Deal Maker and Visionary—Deborah Bauer’s Secret to Success Lies in Staying One Step Ahead

It’s an unseasonably hot day in May, but real estate professional Deborah Bauer looks elegantly cool in a pale-gray pantsuit as she is driving her visitor around to show off “her properties.” As we make our way north on Stone Oak Parkway, she points out the new upscale subdivisions that have sprung up among the rolling hills north of 1604. Designed to fit the landscape, the communities feature green belts, luxurious amenities and gorgeous views of the city and the Hill Country. Almost casually, Bauer explains how she helped develop some of the projects or marketed others. As owner and president of Drake Commercial Group, she has been, in fact, the moving visionary behind much of the development in the Stone Oak region ever since she moved to San Antonio 11 years ago. That the area had tremendous potential for residential development was immediately obvious to her. But not everyone saw it that way. “I loved it so much because I was accustomed to hills in Austin,” she says. “But nobody wanted to build in the hills. They said it was too steep. So I brought in a group of Austin investors to buy the tract that’s now the Estates at Champions Run, which had been developed earlier but was virtually abandoned when I saw it. And I started building my own home there to show them how it...

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