Development: Considering the Pros and Cons

While land development can sometimes be frowned upon—more traffic, changes to the face of the landscape, ecosystems, and habitats—it does mean prosperity for a community. New construction generates more jobs and curb appeal, unites community members, and maintains or increases home values. Finding a balance between growth and preservation of a community’s character is key to a successful development plan.

With a continuous surge of new Georgetown developments—from subdivisions to retail to restaurants—Rosemary Calcese with Transformation Title & Escrow and real estate law firm Calcese & Associates provides a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to bring these developments to town.

Where do developments come from?

As entrepreneurs who oversee the development and redevelopment of properties, real estate developers plan and control projects from start to finish. Most real estate developers work on commercial real estate projects, including retail spaces, office and residential buildings, and travel and leisure developments.

The development process is a lengthy undertaking that can take months to years, starting when developers purchase land and begin the entitlement or approval process with the city or county. They are required to submit a variety of engineering and construction plans to the city and apply for multiple permits. The municipalities then make the determination if the proposed plan is in line with their vision of growth and development goals.

Community Impact

Infrastructure Improvements

Some cities or townships require the developer to make improvements to the infrastructure, e.g., road enhancement, replacing old water or sewer pipes, installing sidewalks, adding landscaping, and increasing the number of public parking spaces. Holding developers accountable for community improvements removes some of the financial burdens on the city or township.

Economic & Social Impact

Expanding businesses, commercial buildings and neighborhoods under construction, and home renovations signify a growing community. While growth can present challenges and seem invasive, the trickle-down effect creates jobs, which are vital to the prosperity of a city. 

Commercial and residential construction stimulates growth in retail, real estate, equipment, manufacturing plants, schools, and tourism—much like the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas” is a destination for shopping and events. Developments like the Wolf Ranch and Wolf Crossing shopping centers also allow residents to keep their dollars local instead of having to travel to Round Rock or Austin.

As more jobs move to Central Texas, the tax base increases, which allows funds to be reinvested in the community to improve schools, parks, transportation, and other city services. The estimated impact of 100 single-family homes in the first year is 394 local jobs, $28.7 million in local income, $3.6 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments.

Real estate development trends

Georgetown is home to more than 67,000 people thanks to nearly 42 percent growth in the last decade. In March, the median price of a Williamson County home increased 22 percent to $490,000 from the previous March. “Because Georgetown is conveniently nestled between Austin and Waco, I believe the market and area will continue to grow rapidly to support new companies moving to nearby locations,” Rosemary says.

When settling here, more home buyers tend to look for residences with amenities like pools, green space, and walking trails for kids and pets. “People want to spend more time with their families doing positive and enjoyable activities. Thankfully, Williamson County has done a fantastic job making sure developers are adding to the enjoyment of communities,” Rosemary says.