PORT ARANSAS, TX—Sunflower Beach Resort & Residences is modeled on the New Urbanism school of community design that has been instrumental in the success of Florida’s 30-A communities such as Seaside, Rosemary Beach and Watercolor. New Urbanism was founded in the belief that physical environments have a direct impact on happy, prosperous lives and that well-designed cities create healthy places for both people and businesses.
Early in the planning process, the Sunflower Beach team traveled to 30-A to spend time with local resident and urban planner Mark Schnell. There, the team immersed itself in the architecture, sense of community and hometown roots behind Schnell’s design at Sunflower Beach, which places more emphasis on quality time, walkability, quiet lanes, open green spaces and unique architecture. 30-A’s Rosemary Beach is the particular inspiration for the Sunflower Beach community, especially the architectural mix and color palettes used there.
“Mark Schnell was the mastermind/designer/architect behind Sunflower Beach,” Ryan Richter, on-site sales agent, tells GlobeSt.com. “The plan is to only develop 32 of the 50 acres that were previously owned by the King Ranch family, which owned parts of Port Aransas. They were one of the largest landowners in the US.”
Located on Beach Access Road 1, Sunflower Beach is situated on 50 acres of a protected dunes reserve that overlooks the Mustang Island coast. Sunflower Beach has direct access to Gulf waters and downtown Port Aransas. The Mustang Island Airport is 10 minutes away while the Corpus Christi airport is 40 minutes away, San Antonio is a two-hour drive and Austin/Houston are 3.5 hours away.
The planned mix of custom-built homes, cabins, family villas and condos are complemented by a central beach club within only 100 home sites. Beach homes are priced from the $700,000s, coastal lots from the $170,000s, and cabins and condos from the $300,000s.
The team has nearly completed the first phase of 25 new one- and two-bedroom beach cabins priced from $382,000 to $499,000 at The Camp. The latest home type to arrive at Sunflower is The Row townhomes, a small collection of family villas designed by Texas architect, Michael Imber.
Sunflower’s pool and dining pavilion features include a family pool with shallow beach entry, poolside cabanas, separate adult pool with shaded lounge areas and cascading fountain wall, poolside grill and bar, and entertainment stage and covered pavilion for live music and private events.
Adjacent to Sunflower Beach, Palmilla Beach golf course is celebrating its grand re-opening on June 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The course sustained damage during Harvey, which offered management an opportunity to retool the layout and golf options.
“The damage to our golf course caused by Hurricane Harvey gave us a great opportunity, not just to rebuild the golf course, but to reinvent it to be much better, especially for vacationing families,” said Red McCombs, developer of the Palmilla Beach Resort and Golf Community.
The new Palmilla Beach golf course includes nine holes of true links-style golf (the only of its kind in Texas), a three-hole short course called The Loop and a driving range. The course also includes a full-size class-A driving range with five target greens plus a short game practice green. Palmilla Beach golf course is open to the public year-round.
“The improvements to Palmilla Beach Golf were influenced by changing consumer and golf trends,” says Joe Shields, McComb’s grandson. “Play at traditional courses is down and Port A visitors want more variety, entertainment and fun from their vacations.”
Port Aransas is the only established town on Mustang Island and inhabits 5 miles of the 18 mile long barrier island. Mustang Island is located north of Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world and south of San Jose Island, renowned for its shelling. Running parallel to the mainland, barrier islands protect the coast from the full force of powerful storm waves. Surrounding waters include the Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, the Lydia Ann Ship Channel and the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.