Whisper Valley site plan, photo courtesy of Taurus Global's website. 

A big mixed-use planned community with huge ambitions is about to break ground near FM 969 and SH 130! The development aims to be the first large scale energy neutral single family home development in the nation...meaning the homes will be designed to produce as much energy as they consume. The development is 2,063 acres and will have approximately 7,500 residential homes, along with over 2 million square feet of office & retail space! Construction is scheduled to start soon on the first 237 homes. Pacesetter Homes & Homes by AVI are expected to be the first builders breaking ground. Pricing is expected to be in the $150,000-$275,000 range.

Whisper Valley location map, photo courtesy of Taurus Global's website. 

The homes will include roof-mounted solar panels, geothermal pumps for heating & cooling, and Bosch energy efficient appliances to meet the net-zero energy goal the city of Austin is working towards with an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Big players like Bosch, Google, and Taurus Global Real Estate Investment are involved. Google will be supplying Google Nest products for the homes including smart thermostats, and Google Fiber will also be installed for lightning fast internet. This is the first new development where Google Fiber is being installed pre-construction!

Current photo of Whisper Valley, street infrastructure now in place! 

The homes are also in one of the city's 'preferred areas for growth' and are affordable in relation to other housing within this proximity to the city. The location may seem a bit out there due to the lack of development around SH 130 currently, but it really is fairly close to the city center in relation to other areas of Austin. The community is around 20 minutes drive from downtown, and about 10 minutes from the airport as well as the Samsung and Dell campuses.

Whisper Valley, Indian Hills & Rio de Vida location map, photo courtesy of the Austin Business Journal. 

All and all this is a really exciting project for East Austin. Located on what is really East Austin's new eastern boundary of SH 130, this new development should spur innovation and growth in an area where affordable, environmentally sustainable housing is welcomed. Let's hope a grocery store will follow! :)