The City of Cedar Park's high-profile mixed use project, Destination: Bell Boulevard, has a master developer.
The Cedar Park City Council voted unanimously to approve RedLeaf, LLC — the developer of other high profile area projects including La Frontera in Round Rock and ACC's Highland Mall renovation — as the master developer for the Bell Boulevard project.
RedLeaf's inclusion of a new city library in its proposal for the Bell Boulevard District spurred further action, with Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale making an amended motion to include the new library in the project. The motion passed unanimously.
"One of the things that was striking to all of us is how much time you had spent here. We could tell you had put a lot into coming out into the community physically and learning about it so it felt more like a relationship and less like a transaction,” Van Arsdale told RedLeaf representatives at the meeting.
The selection of RedLeaf, one of just two companies invited to submit proposals, will allow the city manager to negotiate the master developer agreement this year.
Assistant City Manager Katherine Caffrey stated in a written release that the council's action, "Represents the beginning of the negotiation process with the end goal of securing a multi-year Master Developer Agreement with RedLeaf Properties."
In a key initial phase of the project, the main Bell Boulevard roadway from Buttercup Creek Boulevard to Park Street would be relocated to the east, allowing for approximately 20 acres of city owned land and 12 acres of city owned parkland to be developed into a mixed-use project designed to attract businesses and consumers to the area.
City City documents show that construction related to relocating Bell Boulevard could begin later this year, with construction on the commercial aspects of the project set to begin in 2021.
RedLeaf founder and principal Matt Whelan said, “We embraced the vision that’s been established, creating a
gathering place, a destination that will be a social hub and contribute to the sense of identity for the City of
Cedar Park. It’s an ambitious project but we believe that is achievable with proper planning, a long-term
approach, and strong partnership.”
City documents state that the long-term plan for the area will see development of a 40- acre mixed-use development featuring retail, restaurant, office and residential space as well as the 12-acre Buttercup Creek Natural Area. The core of the Bell Boulevard District will be a walkable area designed especially for pedestrian traffic. The property poised for redevelopment includes approximately 20 acres of city-owned property and an additional 12 acres of city-owned parkland.
“We are thrilled about beginning the process of entering this public-private partnership with RedLeaf Properties," said Caffrey. "They are an Austin-based real estate developer with a stellar reputation for executing large-scale, multi-phase projects in partnership with public sector entities and fostering productive relationships with stakeholders. We believe this is key in realizing the Cedar Park community’s shared vision of the great potential for the Bell Boulevard District.”