Van Arsdale—who was elected in May 2018 and is up for re-election this May—spent 37 minutes speaking and then answering questions from the audience of nearly 200 people.
Van Arsdale’s pervasive theme—touting the business-friendly and bullish economies of both Cedar Park and Texas—prompted about a half-dozen moments of applause.
During the Q-and-A session, Van Arsdale and city staff provided updates on potential commercial developments.
Developers of the Presidio development’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema—the first Austin-area location outside of Austin city limits—have all the required permitting and should begin construction soon.
Located near the southeast corner of Parmer Lane and Ranch Trails Court, the 45,000-square-foot movie theater will be equipped with 10 screens, recliner chairs and a restaurant and bar. Alamo Drafthouse officials have said they plan to have it open by summer.
Cedar Park City Manager Brenda Eivens said the city is in “a lot of negotiations” with potential developers and industries coming to the city. After an audience question, she referenced high interest in parcels near the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.
“They are under discussion and negotiations,” Eivens said.
When asked about the quarry the city purchased last year, Eivens said its development is several years away, especially since parcels that are ready to develop already exist in the city.
Earlier in his speech, Van Arsdale touted several achievements from 2019: the first-ever resident survey, the planned Indigo Ridge development, the plan to complete frontage roads along US 183A Toll Road and various accolades the city had received.
Looking to 2020, Van Arsdale pointed to the Bell Boulevard realignment, Lakeline Park development, North Fork Brushy Creek Trail construction and stormwater upgrades as some of the major projects that will start.
When discussing the Cedar Park Police Department, Van Arsdale briefly touched upon the recent acquittal of Greg Kelley, who was convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child in 2014 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal cases, overturned Kelley’s conviction Nov. 6.
In the wake of an independent study of CPPD’s investigative and patrol divisions in 2018, Van Arsdale said the past two budgets have produced staff reassignments and additions.
He ended his State of the City on a personal note.
“Being mayor is not always easy,” he said. “Your family and friends are what makes it worth it, and knowing you’re helping people makes it worth it.”