Northwest of San Antonio, in the beautiful landscape of Texas Hill Country, lies the community of luxury homes at Cordillera Ranch. Set on the Guadalupe River and atop rolling hills, it spans across 8,700 acres of natural beauty. The master-planned community offers quarter acre villas along with estates on oneto10-acres of land. In the early stages, a development company was formed for the project, the Cordillera Ranch Development Corp. spearheaded by David Hill, who was a family friend of the landowners. Today, Cordillera Ranch is one the most renowned master-planned communities within the state, and one of the elite addresses among golf course communities nationwide.

Son of David Hill, Charlie Hill, is the vice president of development at Cordillera Ranch and said the landowners, the Northingtons, originally wanted to make sure that the land would be developed in a sustainable way that would maximize the existing natural beauty.

“They wanted to see the land developed responsibly, sustainably and in away that best preserved the heritage of the ranch,” said Hill. “So they reached out to my father, David Hill, who was in the development business, but more importantly shared that long connection with the ranch having spent many years enjoying the ranch with the Northingtons.” Today, there are more than 1,200 lots developed, more than 700 homes built, about 50 that are currently under construction and another 45 that are under architectural review.

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“Cordillera Ranch boasts a diverse makeup of residents and homes appealing to a broad spectrum of buyers,” Hill said. “Families with children sometimes prefer the upscale estate areas, while empty nesters settle down in our spacious Di Lusso Villas. It often surprises people that there are so many young families with children living in the community, but that’s a testament to the abundant outdoor activities.”

And Cordillera Ranch offers a plethora of activities and activity-based clubs for community residents to enjoy and take part in. Their Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at the Golf Club is one of the top-ranked courses in the state, and additionally, the community features six other resort-style clubs. The social club, tennis and swim, the equestrian, rod and gun, spa and athletic, and river club.

“Cordillera Ranch offers a sense of community and common culture centered on active lifestyles and the celebration of family,” Hill said. “Cordillera Ranch thrived and the Club grew membership every single year through the 2008-2012 downturn, which was a rarity in the private club industry.”

The community was designed with a theme of casual, understated luxury and elegance. It was meant to complement its surrounding areas and emphasize the existing grace it resides in.

“The community is designed to preserve the natural beauty and characteristics of the Texas Hill Country terrain and ranch setting,” Hill said. “We want every aspect of our community to blend in with the landscape— from the residences to our amenities, even down to our minimalist exterior lighting and signs within the community.”

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And many of the homes within the community do just that. They utilize the abundant amount of natural lighting the area receives by building homes that feature lots of windows and doors, allowing the sunlight to shine in. Each lot is designed to maximize its view, and some lots even go so far as to use a rainwater catchment system to collect water for irrigation. “In the Texas Hill Country, water is a precious resource,” Hill said. In the planning and development stages of the Cordillera Ranch community, water was given a huge focus.

“Our first 600 homes were developed with individual wells in a lower density than the county requires, because we wanted to be over conservative on our impact on the ground water,” Hill said. Lots today get their water from a pipeline extending from Canyon Lake, which is a surface water source as opposed to groundwater.

“This means, that all of the lots developed over the last 10 years (and in the future) are not utilizing groundwater wells, which is a great benefit to those properties in the area that rely on the groundwater aquifers for their water source.”

The community currently has plenty of acreage available for future development. Most recently, they broke ground on a new floor plan inside of Cordillera Ranch, the “Benedira,” a 4,780 square-foot villa inspired by Old World Tuscan Charm. It will include authentic Tuscan finishes like imported Italian clay rile roofs, sealed-stucco exteriors and aluminum-clad wood windows, along with Vaulted ceilings with Douglas fir beams, solid eight-foot mahogany doors and red oak travertine flooring.

Listed at $1.49 million, this three-bedroom home will include a two car garage, a media room complete with a wet bar and covered terrace, a great room, formal dining, a large study, an outdoor living area complete with a summer kitchen, along with a chef-inspired kitchen complete with the latest appliances and gourmet technologies. It will also give stunning view of the surrounding Hill Country and be located right in front of the golf course.

“Villas have become sought after in upscale communities for their luxury, functionality and low maintenance,” Hill said. “The Di Lusso Villas go above and beyond by offering spacious 2,400 to 4,500-plus square foot floorplans with convenient access to our clubhouse, amenities and social activities.” One obstacle confronting developers are the hills the ranch is set on. “The Hill Country’s rolling terrain and topography are common challenges in home construction,” Hill said. “We work hard in the design of each section of lots to maximize each lot’s attributes such as views and tree opportunities while trying to give each lot a nice building site that minimizes the amount of sitework associated with topography.”

Looking forward, the Cordillera Ranch Development Corp. plans to keep building more homes on the community. “With so much land undeveloped, there’s plenty of acreage we can use to implement more amenities, activities developments and other long-term plans within the community,” Hill said.

Jessica Burger is the Editor for Options magazine. She may be reached at jessica@penpubinc.com.

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