29 Gateway, a proposed mixed-use development located on the corner of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Hwy. 29, would include restaurants, retail, an apartment complex, offices and a Montessori school. The planned project is across from the second Leander H-E-B store set to open this fall.
Leander City Council approved the first reading for the development's zoning change June 17 in a 4-3 vote. The change will allow for a 32-acre planned unit development with general commercial and multifamily zoning. It was previously zoned for single-family rural.
Council Members Kathryn Pantalion-Parker, Jason Shaw and Chris Czernek voted against the motion. Czernek said he wanted to see transitional housing, such as cottage housing rather than high-density housing. Mayor Christine Sederquist, who voted for first reading approval, said she was not a fan of the high density but appreciated the upfront commercial development.
The planned unit development's second reading is scheduled for July 1.
The 29 Gateway development was first presented to City Council May 20, but council voted to postpone the agenda item pending proposed revisions. The city’s planning director, Robin Griffin, said the applicant changed the multifamily unit count from 300 to 321, increased the garage requirements to one garage per unit and increased the building height from 60 to 75 feet.
Griffin said the recently approved city comprehensive plan includes heavy commercial density in activity centers, such as the area under consideration. Activity centers should also have about 30% housing meant for vertical mixed-use development, Griffin said.
Eric Davis, who represented the developer, said the development will start with 40,000-square-feet of commercial space before multifamily construction, which will be a high-end complex with a rooftop pool. Davis said the apartment complex will have one of the highest rents in the city, and most units will be one-bedroom.
“This isn’t a developer coming here, getting entitlements and flipping land and taking off,” Davis said. “This developer is doing a lot of the retail himself—not the multifamily, he’s selling that off to a national multifamily builder-operator."
Jason Claunch, who also represented the applicant, said 29 Gateway creates a “gateway to the city” with multifamily housing and neighborhood services. Claunch said the developer has no intent to seek economic development incentives.
Claunch said the development uses sustainable, low-impact design standards like using air-conditioning condensation and runoff water and would use less water than a traditional neighborhood.