If you haven’t seen Windsong Ranch in Prosper, I would set your sails to head north to experience not just one of the most amazing home communities I have ever seen, but one of the most thoroughly beautiful ever created.
The 2,030-acre development in Prosper was named the Best Master-planned Community of the Year by the Dallas Builders Association and was a silver award winner for the same award at the NAHB International Builders Show in 2015 — and those are only two of the many awards it’s won for its innovation in design and amenities. The vision in developer Craig Martin’s mind was to create the ultimate in a family-friendly lifestyle that encourages neighbors to connect, commune and enjoy the great outdoors on a whopping 600 acres of open spaces, lakes, creeks, trails and fields.
“It’s nature re-discovered,” he told me. “Prairie winds, the grasslands, getting back to what this land was all about.”
Back to nature but still connected: Windsong has Wi-Fi transmitter towers discreetly placed all across the property. That’s because Martin was looking to the future, knowing the brain power of his buyers from the Legacy Corridor, where Toyota is building its new headquarters. Because of Craig’s incredible background and experience — he worked for the Bass Brothers in Fort Worth — he added amenities one usually finds at five star resorts. The result is a five-star living experience for a variety of home sizes, shapes and price points. And I was more than blown away by the 30 miles of eight– to ten-foot wide concrete trails he has created for the community.
“Hike and bike trails,” says Craig, “that’s the most important asset a community can now offer buyers. People want to get home from work and get outdoors, hop on their bike, leash up the dog, or just put on their running shoes and go.”
Craig didn’t create mere paths — he went all out for swaths of soft concrete dotted with resting benches. His vision: let the kids walk or bike to school — the Prosper ISD — within this bubble of safety.
The entire community was designed to set a new standard in the realm of master-planned communities in North Texas.
“We were very intentional about creating a setting to nurture healthy, active lifestyles for growing families,” said Craig.
There is even a lifestyle director on staff, a sort of fun and fitness concierge.
“Our lifestyle director keeps the calendar full with fun events,” says Craig, “or you can explore the 600 acres of parks, creeks, ponds and 30 miles of trails on your own.”
When it came to the community’s amenities, Craig Martin spared no expense, making Windsong feel more like a fine resort than a neighborhood. The topography of the raw land was unprecedented. The Commons sits on a beautiful hilltop overlooking a two-acre lake with spectacular views and is adjacent to The Esplanade for community gatherings and events. There is a lap pool with sun chairs, resort pool, private cabanas and a kids’ spray park in a lagoon-style pool. There are full fitness facilities and a covered outdoor living room with an over-sized fireplace. They also have a copper fire-pit.
The Welcome Center even has an eatery, Windsong Café, which is run by McKinney favorite Snug on the Square restaurant and features fresh cooked food with locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients. The next planned phases include tennis courts and a disc golf course for frisbee golf. Everywhere you look there are superior fences, construction and decking.
Yet Windsong Ranch offers the lowest tax rates in the area; residents pay no MUD or other utility taxes.
You can see the extra touches from the moment you drive through the magnificent Brad Oldham-designed entry. The stainless steel custom sculpture, titled Windsong, is 85 feet long and 25 feet high.
“It’s a representation of the natural environment,” said Oldham, who is renowned globally as a sculptor and artist. “The wind blowing through the trees, the variety of birds, rolling hills, ponds, lakes, beautiful grass. The design and the material of this sculpture literally play with light in a way that is joyful to me.”
The Windsong Ranch hub for activities is called The Commons. Designed by Good Fulton & Farrell Architects, one of North Texas’ most sought-after firms, The Commons uses a material palette of locally quarried natural limestone, Brazilian Ipe wood siding, steel, glass and metal.
“We focused on materials that provide richness, strength and durability while still conveying a modern feel,” said Craig. “The design was inspired by authentic Texas vernacular, but with a contemporary interpretation that is reflected in the abundance of clean lines, glass and light. The architecture reflects historical Texas prairie design, which had dog runs and low roofs for natural cooling.”
The award-winning Windsong Ranch is located only 2.5 miles west of the Dallas North Tollway and north of Highway 380. Beautiful homes range from the mid-$300s to the $900s. Craig Martin told me he hand-picked his builders, too: David Weekley Homes, Huntington Homes, Darling Homes and Chesmar Homes all have new models open on June 27. Highland Homes, Drees Custom Homes, and Darling Homes continue selling from existing models. Grenadier Homes will present their townhome model in late 2015.
For more information on Windsong Ranch, please visit their website.