An expansive paradise-like property at Lake Travis with loads of development potential has just plashed onto the market for a cool $16.9 million.
The listing for the 72-acre private resort in Lago Vista, known alternately as Cala Zarca (Spanish for “light blue cove”) or the Red Red Wine Estate, describes it as a “true private paradise ready for personal enjoyment or development.” A 2012 article in US Builders Review magazine refers to the resort as “the ultimate bachelor pad.”
Retired telecom entrepreneur Mickey Redwine, a millionaire who spends most of his time on a ranch near Tyler, says he’s selling his Lake Travis getaway because the youngest of his four adult children recently headed off to Texas A&M University. He’s now searching for a roughly 1,000- to 2,000-acre ranch in the Hill Country as a new hideaway; it would be the third Texas ranch he owns.
Redwine believes Cala Zarca — which features one-fourth of a mile of shoreline frontage — would be ideal for somebody who’d like to own a private lakeside retreat or for a real estate developer who wants to build a hotel, homes, or condos. Redwine says he recently was approached by a potential buyer wanting to build a luxury hotel and spa there, along with high-end condos, but funding for the deal fell through.
“It’s really a developer’s dream,” Redwine tells CultureMap.
Why? Redwine says the property is one of the biggest parcels of land on the north side of Lake Travis, and it offers one of the deepest, most secluded coves there. In addition, he says, deed restrictions prohibit development of a commercial marina, but any other kind of development would be allowed.
US Builders Review says many guests at Cala Zara declare that it “shames elite resorts worldwide.”
“It’s going to take a special person to buy it, somebody that wants exclusivity and wants privacy, or a developer. And it’d be great for either,” Redwine says.
Redwine bought the undeveloped 72-acre site in the early 2000s; he assembled the property from what had been 14 separate lots. He initially planned to build a 15,000-square-foot main house there, along with a guest house and a ranch house for the groundskeeper, according to US Builders Review.
That plan didn’t materialize, though. Over the years, Redwine added various features until it evolved into a private resort and entertainment venue rather than a retirement estate. He’s thrown parties there attended by 300-400 guests.
“When people come out here and look at it,” he says, “they say it reminds them of Disneyland.”
For now, Redwine’s resort at 4801 Mira Lago Dr. remains largely undeveloped. But the couple of structures that do stand there, a boathouse and cabana, are worthy of a Caribbean destination.
The 3,000-square-foot boathouse — accented by a turquoise roof and an interior decked out in an array of tropical colors — features one master bedroom, one bathroom, a third-level “bunkhouse” with space for four guests, a full kitchen, two boat-lifting stations, and an industrial-grade tram to ferry goods and visitors.
“I wanted a boathouse like no one else had,” Redwine says. “Everything on it is first-class.”
Redwine says he spent about $1.2 million solely on the boathouse. It was built in pieces off-site, and then those pieces were hauled there to be assembled.
A cabana with a patio and full outdoor kitchen sits next to a 1-acre, concrete-bottom pool — it looks a lot like a pond or lagoon — whose two white-sand beaches beckon water and sun lovers. (The first loads of sand came from Destin, Florida.) The pool, containing more than 6 million gallons of water, is said to be the largest privately owned fresh-water pool in Texas. The cabana comes with sleeping quarters and indoor and outdoor restrooms.
Other highlights of the property include:
- Man-made waterfalls
- Two boathouse cable swings for plunging into the water
- 12-person Jacuzzi
- Colorful outdoor LED lighting
- Nature trails
- Three RV hookups
“This project has been one of my life’s greatest and most gratifying accomplishments,” Redwine told US Builders Review. “However, it has definitely come with its share of hurdles, setbacks, and legal battles.”