The Enclave, a gated community tucked away near Lake Waco at 4005 Lake Shore Drive, is getting a second chance at success thanks to a local real estate agent.
Clifford Allen bought 24 lots there and is making them available to builders and individuals.
Allen said he brokered the sale of the acreage several years ago to a Waco-area physician, who had designs on placing an upscale subdivision at the site. The dream faded during hard economic times, and the 30 lots mostly went begging. Allen in May made his play to acquire the 24 still available.
He has priced them at $95,000 to $295,000, with those affording the best view of Lake Waco among the most expensive.
With lots fetching those prices, Allen said, houses that go up likely will run between $400,000 and $1.2 million.
“I can’t help but believe The Enclave will fill out nicely,” he said.
Allen listed such amenities as walking trails, a gated entry and stunning views of the lake that he is working to improve by having crews clear away brush and other obstructions at strategic locations around the property.
The Enclave sits on solid rock, Allen said, meaning soil erosion typical of other areas near the lake does not threaten structures at that location.
It can trace its beginnings to about 2007, when Sorrells & Gunn built a model home to attract buyers. Lots started at about $80,000 and rose to nearly $250,000, Steve Sorrells said.
He eventually would build three homes in the subdivision, selling two and making a third available to clients for whom he built homes.
“I’ve always liked that place, but my timing wasn’t very good,” Sorrells said. “Right when we got started, we ran into a hiccup called a recession.”
He said he applauds Allen for taking up the cause and acquiring all the land left in the subdivision, saying, “A fresh start sometimes is good.”
Four homes now stand in The Enclave, while construction has begun on a fifth and a sixth lot is under contract.
“I have received interest in at least two other lots, and I probably will build a speculative home very soon,” Allen said.
Waco businessman Holt Getterman and his wife, Debbie, now own a home in The Enclave, having settled there since their two sons have homes of their own.
“I’m also building a home here for my mother, who is downsizing,” Getterman said.
His father, longtime Waco businessman and philanthropist Ted Getterman, died in July.
Holt Getterman said he has lived in downtown Waco and in Woodway, but bought a lot in The Enclave several years ago and thought now was the time to use it.
“There are a limited number of lake lots left at all,” said Getterman, who fell in love with The Enclave peninsula’s scenic location.
He serves on the architectural committee of the growing homeowners’ association.
“I’m seeing a lot of interest just from people driving around the neighborhood and stopping and talking,” he said.
Allen said he first brokered the sale of the 8-acre site in 2006, but home construction was spotty thereafter as the national economy tanked. He typically deals in commercial property, but he said he could not resist taking another shot at what he considers prime residential property, this time acquiring it himself.
“I have a sign up, and I’m about to get a website up. It seems as if just clearing the land has created interest,” Allen said. “The place came with several misconceptions, one of the primary ones among the local residential agents being that there was an exclusive arrangement with one builder.”
Allen said that is not the case and that any builder is welcome to acquire lots in The Enclave.
“But whoever builds must comply with some pretty hefty deed restrictions,” he said. “We want to make sure everything is really nice.”
He said because the subdivision is relatively small, there is a need for conformity in the quality of homes built. He said some people may remember the area as the former home to the Lakewood Tennis Club, which was demolished to make room for residences.
“I believe I can hit a home run with this site, sell all of the lots in due time. If I don’t, I’ll just have a big playground,” he said with a laugh.
Jim Bland, a local builder of custom homes, called The Enclave “a beautiful piece of ground” that likely will lend itself exclusively to custom homes.
He said he doubts any builder would shell out anywhere close to $300,000 for a lot without a homebuyer already in place.
Bland for several years has been developing several phases of the Stone Creek Ranch subdivision on U.S. Highway 84, with houses typically selling for $400,000 and lots going in “the upper $40,000 range.”
He said the development has remained active with builders of both speculative and custom homes.