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Undeterred by Home-Building Delays, Two Houston Companies Are Designing Architectural Gems in Booming Round Top

Faster Construction and Great Design in the "Aspen of Texas"

BY // 03.08.22

Round Top is undergoing an unprecedented real estate boom. Texas Monthly has dubbed it the “Aspen of Texas” for the way way-heeled Texans are land there and in surrounding Fayette County — and it shows no signs of slowing. The historic 640-acre hamlet has a population of 90 but swells to more than 100,000 as people flock to the town’s famed antiques fairs, now held three times a year, and new shops and restaurants are opening to accommodate the influx of year-round visitors. But urban dwellers from Houston, Austin, and Dallas who want to build a second or third home near Round Top are finding plenty of headache-inducing delays in new home construction, with builders backed up a year or two before you can start new projects. That’s where Boxprefab and Starred Sky Developments come in.

Boxprefab, an off-site construction company founded by Houston architects Rame and Russell Hruska, designs and builds elegant, clean-lined prefabricated houses in a fraction of the time it takes to build a house by traditional methods — just three to six months. It’s an offshoot of the Hruskas’ 21-year-old award-winning Houston firm, Intexure, and is the result of decades of research into better ways to build.

The prefab houses are built to code in a controlled environment, without exposure to water and weather elements, and without many of the labor shortages that can plague traditional construction companies. Sections are produced off-site using top-quality building materials and techniques, then assembled on-site.

“The process is half the time of conventional construction, a lot more reliable, and produces almost no waste,” Russell says. “But beyond supply and demand issues, if you want cleaner lines and a little more sophistication, we’re a good choice.”

Interiors in Boxprefab’s Modern Farmhouse.

The Hruskas have teamed with Round Top-based Starred Sky Development, founded by Jim Kastleman, real estate veteran and co-chairman and president of PaperCity to develop homes in the countryside. Starred Sky, the exclusive developer of Boxprefab in Round Top and the surrounding area, owns 30 acres 15 minutes from Round Top in Fayette County, which are divided into five lots for sale — two with Boxprefab houses already in the works that will be move-in ready this spring. They include a six-and-a-half acre lot with Boxprefab’s Modern Farmhouse with standing-seam metal roof, wood deck, hardwood floors, kitchen with LG stainless appliances, wine storage, European millwork with Silestone counters, floating vanities, Hansgrohe chrome fixtures, and pendant lighting. Price tag: $750,000.

A three-acre lot with Boxprefab’s split-unit Aria model features a main house and guest suite with a standing-seam metal roof and composite cedar inlay on exterior walls. Inside, look for hardwood floors, Caesarstone countertops, Hansgrohe chrome fixtures, Milazzo toilets, and a complete LG stainless appliance package. Price tag: $650,000. The remaining three lots can be customized with any of a dozen different Boxprefab designs. Starred Sky can also develop on a client’s own land.

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For more information, visit starredskydevelopment.com.

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