Written by: David Arkin, Checkout DFW

We don’t just like nature. We love it. And we try to weave it into our community in every way possible. Pools and parks? Yes. But also so much more. Like 25 miles of interwoven paths. A great big 20-acre lake. And community amenities and gathering spaces inspired by our nation’s national parks. 

Our vision for a nature-focused community takes everyone into consideration. From work-from-home lunch break walkers to moms with toddlers in tow, there’s a greenway, community path, or nature trail for you. And when your front porch doubles as your trailhead, there’s no telling where the day may lead.

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The Dallas Business Journal awarded Oxland Group’s Painted Tree community with the coveted Best Real Estate Deal for a Single-Family or Planned Community for 2021. The project was recognized for its broad range of housing product and nature-centric amenities, specifically its thoughtful approach to trails.

Oxland brought in national trail design-build experts Avid Trails to create diverse trail experiences at Painted Tree, resulting in plans for 25 miles of looped paths and trails and outdoor-centric amenities in the development. There will be roughly nine miles of nature trails, two miles of neighborhood pathways, eight miles of community paths and about five miles of greenbelt trails, said Jay Hoeschler, partner and design director at Avid Trails.

“We have a big, regional, multi-use path that goes north to south as a people mover,” Hoeschler said. “It will be a really great experience along the lake there. Then we have nature trails that will be narrower. The way we design trails, we look for the best views, we look for the tallest trees, we look for the most interesting parts of the creek.”

The Dallas Business Journal also noted that at buildout, the community will have approximately 3,200 for-sale homes, 600 apartment units and over 500 build-to-lease single-family homes taking the total to more than 4,000 units, making the project one of the biggest in progress in North Texas and also one of the most diverse when it comes to housing options.

As people continue to seek creative alternatives to traditional home buying in a competitive market, build-to-lease programs are becoming more and more popular. Painted Tree was recently featured on NBC5 DFW as a forerunner of this innovative solution. Two build-to-lease projects have been announced here, offering potential residents all of the conveniences of renting but with the space, privacy and amenities afforded by a single-family home in a master-planned community.

To watch the segment and learn more – Demand for Rentals and Build-to-Rent Housing Grows in Texas, Developers Say (nbcdfw.com)

Tom Woliver, co-founder and president of Dallas-based Oxland Advisors, Painted Tree’s developer, recently sat down for a candid interview with The Dallas Business Journal (Bill Hethcock, March, 3 2022). In the interview, he gave a behind-the-scenes account of how the 1,100-acre development is going, along with his thoughts on the future of the north DFW market.

According to Woliver, the community is progressing nicely from purchaseing the land in 2020 to sales and the first model homes opening this summer (2022). “It takes a while to get these things off the ground … and as far as I know, this is still the largest phase one ever done in DFW.”

“We’ve got 1,100 lots under development right now. We’re about to start another 600 in the next couple years.”

“Before, if you bought 1,000 acres it might take you 10 years to get through it. Because of the supply and demand right now, by April of this year, we may have Painted Tree !00% sold or contracted for (by homebuilders),” Woliver explained. “And I do think our location helps. We’re not way out in Sherman, for example.”

In terms of scale, Painted Tree will feature 4,000 homes at build out. “We’re at about 3,200 for-sale homes. Then we have another 600 multi-family units and then another 300 cottage rentals and single-family rentals,” Woliver says. 

Which is a new model for the market. “We’re segmenting (for-lease homes) like we do our single-family (for-sale homes), so anywhere from a townhome up to something larger, more sluxury, we’re trying to do the same on rental,” he says.

Finally, Woliver provides his thoughts on what’s next for Oxland Advisors and the future of the North Dallas market – which is quickly reaching capacity in A-rated locations like Painted Tree.

“We have a couple of other deals I can’t announce yet, but what makes it really hard in this world as a developer is: How do you follow up Painted Tree?”

He continued, “the challenge is, you have landowner expectations at a peak. Then you have a pricing peak and you’ve got supply chain peak, and if we’re not careful, we cant provide housing for the meat of the market.” 

“How can you have reasonably price housing, particularly as interest rates are going up? We’ve always talked about attainability, but the last two years, you can build any box and it’s going to sell or lease. That’s going to start to change,” he says. 

“Whether that means more density or getting more creative with some of our partnerships, that’s our focus right now on new acquisitions.”

Painted Tree Lake is as close to Zen as you’ll find in North Texas. Not just because of its shimmering silvery surface but because of what’s happening just below. It’s a place to both watch the sunset and watch the fish rise. So bring a picnic and your fishing rod for catch-and-release fun, because this lake is stirring with a variety of aquatic life.

Cast for Largemouth Bass, which will feed both on the surface or down deep, depending on the time of day.

Blue Gill, are fun to catch and can be found around sunken tree limbs, reeds, or other shallow bottom structures.

Crappie (or Calico Bass) can be caught with a minnow dropped about two feet below a bobber. They’ll also take small artificial lures like spinners and streamers.

In Texas, Channel Catfish will go for live bait like shad, worms, crickets and crayfish and they put up a good fight as you reel them in. But watch out for the four sets of barbells around their faces.

Happy fishing and remember to take pictures.

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When is a home more than a home? When you use it for activities that, until recently, were expected to take place exclusively outside your home. Like work, school, and even entertainment.

