A sizable chunk of Austin’s enormous Robinson Ranch could become the area’s next major site for mixed-use development.
Commercial real estate company JLL Capital Markets announced on December 17 that it had been tapped to market a 193-acre development site at State Highway 45 North and North MoPac Expressway. This parcel — with about two-thirds the acreage of the Domain complex — is part of the roughly 7,000-acre Robinson Ranch, one of the largest privately owned chunks of undeveloped land in Central Texas. By comparison, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport covers about 4,200 acres.
The 193-acre site is roughly five miles northeast of the $1 billion, 3-million-square-foot Apple campus under construction in Northwest Austin and a nearby 129-acre office campus set to be redeveloped as a more than 3 million-square-foot, mixed-use project. If you use those two developments as a gauge, the Robinson Ranch parcel should be able to accommodate well over 3 million square feet of mixed-use space.
In 2004, the Austin City Council designated Robinson Ranch as a site for potential development. Apple also purchased 133 acres for its new campus from the Robinson family, and when Austin was under consideration for Amazon’s second headquarters, Robinson Ranch was touted as a possible location.
“If you’re a large corporation who likes being in Austin and the benefits the city offers to its employees, it’s often hard to find land with the zoning and entitlements already in place as they are at Robinson Ranch. The opportunity is there, mostly because the Robinsons are ready to see development, which is both exciting and frightening,” City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, whose Northwest Austin district includes the existing and under-construction Apple campuses, told the Austin Chronicle in 2018.
Davis Adams, a JLL Capital Markets executive who’s helping market the Robinson Ranch site, notes that the completion of SH 45 North in 2007 divided this part of the Robinson family’s property from the remainder of the ranch.
“Because the site is isolated from the core of the family’s holdings, coupled with the strong interest they have received regarding the property, the Robinson family has decided to begin marketing this site for sale, joint venture, or ground lease,” Adams says in a news release.