By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
A joint venture opportunity on a popular shore of Lake Travis is available to investors looking to stake a claim in Windy Point Park, a 12-acre site near Oasis Texas.
Windy Point Park proprietors, the Robert Barstow family, are accepting offers.
“We’ve been marketing it for about six months and have had quite a few suitors. It takes time because these developers have to do due diligence,” said Neill McClung, principal and broker of McClung Properties, Inc., representing the Barstow family.
In a joint venture, the Barstows will essentially offer their debt-free land to developers in exchange for an interest in the project.
The site is located across from Oasis Texas and near Hippie Hollow, the locally infamous nudist beach.
A joint venture will allow the Barstow family – patriarch, Robert, and his children Richard, John and Jan Barstow and Dana Nichols – to retain ties to the property, which Robert purchased as a weekend “getaway” for them when he was an attorney and owned an aviation service in Houston.
The current joint venture offer is for the 12-acre property as a whole, said Richard Barstow, who has been been maintaining Windy Point since 1980.
McClung says the fluctuating lake levels – higher with lots of rains and then lower following drought conditions – do not seem to be an issue with developer interest.
“Developers considering projects like this look past (drought and flood) cycles,” said McClung.
Barstow is pragmatic about Windy Point’s real estate value, agreeing with McClung that its’ shoreline is the biggest attraction for developers.
“It is the most shoreline of any available property on this side of Lake Travis,” McClung said.
So, the final deal will have to have the right numbers. But, Barstow added, it also has to have the right vision.
“We’ve talked about it among my family. We have ideas on what we want to see happen. It’s time to turn it into something bigger and better,” he said.
In 1970, Robert Barstow began buying the property in parcels until the family owned what locals had always known as Windy Point. Son Richard Barstow has many memories rooted in the land.
“We’d come up on weekends and camp. Mom and dad would send us out to clear the brush,” he said. “Dad moved here full-time in the ‘70s, when he and mom divorced. Roughly, about 1980, we decided to open it to the public.”
He has been maintaining Windy Point since then.
“I was in college in Houston and would come up and work on the weekends. It was good too, so – one weekend – I didn’t go back,” he said.
In 2000, the park was a site for the movie, “Spy Kids”, starring Antonio Banderas. “Banderas did his own stunts, so he was out here,” Richard recalled. “Owen Wilson has been out here too. He’s very charming. The ladies love him.”
The location has also been the backdrop of a Vogue magazine shoot, Jaguar ads and Harley-Davidson ads as well as a gathering point for a notorious motorcycle club and training waters for U.S. Navy Frogmen from Fort Hood.
“We had motorcycle gangs out here about the same time as Frogmen,” Barstow said, noting the family decided to encourage the Frogmen to come regularly.
About 200 tents stretch across the landscape during the park’s busiest time and, with some of the deepest water on Lake Travis, it is popular with scuba divers. In fact, Barstow put in underwater sculptures, such as a shark, and platforms for underwater weddings.
Through the years, Barstow has battled with officials regarding taxes and other property matters, seen two historic droughts, a major flood every five to seven years and minor floods in between. He said his flood measurements might not be scientific.
“For me, it’s a major flood when my building is covered by water,” he explained.
Now looking ahead, Barstow is optimistic about the future of Windy Point.
“I’m thinking a resort of some kind. A well-themed RV resort or a unique high-end resort. I’d like to see a restaurant on the peninsula, along with recreational activities. I think it would do well,” he concluded.