City to buy Red Berry mansion

Housing, redevelopment planned for 84-acre estate

Author: Charles Gonzalez, Reporter, Anchor,
Published On: Jun 19 2012 05:26:13 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 19 2012 01:06:39 PM CDT

When the 84-acre Red Berry estate was identified by east side residents as a potential catalyst for redevelopment at an summit in January 2010, it seemed like little more than a pipe dream.

But when the property went up for sale this spring, city officials moved quickly and have reached an agreement to by the property at $2.25 million, nearly $500,000 below its appraised value.

"It's adjacent to a golf course, adjacent to the Salado Creek bike trail so there are other amenities that would lend itself to a great development in an area that needs this type of development," said Lori Houston, the assistant director of the Center City development office.

The estate houses a 12,000-square-foot mansion, 25-acre pecan orchard and a 12-acre manmade lake.

Amenities the city believes could be the main attractions for a new housing and multi-use development.

"Once we acquire the property, we'll do some conceptual planning and also look for a private developer to partner with us on the development of the property," said Houston.

The city does not have definitive plans for the land but will begin studies early 2013 once it settles on a partner to develop the land.

The mansion may still be used as a wedding and corporate event center in the future. City council will vote on the acquisition on Thursday.