The Laurels at Legend Oaks

The Laurels is a 17-acre condominium development in the Legend Oaks subdivision of southwest Austin, just off William Cannon near Highway 290. A city street divides the site, which SDC developed into two properties with two distinct products and a total of 129 units. Sixty-three town homes, attached in triplex buildings, provide an economic, quality alternative aimed at apartment renters; 66 duplex-style garden homes—two-thirds with single-floor living plans—target the area’s growing population of empty nesters and lifestyle movers.

The site, surrounded by single-family lot developments, had been zoned for multi-family housing—up to 25 units per acre. The subdivision owner was concerned that a high-density, for-rent project would damage lot values as well as long-term home values in the neighborhood. Jay Symcox proposed the idea of developing town homes and garden homes on the site. This approach would maintain the character of the neighborhood, preserve property values, and provide a higher yield than a single-family development.

Symcox won the support of both the city and the neighborhood with his proposal for moderate density. He overcame deed restrictions that would have made the project infeasible, and was successful in gaining approvals and project entitlements within a narrow window, before more restrictive ordinances took effect. He contributed the expertise to master plan the difficult, sloping site and designed an attractive community with the look and feel of the surrounding residences.

The Laurels at Legend Oaks began a four-phased construction process in 1998. The project completed and sold out in the first quarter of 2002.