ELGIN - What likely is the first agrarian community cooperative in Texas has been unveiled by developer Sean Garretson, founder of Austin-based Pegasus Planning and Development.
Elgin Agrarian Community will be built on 24 acres about a mile north of the once sleepy rural town, which is transitioning to suburban outskirts as Austin's population soars.
The unconventional mixed-use development will include a five-acre organic-certified community farm, an agricultural retreat and training center, an exercise/yoga facility, a craft brewery, open space and trails and 80 owner-occupied cottages that will be held in corporation stock.
Co-ops are prevalent in New York City, with the buyers as shareholders, which allows them to occupy a residential unit.
Garretson said the effective price will be between $135,000 and $265,000.
Several people have already committed a $10,000 deposit to secure ownership in the corporation — and one of the cottages that will range between 750 and 1,250 sf.
All of the houses will incorporate significant green building standards, including rainwater collection, wastewater re-use and solar power.
The Elgin Agrarian Community also will include the restoration and permanent preservation of the Mary Burleson House — the homestead of Central Texas pioneer Mary Christian Burleson.
After purchasing the 24 acres from a local landowner about a year ago, Garretson and an investor deeded about one acre and the decaying building to the Mary Christian Burleson Homestead Preservation and Development Foundation.
That organization will create a "Frontier to the Future Experience Center" that is open to the public.
Garretson is working with the National Cooperative Bank in Washington, D.C., and is participating in a program facilitated by the U.S. Treasury Department.
He hopes to have construction financing lined up by the end of January.