco exteriors with wood and metal accents. Spicewood includes its signature private outdoor courtyard entry, providing a serene retreat away from surrounding neighbors and eight-foot Cantera-style wrought iron entry doors per plan, which culminate covered patios, porches and breezeways. Gardens at Verde Vista offers residents a low-maintenance lifestyle as all common area lawn and landscape maintenance is provided by the homeowners association. “We are dedicated to design, quality construction and execution,” says Ziehe. “We take accountability to ensure that each home we build is one that we would be proud to call our own.”

In January 2012, Spicewood acquired a 4.4-acre urban infill site in northwest Austin and in April 2015 began construction on Urban North Apartments. Urban North is within 2 miles of a new Apple facility that is projected to employ more than 3,000 people. The 179-unit apartment community consists of two three-story buildings wrapped around a four-level structured parking garage. “Austin’s diverse economy continues to grow with high-paying jobs attracting young professionals and families,” says Ziehe. “It is consistently mentioned as one of the top places in the country to live, work and play.”

Through continuous adaptability, innovation and improvement, Spicewood works every day to be on the cutting edge of providing high-quality homes and communities for active lifestyles regardless of age. As a turnkey residential community development company, Spicewood Communities will remain on its mission to shape the future of living in central Texas.

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Spring 2018



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