The 66-acre waterfront estate of gaming pioneer Richard Garriott has been listed for sale in Austin’s Travis County for $45 million. The sale is being brokered by Gary Dolch of Sotheby’s International Realty and is reported to be the most expensive property to be listed on Austin’s MLS.
Garriott is the maverick game developer behind the groundbreaking Ultima video-game series, the rights to which were acquired by Electronic Arts when Garriott sold his gaming company, Origin Systems, to the California company in 1992. The son of a NASA astronaut, Garriott himself flew to the International Space Station as a client of Space Adventures aboard a Russian Soyuz space capsule in 2008.
The Austin property, marketed as “Lake Austin Ranch,” offers 1,300 feet of waterfront access and views of the city’s humped Pennybacker Bridge (also commonly known as 360 Bridge). A 1,000-square-foot riverfront guest house plus marina with eight boat slips provide easy access to Austin’s signature waterway.
Nestled between several tracts of the protected Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, the ranch is encumbered by a conservation easement that stipulates it must be retained for single-family residential use and that the 65.68-acre tract must never be subdivided or partitioned. The property features gently sloping terrain covered in juniper, pecan, cypress and oaks trees and a diverse array of plant and other wildlife.
According to comments by Gary Dolch in his interview with the Austin Business Journal, Garriott and his wife intend to build a new home in the area once the Lake Austin Ranch property is sold. The beginnings of a large homesite—complete with tower and secret tunnels—can currently be viewed on the estate, with the listing materials indicating the site will support development of a 25,000-square-foot residence.
Beyond its prime location and scenic outlook, Lake Austin Ranch includes a number of intriguing features that befit an owner with a head for the fantastical and theatrical. A 300-seat outdoor theater on the property is modeled after Shakepeare’s Globe Theater in London, while Garriott has created a sensor-rigged haunted forest to captivate nighttime visitors on scavenger hunts through his estate. Other surprising features here include a lighthouse, pirate ship and makeshift medieval village.
Watch the video below for an aerial tour of Richard Garriott’s Lake Austin property.