In 1979, Parman
was looking for land on the North side of San Antonio because that is where he
believed the future of San Antonio's growth was moving.
located four ranches in the rolling Hill Country of Bexar Country that alone where useful only as single, ranching properties, but together was perfectly suited as a planned development.
According to Parman
, "Claussen purchased the original ranch properties in the 1850's with a Texas Veteran's Land grant from the Texas Mexican war.
The land was developed into a horse and cattle ranch with over 30,000 acres, but was subsequently divided among the remaining heirs.
acquired them in what is known as one of the most complicated real estate transactions in Bexar County involving four joint ventures and 80 partners.
partners originally planned for the development to incorporate as its own city; however, the land fell within the San Antonio Extra Territorial Jurisdiction and was not allowed to incorporate.
Next, the partners needed a name for the planned development.
"We picked about 15 names," explained Parman
discussed the early planning strategies of Stone Oak
, "we liked 'Stone' because it is very permanent and we liked 'Oak' because there is a lot of Oaks."
believes that the success of the Stone Oak development is found in the extensive research conducted prior to the first shovel of dirt being moved on the project.
team looked at the land according to typography, location, growth percentage and direction, environment and all other existing and perceived conditions to develop a detailed Master Plan for the area.
"We put the plan in place and we stayed with the plan," explained Parman
discussed the massive undertaking that he
explained that no public monies went into the development of Stone Oak
- except for the schools.
The streets and infrastructure including the water, power and sewer were developed by the partners, "we did not want any controls," he
continued, pointing out that, he
partners spent $100 million dollars "in 1980 dollars," for roads and infrastructure.
As an example he
explained that most of the power lines are buried," you don't see what you see in other parts of San Antonio."
During this time, Parman
team traveled the country to studying developments such as The Woodlands near Houston and Los Colinas near Dallas.
They studied the successes and failures of other communities in order to tackle their challenges.
In order to maintain a design for the area, yet incorporate a mix of ideas and styles, Parman established Stone Oak, Inc. as the company which provides all necessary infrastructure and continuity for the area and believes the Stone Oak Homeowner's Association is a "big advantage" for maintaining the integrity of the community.
According to Buz Buckley, manager of the Stone Oak Property Owners Association
, the association is responsible for "what is to be done and how it is to be done," according to "land use" category of the Master Plan.
The original 4300 acres of Stone Oak
currently consist of 40+ subdivisions with a population of approximately 15,000 residents.
However, for many living north of US 1604 between Bulverde Road and Blanco, the area has become know as the Stone Oak area and Parman
believes the population will grow to approximately 40,000 and at completion 10% the population of San Antonio.
In this case, Parman
team were first and the people, businesses and development followed.
According to Dan F. Parman, the original developer and author (along with his associates) of the Stone Oak Master Plan, believes the area will grow to approximately 40,000 residents and at completion 10% of the population of San Antonio.
So, what is coming up next for the Stone Oak area and what do all of the signs and bulldozers mean for the current residents and businesses?
Many business owners say the climate is right for success with the explosion of residential development, commercial, medical and retail.
The most recent announcement and visible addition is the 400,000 sq. ft. Washington Mutual complex opening in a portion of the former MCI complex off of Stone Oak Parkway near the intersection of US 281.
According to Parman
, the Washington Mutual headquarters is expected to have 3,000 employees and will eventually comprise a 1 million square foot complex.
An additional building of approximately 600,000 sq. ft. is expected to be constructed in the near future.
In addition, Parman
explained that the Clear Channel Worldwide campus which in located on the southeastern side of Stone Oak Parkway is expected to break ground on additional buildings in the near future which will add employees to the 24 hour 7 days a week operation.
adds that there are several townhome and apartment complexes under construction on the eastern section of Stone Oak
after Evans/Golf Canyon road.
and his son Brad Parman, also added that the Gordon Hartman Family YMCA which is expected to break ground in spring, 2006 will be a wonderful addition to the community and is expected to be modeled after the YMCA in The Woodlands, Texas.
By Dan Parman
Antonio businessman Dan F. Parman
The 4,380-acre Sonterra
and Stone Oak
conceived as a logical and pivotal catalyst to launch San Antonio growth and
development into the twenty-first century.
Perceiving the rapid growth San Antonio
sustained in the late 1970's, coupled with the strain on municipalities' resources to
provide vital utility and planning services, Parman
sought to fashion a development
concept which would provide the homes, schools, businesses and offices needed to
meet growth demand and at the same time mitigate the pressures communities often
face in periods of rapid growth.
The first requirement was a suitable property.
located four adjacent ranches
in the rocky Hill Country north of San Antonio, which he
believed were located in the
path of San Antonio's primary growth direction.
design made sense within the boundaries of the development, Parman
was insistent it
must also make sense for the world around Sonterra
and Stone Oak
many subdivisions were designed haphazardly with little or no context to the regional
In keeping with his
commitment to develop a planned city as a growth
model for San Antonio, Parman
realized a vigorous mix of many ideas was needed to
make Stone Oak
a distinctive place to live and work.
understood that one prevailing
philosophy often results in a boring, predictable pattern of home and business design.
established Stone Oak, Inc.
as the company which would provide all
In 1982, the partnership of Stone Oak, Inc. was formed by Dan Parman, Paul Markey,