Georgetown is finally catching up with the rest of the cities in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). For years, it tried hard to stay independent of Austin, preferring to remain small and quiet — good traits, to be sure. Today, it still maintains its own identity while surging forward. In 2000 Georgetown had 28,339 residents, whereas the 2010 census counted 47,400 residents. The dynamic growth of Austin, which took it from 21th largest in the nation in 2000 to 14th in 2010, is spilling up into Georgetown, the Red Poppy Capital of Texas (town festival in April).
Homes For Sale in Georgetown
Georgetown is a hop, skip and jump up I-35 from downtown Austin — 27 miles to the south. Round Rock’s northern city limit is shared with Georgetown’s southern city limit. I-35 sits atop the Balcones Escarpment fault line. The tendency is for black soil to be on the east side and limestone karst formations on the west side of I-35 — known as the Texas Hill Country. The Edwards Aquifer, a major source of water for Central Texas, sits below Georgetown, . However, Georgetown’s water comes principally from Lake Georgetown. More on that later… Two rivers run through Georgetown — the North and Middle Forks of the San Gabriel River. Highway 29 comes into town from Liberty Hill to the west and Jonah to the east. Hwy. 195 comes into town from the northwest. And the newest highway to enter Georgetown is the Austin bypass known as U.S. Highway 130 Toll. It actually bypasses Georgetown also, intersecting I-35 at the north end of town and across I-35 from the Georgetown Municipal Airport. Ronald Reagan Blvd. is being extended into Georgetown, too, at this time. It is also known by different names, depending on which city its in to the south. Parmer Lane or FM 764 in Austin, Parmer Lane and Ronal Reagan Blvd. in Cedar Park and Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Leander.
Some Georgetown History
Since 1848 Georgetown has existed as an incorporated town. Today there are seven city council members and a mayor to govern this city of 24.9 square miles lying 755 feet above sea level. Before American and Swedish pioneers came along, the Tonkawa Indians inhabited the land, as had the Kiowa, Yojuane, Tawakoni and Mayeye before them. Land for creation of the town was officially donated by George Glasscock, who is the city’s namesake. Georgetown was carved from adjacent Milam County and named seat of Williamson County.
Up until the 1960’s Georgetown based its economy mostly on agriculture. In fact, it and the rest of Williamson County led the state in cotton production for the 40 years between 1880 and 1920. As it does at historic points south and north, the Chisholm (cattle driving from Texas to Kansas City) Trail passed through Georgetown. Even before Georgetown became an official town, it had a college. Southwestern University was founded in 1840 and is Texas’ oldest, continually operating school of higher learning. Its buildings came along in the early 1870’s. Also in the 1870’s, the railroad was built and in 1878 elevated Georgetown’s status as a trading center.
In 1921 the city flooded badly and 156 residents died in the raging waters. More than 18 inches of rain fell. It was then that water control became a hot political topic for the area, but it wasn’t for another 58 years. The dam that creates today’s Lake Georgetown opened in the fall of 1979 and impounds most of Georgetown’s municipal water.
Georgetown’s old homes and buildings have long been a source of pride within the community. Today the National Register of Historic Places numbers 46 structures as designees in Georgetown’s Beaux-Arts Williamson County Courthouse District. The 1911 courthouse is the masterpiece and was just renovated in 2011. There are also two other districts: Belford National and University Avenue|Elm Street. In 2008 This Old House said Georgetown was among the best U.S. cities to buy an historic house. The first Texas city to receive Main Street City USA recognition, Georgetown earned the honor in 1997 with extensive renovation and preservation projects to its Victorian architecture.
Things To Do In Georgetown
Georgetown offers natural and man-made things to do. Of course, the man-made things center on dining, shopping and a walking tour of the historic downtown square. Georgetown’s new Wolf Ranch shopping center on the west side of I-35 is an inspiring, sprawling complex of national chain stores and restaurants. There are locally-owned boutiques and eateries on and near the square on the east side of I-35.
I am partial to Georgetown’s natural wonders. First is Blue Hole Park, a really neat natural water hole five blocks from the town square. There are high cliffs, a small dam backing up the clean water, and picnic and restroom facilities. It was wiped out by a flood in 2010, but is back better than ever. Inner Space Cavern is a cave south of Georgetown with 1.2 miles of public passability. Mammoth and sabre-toothed lion bones have been found in the cave. The North and Middle Forks of the San Gabriel River run through town and provide a total of 30+ miles of hiking and biking opportunities. The two major parks are Rivery Park & Trail west of I-35 surrounding three sides of the Rivery Towne Crossing and San Gabriel Park on the east side of I-35 with its playscape, rec center, swimming pool and community center along the banks of the San Gabriel River before the two river branches separate. There are a few large parks along the banks of Lake Georgetown also: Cedar Breaks, Jim Hogg, Russell, Walnut Springs Camp, Sawyer Camp and Cedar Hollow Camp — all part of the Lake Georgetown Recreational Area.
Other areas of interest include:
- Williamson County Art Guild
- Georgetown Firefighters Museum
- Georgetown Municipal Airport
- Levy House
- Williamson County Courthouse
Of the 47,400 people counted in Georgetown at the 2010 census, the racial breakdown was as such:
- 85.39% White
- 18.07% Hispanic/Latino
- 03.39% African American
- 08.31% Other
- 01.83% Two+ races
- 00.67% Asian
- 00.35% Native American
- 00.05% Pacific Islander
The age breakdown was as such:
- 26.30% 25 to 44
- 23.40% under 18
- 21.30% 45 to 64
- 17.70% 65+
- 11.40% 18 to 24
- Median age = 37
Median household income was $54,098 and median family income was $63,338.
