Homebuilder Plans Upscale Victoria County Subdivision

5 May 2014


Author: Melissa Crowe

The demand for property is up, and the inventory of homes is low, which set Victoria's real estate market off to a healthy start for the year.

Responding to this, developer Steve Klein is planning high-end homes just outside city limits. Called Escalera Ranch 1833, the homes will overlook rolling pastures, massive oak trees and the Wright Creek just off Farm-to-Market Road 1685 about a mile north of Zac Lentz Parkway.

It's far enough from the city but close enough for a short commute, he said.

"In Victoria, Springwood, Benchmark and Victoria Country Club are considered the nicest places to live in town," Klein said. "This is going to be similar, except it's outside the city limits."

The development is named for Jose Escalera, who was part of the land grant in 1833 in Victoria County along the Guadalupe River.

Klein is marketing the development as a chance to "own a piece of Texas history."

The Victoria Planning Commission approved the preliminary plats April 17 for the 66-lot, 119-acre development. When completed, the development will include 115 home sites on about 225 acres of land known as the Ohrt Tract.

Lots will range in size from 1 to 5 acres and have access via Lower Mission Valley Road.

Before construction begins, the existing buildings, fence lines and cattle pens need to be demolished, and the street construction needs to begin. Home construction will commence as soon as builders select their lots and start working with interested buyers.

Klein said the program is set forth to systematically build high-quality properties in successive effort to protect the restrictive covenants and investments of individual home and property owners who invest in the community.

County Judge Don Pozzi said he is happy to see the project move forward.

"We're seeing more homes being built out in the county," Pozzi said. "Whether they're built within the county or incorporated city limits, they're still needed."

Klein's resume has a long history in Victoria, having developed the DeerChase on Airline Road, Riata, Silverado and WaterStone subdivisions on Ben Jordan Street, along with the TerraVista, Lakes of Colony Creek and Villages of Colony Creek.

He has developed more than 4,000 lots and built homes from $185,000 to more than $1 million.

This is his 14th neighborhood development.

Pozzi said this is a development the community needs.

"It sounds like to me that Steve has this on a fast-track, and he's going to move right along with it, and I think it'll be very successful," Pozzi said.

Originally published on The Victoria Advocate on May 5, 2014 at 10:57 p.m., updated May 5, 2014 at 11:40 p.m.