Undeveloped land along two major roadways connecting Cedar Park and Leander has seen interest from developers and businesses, with new commercial construction sprouting up on nearly every block of New Hope Drive and Ronald Reagan Boulevard in recent years.

The developments are part of a decade-long effort by both cities to transform from suburbs of Austin into self-sufficient hubs where residents can work, live and shop all in the same place.

“We have been a bedroom community for a long time, but that’s changing,” Cedar Park Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin said.

The overview

Along both New Hope Drive and Ronald Reagan Boulevard, more than 4.7 million square feet of commercial and industrial space is planned, according to estimates from developers.

Local real estate brokers and city leaders said parcels along the two roads are attractive because there’s undeveloped land, and both are seeing more through traffic as drivers look for alternatives to busier routes.

“We have a lot of residential [areas] already developed, so we are trying to take a more balanced and diversified approach for the future,” Penniman-Morin said.

To accomplish this, both cities adopted future land use plans in 2014, which envision both the corridors as multiuse, or areas that blend residential zoning with dining, retail and offices. Penniman-Morin said this marks a distinct turn away from the zoning traditions that kept commercial property away from housing.

Map by Community Impact staff

Some context

In October, Cedar Park City Council rejected a proposal by Milestone Community Builders, which sought to rezone the northwestern corner of New Hope Drive and Ronald Reagan Boulevard from commercial to residential.

Likewise, developers with LJA Engineering were looking to build a neighborhood on a 289-acre tract of land just off Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Leander. However, the majority of council agreed to keep existing commercial zoning along the frontage of the roadway.

“Obviously, our main focus has been to preserve every bit that we possibly think could remotely even have a chance to be developed commercially in our city,” Leander City Council member Chris Czernek said during a November meeting.

With both of these instances, city leaders prioritized drawing in businesses to generate new revenue for the city.

“We need to diversify our tax base because we can never sustain ourselves on property taxes alone,” Leander Mayor Christine DeLisle said.

Learn more

The last decade of planning has resulted in many commercial projects turning dirt and raising frames in early 2024, with Community Impact confirming at least 16 developments in the works along the two roads.

The two linked stories below include details of the projects underway and further insights about how each corridor is taking shape.