Cedar Park Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale called it the biggest economic development in the history of Williamson County.
And, at $1.5 billion, he’s right. The deal swamps last year’s announcement of a $1 billion Apple campus projected for the south part of the county.
“It’s a magnet for kids, the public and professionals,” Van Arsdale said of Thursday’s approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will bring the United States Tennis Association Texas headquarters and facilities to the Indigo Ridge development.
“It attracts all kinds of investment in Cedar Park. It’s awesome. It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s a big day for Cedar Park. I’m proud of our staff and our council for scoring a major, class a employment and leisure hub anchored by a prominent athletic headquarters move.”
According to Cedar Park Economic Development Director Ben White, the tennis facility will anchor an already projected high-end mixed-use development with a major sports and athletic partner, making it unique from anywhere else in Texas. The project will transform Indigo Ridge into a true destination development, he said, drawing high-level athletes and sports fans from all over the country to Cedar Park, where they will stay, dine, shop and play.
The USTA Texas Tennis Facility will include approximately 40 tennis courts, complete with six to eight indoor tennis courts, a stadium court and related amenities for training, development and competitions. It will be owned and operated by USTA Texas.
White said the developers hope to break ground within six months and have the facility operational within 24 months of completion of the supporting infrastructure.
Indigo Ridge is a 155.05-acre tract located near the northwest intersection of RM 1431/Whitestone Blvd. and Sam Bass Road. It is a multi-phase project that is expected to include more than five million square feet of commercial and residential development including a proposed 1.6 million square feet sf class A office space. Its projected value is in excess of $1.5 billion at full build-out, and will generate millions in property tax and new sales and hotel occupancy tax revenue, plus add new jobs to the Cedar Park economy.
With the proposed development, city staff expects new net property and sales tax revenues of $138 million over the first 20 years, averaging $6.9 million of net new revenues per year from the proposed Indigo Ridge development.
“With regional employment growth from companies like Dell, Google, Oracle and Emerson, and the massive nearby expansion by Apple, the USTA Tennis Center will be an added draw for future corporate relocations to Indigo Ridge” said Mike Kennedy of Avison Young, the brokers for the project.
Council Member Heather Jefts underscored the significance of the project. “I have to give a standing ovation on this one” she said. “This is exciting. It’s a big deal.”
Thursday’s agreement is an outline of the current understanding between the involved parties. City staff intends to bring a proposed 380 Economic Development agreement back to City Council for approval within the next 90 days.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
According to the MOU approved Thursday, the developers of Indigo Ridge will:
• donate land to USTA Texas at no cost to the tennis association.
• provide office space and parking to USTA at no cost or below market value.
• begin Phase I of the project — which will include the tennis facility — within six months and intends completion with in 18-24 months.
The remaining six phases of the project are expected to be completed by 2025.
The city's responsibilities under the MOU include:
• structuring a 380 Economic Development Agreement based in part on the amount of projected incremental property and sales tax revenue not to exceed $60 million.
• reimbursement USTA for for the construction of the Tennis Facility in an amount to be determined separate and apart from any incentives for the Indigo Ridge developers.
• consider waiving or capping certain development-related fees for any of the businesses with the project, though the city retains the "discretion to not waive the aforesaid fees for commercial enterprises which are national or regional chains, franchise restaurants, retail outlets, or similar commercial enterprises."
• consider funding and incentives for the project and/or the tennis facility through use of hotel occupancy tax funds in accordance with state law.
It should be noted that the MOU is not the final agreement. However, it does represent the outline of the agreement the city, Indigo Ridge and USTA hope to reach.