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BASTROP, TX-Dallas-based Woodbine Development Corp. is planning a 500-room resort hotel on the banks of the Colorado River between Austin and Bastrop. The $125-million development could be ready by mid-2004.

The development is slated for 635 acres owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Woodbine has the property under contract pending a feasibility study, which is to be ready by the end of the year. The project could be similar to Woodbine’s 500-room Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in northwest San Antonio.

The proposed project is one of several developments set for Bastrop County, which is adjacent to Austin and Travis County. Two mixed-use projects–one developed by Sabine Investments and the other by a group of San Antonio developers–are set for the city of Bastrop on Texas 71.

Bastrop County, which has about 65,000 residents, was the 10th fastest-growing Texas county in the 1990s and is expected to be in the top five in the current decade, says Laura Terhune, president and CEO of the Greater Bastrop Chamber of Commerce.

“It has huge economic development implications,” she says. The Woodbine resort would bring 500 to 600 jobs from entry level to management, she tells GlobeSt.com. Bastrop County, home to several popular parks, would expand Bastrop’s tourist draw from mainly Texas residents to the rest of the United States and beyond, she says.

The Woodbine project would include the hotel, several restaurants, golf course and water recreation. The golf course is to be built and maintained with environmentally sensitive methods and has been sanctioned by the Audubon Society, Terhune says.

The property is part of the McKinney Roughs nature preserve, owned and operated by LCRA, which provides electricity, water and other services to all or part of 58 counties along the Colorado River. LCRA deemed part of the property as non-essential to the preserve, Terhune says.

Woodbine got the right to develop the project after winning a bid process, according to Camilla Hardee, Woodbine vice president. “We’re really excited about the site itself,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “We think it’s gorgeous and really fits with the type of project we like to do. It has more of a nature orientation than some of the other sites we’ve done because of being situated next to a perpetual preserve and with the river-front opportunity.”

Woodbine has developed more than 4,500 luxury hotel rooms, six golf courses and more than seven million sf of hotel, resort and golf combinations as well as office and industrial space. Its projects also include the Westin La Cantera in San Antonio, Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, Westin Kierland resort in Phoenix and Hyatt Regency Dallas expansion.

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