West of Austin and Loop 360, between Bee Caves Road and Southwest Parkway, sits 4,000 acres of beautiful Hill Country land. Though often called Barton Creek, that name can be confusing. A more useful handle is The Barton Creek community: a collection of small, individually managed neighborhoods, most of which are gated, four challenging golf courses, a country club and a resort. There are also private schools. As developments go, this one could be considered Texas-sized. Ben Barnes and John Connally first recognized this gem, begun development on the mid 1970s, then lost the property in bankruptcy to Freeport-McMoRan during the late 1980s real estate bust. (Stratus Properties is the current manager). Since then, neighborhoods have slowly sprouted along and off of the two main roads – Lost Creek Boulevard and Barton Creek Boulevard – that stamp out a wavering “T” through the softly sloping terrain.
The first, and only non-gated neighborhood, wasEstates of Barton Creek. It hugs Lost CreekBoulevard and the mid-section of Barton Creek Boulevard. One of the newest, a gated community called Calera Drive, has 59 single-family homes and lots, some fronting the Fazio Canyons Golf Course at the south end of the community. As of late 2011, flat building sites were still available. In total, there are three master associations and fourteen neighborhoods.
There are many school choices. One neighborhood, the Terraces, on the north side near Bee Caves Road, falls within the Eanes ISD boundary. All the remaining homes are part of the Austin ISD. The private schools are: St. Gabriel’s Catholic School, St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, Regents School of Austin andSt. Andrews Episcopal School (the high school).
The Fazio Canyons Golf Course has a slope rating of 138 and is home to the Barton Creek Golf Academy. Once out of your car, it is so quiet you can hear the thunk of a well-struck drive or the air rushing over the wings of a low-flying turkey vulture.The community’s name comes from a pre-Austin settler, William Barton. He built a cabin in 1837 just south of present day Zilker Park near four springs that emerged from the creek bed.
The creek was originally called Spring Creek. Barton died in 1842, around the time Austin was founded. Since then, his name became attached to the spring, the creek that is home to the spring, a street through Zilker Park, the green belt around the creek and finally the development that caused such a ruckus at City Hall in the early 1990s.