Hill gave his second annual address Jan. 28 at Hill Country Bible Church in Leander. The luncheon, sponsored by the Leander Chamber of Commerce, was a sold-out event, according to the chamber.
Hill began by touting the city’s rapid past development, current construction and planned growth—most notably, the massive, $715 million Northline project.
He called on developers to create more space for businesses, particularly restaurants.
“We have more [restaurants] coming,” Hill said. “I don’t have a place to put them all.”
With Leander predicted to remain one of the fastest-growing cities in the Austin area, Hill asked the crowd to be more receptive to public transportation projects. The day before, he was sworn in as a board member for Capital Metro, an entity he has criticized in the past.
“Transportation is the key issue,” he said. “We have a chance before those people get here to fix it now.”
He then turned to Old Town Leander and his desire to turn the area into a shopping, dining and entertainment hub.
Some of his goals for Old Town included the creation of park amenities in the lot behind City Hall and the introduction of a mixture of shops, particularly a two-story rooftop restaurant from which patrons could “see the skyline of Austin,” Hill said.
Hill also said he would like to see more festivals and events take place.
“I’d like to see a new festival in September called Wine Fest,” he said.
Hill did seem to temper his commercial goals.
“I tell people we’re not going to have a town square like Georgetown, but we’re going to have it,” he said. “We’re not going to have retail like Cedar Park, but we’re going to have it. We’re not going to have entertainment like Round Rock, but we’re going to have it.”
At the end of his speech, Hill, who is known on social media for his affinity for Whataburger and his crusade to bring the franchise to Leander, held up a large cup from the fast-food chain and said the city has had its first official dialogue with a certain company—without naming the burger chain—to bring a storefront to Leander.
In summation, Hill said his goal for the city is a simple one.
“I want a town that we’re all proud of,” he said. “I believe we are going in the right direction.”