“Suddenly your home isn’t only your place to decompress,” says Tom Woliver, Co-President of Oxland Group, Painted Tree’s Developer. “It’s your fitness place. It’s your classroom. It’s everything.”

All of which are activities that need their own space. Introducing the humble yet versatile porch. Your home’s everything room. A flexible space where just about anything can happen. A place to take morning coffee, catch afternoon Zoom meetings, and enjoy the evening breeze.

Porches kind of fell out of vogue for a while. We’re not sure why. Once upon a time they were essential to an active social life. Where a good porch swing meant a good conversation. Friends would gather for a cocktail and some music. A simple “howdy” and a wave to your neighbor brought the community a little closer together.

At Painted Tree, porches are back. And front. Adding an architectural smile to your home. And a flexible space at a time when there is renewed importance on the need for versatile living spaces.

So come on out, kick your shoes off and set a spell. Everyone’s welcome.

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It’s a modern-day absurdity that one should have to go for a drive to go for a hike. Put a bike on a car before putting it on a trail. Or use a sidewalk to go for a run. At Painted Tree we’ve rethought the way we get around. Instead of a trail that goes from here to there, we’ve got lots of trails that go everywhere.

Which, in turn, will lead to interesting places … into the woods, along the water’s edge, around town … with interesting things to see and do along the way. Like artful installations inspired by the creative vibe found in McKinney, Texas. Places to sit and take a video meeting. Places to get lost with a friend or simply get lost with your thoughts.

“The nature trails in particular have been carefully curated,” says Jay Hoeschler, Design Director at Avid Trails, a national trail planning, design and construction firm creating the trails at Painted Tree. “The way we design trails, we look for the best views along the lake, we look for the tallest trees in the forest, we look for the most interesting places on the creek to incorporate into the path.”

“Along the way,” Jay continues, “ some trails will have obstacles to climb up, over and through, and surprises to discover … maybe a teepee or a treehouse or a sculpture in the woods. There’ll be fun little spots just to stop and have a picnic and explore nature. Places where kids are encouraged to just be kids.”

That is to say, homes in Painted Tree come with generous attached garages. The perfect place to park your car and leave it parked for an indeterminate amount of time while you go exploring.

Painted Tree Trails Map

Painted Tree’s embrace of nature provides places to get away. Yet, the importance of places to get together will always be part of the story. Starting with our hometown. Just a couple miles down the road (soon, down a wide, paved bike path) is historic downtown McKinney, Texas. Known for its creative vibe, live music, festive events and foodie culture.

“In a lot of ways, this isn’t just main street McKinney, it’s main street America,” according to an article in Daytripper, of the bustling hamlet.

The culinary delights are too many to list, suffice to say a self-guided tour through the restaurants and cafés here will keep you busy, and extremely satisfied for years to come. Instead, here are a few places you’ll want to explore after dinner.

The cherry atop your dessert is the garnish in your cocktail. Cocktail Creamery mixes “super-premium artisanal ice cream and spirits into some extremely tasty concoctions. Located inside The Pantry Kitchen, their alcohol-infused treats are the coolest cocktails in town.

In their tap room and restaurant, Guitars and Growlers pairs 30 different craft beers with great food, like sandwiches and charcuterie. While, in the adjoining shop, matching handmade instruments created by skilled artisans around the world to local and aspiring musicians.

So are you nostalgic for old-school video games from the golden age of gaming? Pinball. Nintendo and Sega consoles. The owners of Arcade 92 have curated all the classics and created a place where family and friends can play them together while enjoying adult beverages and good food. It’s retro chic at its most enjoyable.

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One thing that has become abundantly clear is that we humans need nature in abundance. Time in nature the antidote to our over-scheduled, over-digitized, over-the-top lives. Painted Tree is designed around 255-acres of head-clearing preserved and recreational open space, providing parks, trees, trails, a lake and a daily dose of vitamin N. The good stuff. True nature is what makes Painted Tree such a special place. And it is what people need more than ever.

A chance to breathe.

“The design of this community is anchored in the realization that nature is a necessity,” says Tom Woliver, Co-President of Oxland Group, Painted Tree’s Developer. “We conceived the vision in the middle of a pandemic, seeing just how people’s lives have changed.”

In fact, doctors have begun prescribing time in nature as a powerfully effective therapy for lowering stress, blood pressure and anxiety. Studies have even concluded that time in nature strengthens the immune system, boosts energy and improves emotional wellbeing.

“We have an incredible natural setting,” Woliver continues, “which is pretty unusual for North Texas. With topography, trees and a lake right in the heart of the community. “We understood from the land that we needed to engage and embrace it, allowing people a place to get out of their homes and into nature.”

In other words, take two miles and call us in the morning.

Explore Painted Tree

Developers of one of Collin County’s newest residential communities plan to build sites for 1,200 homes in the first phase. The 1,100-acre Painted Tree community is under construction north of U.S. Highway 380 in McKinney.

Oxland Group has already contracted to sell home sites to builders including Trophy Signature Homes, Normandy Homes, CB Jeni Homes, Tri Pointe Homes, David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes and Drees Custom Homes.

“This is the largest first phase delivery of lots in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Tom Woliver, co-president and founder of Oxland Group, said in a statement. “This delivery will help provide a solution when demand is outpacing supply at record levels in North Texas. It will also serve as a valuable stepping stone for further development north.”


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