I was reading an article about a new subdivision in South Austin yesterday and was struck by the blatant misrepresentation of the neighborhood. The new subdivision is called Gabardine and is located on Frate Barker Rd. Frate Barker connects Manchaca Rd. and Brodie Ln.
The article states:
“Gabardine is a unique community in the sought-after Shady Hollow neighborhood”.
Uh, no it’s not.
Gabardine, I’ve sold homes in Shady Hollow. I know Shady Hollow. Shady Hollow is a friend of mine. Gabardine, you’re no Shady Hollow.
Shady Hollow is a long established “move up” neighborhood of homes on big lots with mature trees. Gabardine is a small enclave built on what was a 20 or 30 acre treeless meadow on Frate Barker Rd. It bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to Shady Hollow in appearance or otherwise. It shares a zipcode and set of schools. That’s it. Yet, the Gabardine developers have made the decision that it needs to be presented as a part of Shady Hollow.
Gabardine is one of those “new age” subdivisions which is a blend of condo/home, with higher HOA fees but no yard maintenance for your freestanding condo home. The roads are private and owned/maintained by the home owners. There is no pedestrian connectivity between Shady Hollow and Gabardine. The two neighborhoods are completely unconnected in location, design and spirit. An owner at Gabardine will pay no Shady Hollow HOA fees nor have access to any of the Shady Hollow amenities. Gabardine will have its own pool and community amenities which will not be available to Shady Hollow residents.
Yet, in the article, Gabardine lays claim to being part of Shady Hollow. On the Gabardine website, it’s presented at the top of the home page as “a tailored little pocket of Shady Hollow”. And elsewhere on the home page is stated: “At last. You’ve reached the tailored little pocket of Shady Hollow” … “Shady Hollow is one of the most sought after areas of town for many home buyers” … “Gabardine is a different kind of community for the Shady Hollow area” …
So why the vigorous co-opting of the name “Shady Hollow”?
One can only assume it’s a marketing decision to ride the coat tails of an established, well known “brand name” and location. This is common. DR Horton did the same thing with its section of Bauerle Ranch at Shady Hollow, though residents of that neighborhood do in fact have to drive through Shady Hollow.
Often we’ll see a subdivision use this “at” connector, such as Alta Vista at Circle C. Sometimes the neighborhood is in fact placed under the same HOA umbrella as the parent subdivision, yet remains somewhat disconnected geographically. I’ve long thought the Wildflower at Circle C was not really part of Circle C proper, because it’s on the other side of Mopac and the homes were built on smaller lots and, to me, it just doesn’t “feel” like Circle C. But it can at least claim biological/genetic proof that it is. It passes the paternity test, whereas pretenders such as Gabardine do not even come close.
Why does this bug me? Because it confuses the consumer. A home buyer coming from out of state who may have heard of Shady Hollow and be interested in looking at the type of homes and lots offered by Shady Hollow is not at all the type of buyer who would be interested in the product at Gabardine. Gabardine should establish its own identity and market niche. It has a Unique Living Proposition completely unrelated to that which draws a Shady Hollow buyer, so I just don’t get the lame attempt to buddy up with Shady Hollow.
Gabardine, get real. Decide who/what you want to be and sell yourself on your own merits. But don’t insult buyers and Realtors by peppering your home page with the keywords “Shady Hollow” and trying to pretend that a connection exists. We’re not dumb, you know.