Project Insider: Belterra Village Mixed-Use Development

March 6, 2018 by Walker Santiago

Belterra Village is the commercial mixed use development portion of a larger 1,600 acre master planned community (MPC) located at Highway 290 & Nutty Brown Road in Dripping Springs, Texas. It is the largest MPC serving the area and was named the 2015 Master Planned Community of the year by the Austin Business Journal.

Drone View of the development (DCA Construction)

Belterra Village is a 93 acre mixed use commercial development that will include lock & leave homes, senior housing, medical, hotel and retail space totaling over 200,000 square feet. Here are some additional details about the project:

  • 47 acres to be developed in Phase I
  • Over 200,000 SF of retail space & pads along Hwy 290
  • Sky Cinema theatre & multiple restaurant anchored
  • Over 10 acres of hike & bike trails

BIG RED DOG provided the site development and public infrastructure plans for this project. The public infrastructure portion of this project was made up of 2 miles of wastewater and 2 miles of water distribution lines. This project also has two large sedimentation basins and a 3 acre detention/water quality pond that re-irrigates 8 acres of the property with recycled storm water.

Belterra Village Landscape
Studio 16:19 provided the landscape architecture

Public infrastructure projects also included three public roadways (Belterra Village Way, Holton Dr. and Hargraves Dr.) that connect to Highway 290 West and Trinity Blvd. Belterra Village way connects 290 to Trinity Blvd. These roadways act as the main access points for Belterra Village’s retail and residential uses.

As the Senior Designer for this project, I was responsible for designing all aspects of the project. From grading the large basins to designing all of the storm water, water and sanitary sewer for 70 Acres while coordinating with other engineering firms working on the 23 acres of residential development. Here were my challenges.

Texas-Sized Grading Challenges

Everything is bigger in Texas, even the grading plans. Belterra has typical hill country drops of up to 90’ across the site. Creating smooth drainage patterns to flow away from buildings while fine grading ADA routes was fun.

Belterra Village Civil3D Design
A 3D view of one of the basins.

I used a plethora of automated Civil3D techniques and experience to create the foundation of my grading plan and then hand crafted the grading using precise placement of grading features across buildings and ADA routes. Civil3D’s built in object viewer was my window into the creation of this project’s 3D footprint as I crafted and chiseled the grading plan.

Belterra Village Civil Engineering
3D view of the walls and roadway/site grading.

Texas-Sized Coordination

On a project this size, you’re going to have a large team of consultants. We were lucky to be teamed up with some of the best in the business. Nelsen Partners designed the master plan and a majority of the buildings and overall ambiance for Belterra Village.

Belterra Village rendering
SketchUp rendering of the grand staircase done by Studio 16:19 leading from the main retail area up to Pieous Pizza and Stiles Switch BBQ.

Landscape architect Studio 16:19 delivered great landscape designs that created some of the most interesting flatwork and landscaping combinations I’ve ever seen. This included a grand staircase (rendering above), ten miles of hike/bike trails, and re-irrigating half of the site with storm water from a complex system of pumps and re-irrigation areas.

We also worked with HDR on re-striping Hwy. 290 and adding a new traffic light at Ledgestone Blvd./Hargraves Rd. Our TxDOT work also included three deceleration lanes and addition of new bike lanes from Belterra Village way to Nutty Brown Blvd.

BIG RED Drones

Belterra Village’s massive site was one of the first projects that we utilized drones to capture high resolution aerial images and map the topography. We utilized Pix4D software to create a high resolution interactive 3D model to use as a reference as we designed this project. We also used the high-resolution aerials that we captured as a background for exhibits during coordination with the owner, design team, and contractors.

Current Status

DCA Construction is nearly completed with all of Phase 1 construction, and Phase 2 has already started. Once completed, Belterra Village will be the largest commercial retail center in Dripping springs. I’m proud to continue to be a central part of this Texas-sized civil engineering challenge.

BIG RED DOG is looking forward to our next Texas-sized engineering challenge. Contact Us today to get started!

Written by Walker Santiago

Walker Santiago

Walker Santiago is a Senior Project Designer at BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting and is a shareholder in the company. Walker graduated from ITT Technical Institute of Austin with a Associate of Science degree in CADD. He leverages his formal education with his hands-on experience crafting custom Civil3D programming to ensure he provides clients with strategic, quality construction plans. Walker enjoys sharing knowledge with the community and friends by being active online with several CADD and 3D visualization groups. When he isn’t fine-tuning his techniques or getting up to speed on the industry’s latest, he enjoys time with his friends and family in the Austin/San Antonio Area.