Sun City Texas (formerly Del Webb Sun City Georgetown)
Sun City is 10 miles west of Georgetown proper, but is part of the city. It is located north of Lake Georgetown off RM 2338 | Williams Drive, west of Shell Road, east of Williamson County Road 245 and south of Hwy. 195. It’s practically a city in and of itself with an estimated 2010 population of 11,500 over 5,300 acres of beautiful Texas Hill Country land. To qualify for residency in Pulte’s Sun City Texas, at least one of the couple must be 55 years old. The median age is 65, making up 70% of the population. The hospitals and specialized care that can be required by retireds is not far away. Retirement Places Rated made Georgetown #1 best place to retire in 2007. Residents are active with golf, tennis, social events and even politics. Yes, two city council members and the mayor of Georgetown are Sun City Texas residents. There are two golf courses: White Wing Golf Club and Legacy Hills Golf Club. Due to special licensing negotiated by Del Webb, golf cars are permitted all over Sun City Texas and not just on the golf course. The average net worth of each Sun City Texas resident is over $1 million. Del Webb Corp. is a subsidiary of Pulte Homes, which builds single family residences and duplexes. There is usually a supply of available homes, but buyers can also choose their own lot and floor plan if they have the time.
Other active-adult communities within Georgetown are Bluebonnet Community Residence, Heritage Oaks, Oaks at Wildwood and Wesleyan at Estrella.
The flagship of education in Georgetown is Southwestern University. It is Texas’ oldest university and offers 40 bachelor’s degrees in arts and sciences, fine arts, music, and interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. It competes in 18 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Its programs are considered top tier liberal arts, and cost to attend is considered less than expected for the quality of education. The school is a private four-year undergraduate liberal arts college loosely affiliated with United Methodist Church. Accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the National Association of Schools of Music.
Georgetown Independent School District (GISD) oversees instruction at 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, the Georgetown Alternative Program and Williamson County Academy/Juvenile Detention Center. The established high schools are Georgetown High and Richarte High School. The newest high school is East View High School, which opened in 2011.
The elementary schools are:
The three middle schools are:
Georgetown ISD Honors
Georgetown ISD and its campuses received a total of 37 acknowledgements under the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Gold Performance Achievement (GPA) system, recognizing schools for high performances or improvement in areas critical to students’ academic success. Achieved in November, 2011 were these GPAs:
- Georgetown ISD — Social Studies
- Georgetwon High School — College-ready graduates, Social Studies
- Richarte High School — TSI Higher Education Readiness: English Language Arts
- Benold Middle — Reading/ELA, Writing, Social Studies, Reading
- Forbes Middle — Writing, Social Studies, Mathematics
- Cooper Elementary — Reading/ELA, Mathematics, Science
- Ford Elementary — Reading/ELA, Mathematics (performance), Writing, Science, Reading, Mathematics (improvement)
- Pickett Elementary — Reading/ELA, Mathematics (performance), Mathematics (improvement)
- McCoy Elementary — Mathematics (performance), Mathematics (improvement)
- Mitchell Elementary — Mathematics (performance), Mathematics (improvement)
- Village Elementary — Reading/ELA, Mathematics, Writing, Science
- Williams Elementary — Reading/ELA, Mathematics (performance), Science, Mathematics (improvement)
In addition to the hundreds of employers and employment opportunities down the road in Round Rock (world headquarters of Dell Computer) and Austin (home to many Fortune 500 companies), there are some good-sized employers right in Georgetown. These employers account for 5,400 jobs:
- Williamson County
- Georgetown ISD
- St. David’s Georgetown Hospital
- Airborn, Inc.
- City of Georgetown
- Southwestern University
- Caring Home Health
- Wesleyan Homes
- Sun City Texas
Real Estate in Georgetown
Georgetown is split into two areas for MLS purposes. There is GTE meaning Georgetown East for east of I-35 and GTW for Georgetown West and areas west of I-35. In GTE there were 239 sales via the Austin Board of Realtors ACTRIS MLS in the past 12 months. Of them, the largest was 5,813 square foot house. The smallest was 884 square feet, and the average size was 1,950 square feet. The highest sale was $1.1 million, the lowest was $40,000, and the average was $156,572. The had from six bedrooms to one, with an average of three. There was an average of two bathrooms, with a high of five and a low of one. They stayed on the market from 1,205 days to zero, with an average of 103 — about three weeks longer than the Austin MLS average.
West of the interstate in area GTW, there were 824 sales the past 12 months. Of them, the largest had 5,348 square feet and the smallest had 864. Average size was 2,270 square feet. The had an average of three bedrooms, with a high of six and a low of one. There was an average of two bathrooms, with a high of six and a low of one. The highest sales price was $875,000 and the lowest was $43,000, with the average being $241,477. They stayed on the market from 706 days to zero, with an average of 100 — about three weeks more than the Austin MLS average.
Information deemed reliable as of 11/24/2011. Updated in part 01/18/2017.