Robust revivalist architecture and a sense of community abound in Austin’s Pemberton Heights


one of the most established, exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in Austin, TX has an air of history and sophistication coupled with good neighborhood.

Minutes from the city’s downtown, “it has a vast heritage of being home to some of Austin’s most influential residents with a tight-knit, traditional neighborhood feel,” said Nicole Kessler, associate broker at the Nicole Kessler group at Compass.

Pemberton Heights is one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods due to its central location. In addition to being close to downtown, it is also a short drive from the main campus of the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas State Capitol Complex. beauty and the fact that there are only 613 houses within its borders.

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Part of the Old West Austin Historic District, Pemberton Heights is bounded on the north by Northwood Road, on the south by 24th Street/Windsor Road, on the west by Texas State Highway Loop 1 (locally known as MoPac) and Lamar Boulevard/ Shoal Creek to the east.

Price scale

The luxury market in Austin starts at $2 million, said Bridget Ramey, a global real estate professional at Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. But in Pemberton Heights, $2 million buys a teardown, and “real compounds” typically sell for nearly $15 million, she said.

Buyers pay a premium for homes on the most desirable streets: Gaston Avenue, Wooldridge Drive, Jarratt Avenue and Harris Boulevard.

“Homes range from custom homes over $10 million, fully remodeled homes at $8 million and very charming original state homes up to $4 million,” Ms. Ramey said. “Some lots are special in that they are larger and enclosed, and some have views and pools.”

Many high-end properties are not sold on the public market, which guarantees privacy for sellers and buyers.

“There is an underground market that we as luxury agents use to market them,” Ms Kessler said. “Because Texas is a non-disclosure state, home sale prices are not made public. Since many of the homes I sell are valued on the tax records considerably lower than the sale price, buyers have the advantage of not recording the sale price and seeing their property taxes increase. It’s a huge attraction for shoppers.

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Ms. Kessler added that while the average price for publicly marketed homes in the community is approximately $3.3 million, with an average 42 days on the market, “we have strong off-market sales, which are rising in average at $5 million and 20 days on market. .”

Michael Reisor, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman Realty, said that “on the high end, the sky is the limit. Homes have traded north of $25 million, especially if they have city views, which some neighborhood streets do.

Listed at $3.25 million, this 3,447 square foot residence has four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

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Housing stock

Set on tree-lined streets, the traditional-style historic homes are steeped in character and charm that reflect the development of the community, which was built in 12 phases between 1927 and the early 1940s.

There are also contemporary and modern new build homes as well as older duplexes in the mix.

“As you walk down Wooldridge or Gaston, two iconic streets in the neighborhood, you will find gas lamps outside houses built in the early 20th century as well as new construction of architectural significance that blends into the towering oak trees heritage,” Mr. Reisor said.

Homes come in an array of revivalist architecture, including Colonial, Tudor, and Neoclassical, as well as craftsmanship designs. “The new homes that have been built in this historic neighborhood have all retained the true character of the community,” Ms. Kessler said. “And all homes have a minimum setback requirement of 30 to 40 feet.”

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Lot sizes range from 0.15 acre to half an acre.

There are no condos or apartment buildings.

This 4,400 square foot new construction home, listed at $7.975 million, was inspired by a French chateau. It has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and spans almost a quarter of an acre.

Adrian Garcia – Onward Group

What makes it unique

Calling Pemberton Heights “the jewel neighborhood in Austin’s crown”, Ms Kessler said “this little pocket of Austin is a beautifully established neighborhood with historic designations and stately trees that form canopies over the pristine streets – the all with incredible proximity to Pease Park and walking trails and the best of downtown Austin.”

Ms Ramey noted that as well as being “one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Austin’s history”, Pemberton Heights is family-friendly, walkable, has “magnificent architecture” and it’s where famous people choose to live in the city.

Along with being close to the downtown cultural hub, she added that the neighborhood’s “quirky charm, meticulously manicured open lawns, heritage oak trees and Pease Park” set it apart.

“Many homes in the most desirable parts of the neighborhood offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city that rival the views of some downtown condos,” Mr. Reisor said. “Some people wait many years before they can find the house they want because there aren’t many businesses in the neighborhood and once they’re in, they don’t want to leave.

Luxury amenities

Although Pemberton Heights is strictly residential, it is only a few blocks from Austin’s most iconic restaurants and shops. They include Jeffrey’s, the new American cuisine steakhouse, and its sister restaurant, Josephine House, which serves local dishes; Merit Coffee Co.; Tinys Milk & Cookies, which serves pastries, ice cream and other sweet treats; and neighborhood restaurant Tiny Boxwoods Austin.

“Tiny Boxwoods is a beloved restaurant with outdoor seating,” Ms Ramey said. “Uchiko, one of Austin’s famous restaurants, is the brainchild of legendary sushi chef Tyson Cole. And Fonda San Miguel, one of Austin’s oldest dining favorites, is known for its beautiful interior design and Mexican cuisine.

Popular boutiques include Valentines, which sells designer clothing and accessories for women; Good Company, which offers women’s clothing and jewelry; and ByGeorge, which is a luxury fashion and lifestyle boutique established in 1979.

“The Menagerie is Austin’s wealthy go-to for high-end personalized jewelry and luxury gifts and is a wedding registry,” Ms. Ramey said.

Residents have the option of joining the Westwood Country Club, which is adjacent to Pemberton Heights. The club, established in 1955, includes a medieval-style French mansion dating from 1925.

Residents send their children to several private schools: The Girls’ School of Austin for girls in kindergarten through eighth grade; St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, a coeducational institution for kindergarten through high school students; the Good Shepherd Episcopal School, for those in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten; and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, a private coeducational preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades six through twelfth.

The town has two parks. Hartford Park, a fenced green space created on half an acre of vacant land, includes play areas, a patio, tables and chairs, a bocce ball court and an arbor. The newly renovated Pease District Park has a number of amenities including an interactive water feature, treehouse, nature-centric play area, playground and basketball court .

For trails and bike paths, residents head to Shoal Creek Conservancy.

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Who lives here

Pemberton Heights is home to “established empty nests and families,” Ms. Kessler said, a mix that “makes Austin fun and vibrant.”

Ms Ramey added that “it’s definitely a place where families ‘up’ and often keep second homes”.

Residents come from all over the country, Mr. Reisor said. “During the pandemic, I saw many people from New York and California moving to Pemberton Heights because they were drawn to its natural beauty and proximity to downtown.”

Notable residents

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, creator of the action-adventure comedy series ‘Spy Kids’, owns Pemberton Castle, a neighborhood icon that was built in the 1890s as a water tower, according to published reports. Fashion designer Kendra Scott also lives in the community, according to published reports.

Listed for $8.5 million, this 4,259-square-foot home, renovated in 2021, features six bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and a powder room. The property is a quarter acre.

Adrian Garcia – Onward Group


In Austin’s “robust” real estate market, Mr. Reisor is confident that properties in Pemberton Heights will continue to rise in value.

“I expect we’ll have a few months of weaker market while inflation hopefully starts to subside, and then I expect we’ll get back to racing,” he said. He added that he expects more “normal appreciation for homes of around 7% to 10%, not the 40% we saw last year.”

Ms Ramey said the market remains strong as it is a popular area. “Prices in Austin have continued to stabilize and Pemberton Heights will keep prices higher; we have had record prices since the start of Covid.

During the pandemic, “We’ve seen a flurry of home buyers searching the area with a severe lack of inventory,” Ms. Kessler said. “This has led to bidding wars and an increase in property values,” which she says will continue to rise.

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