290-acre, mixed-use project proposed in Leander

District 2243 is a proposed 289.9-acre mixed-use development in Leander. (Renderings courtesy Gensler)

District 2243 is a proposed 289.9-acre mixed-use development in Leander. (Renderings courtesy Gensler)

Image description
The master plan features four districts: an urban core, a neighborhood district, a highway district, and a health and wellness district. (Courtesy Gensler)
Image description
This aerial image shows the proposed District 2243 parcels, located southwest of the Hero Way and Ronald Reagan Boulevard intersection. (Courtesy Gensler)
A new "live, work, play" community is on the table in Leander, and the Leander City Council has split views.

District 2243, a proposed planned-unit development, was presented to City Council at its July 2 meeting. The project would be located at the southwest corner of Hero Way and Ronald Reagan Boulevard, which is between the old and new RR 2243 to the north and south, respectively.

In discussion, council members learned they could not immediately approve the 289.9-acre rezoning, so the zoning change request was postponed to the July 16 council meeting.

Four districts make up the proposed project, including an urban core, a neighborhood district, a highway district, and a health and wellness district, according to Barry Hand, a principal at Gensler Dallas who presented the project to council.

The urban core would be a mixed-use community with retail, dining and amenities along Ronald Reagan Boulevard. The neighborhood district would be single-family houses and a possible self-storage facility. The health and wellness district would center on a hospital, medical offices and a hotel. The highway district would span the north border with Hero Way with 1.75 million square feet of office space.

The proposed project includes a total of 3 million square feet of office space, which exceeds the amount of office space in The Domain, Northline and other similar developments in Texas, according to the proposed plan.

The proposed master plan features outdoor entertainment, an upscale grocery, urban gardens, diverse housing options, intimate gathering spaces and an active retail street, according to the project presentation.

Instead of a large, central park, the project will feature a trail network into the Brushy Creek Trail. A greenbelt stitches the four noncontiguous districts together, Hand said.

The project was revised after the June 25 Leander Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to remove multifamily use in the neighborhood district, reduce multifamily use in the highway and health and wellness districts, add required activated retail fronts in the urban core and reduce the permitted height in the urban core.

Council members had split views on the details of the proposed project. Some council members expressed excitement over what could be the city's largest mixed-use development. Council members were concerned about the necessity of a 140,000-square-foot self-storage facility, planned phases, retail space and multifamily units.

Mayor Troy Hill was concerned about the number of multifamily units. He said there should be a cap on the number of units in District 2243.

“It’s not exciting to see a request for 1,800 units,” Hill said.

Council Member Jason Shaw said he believed this is the area where multifamily units should be built. Shaw said he did not think 1,800 units were too many considering other apartments approved across the city.

“I want to go put a shovel in a ground today," Shaw said.

Hill requested more specificity on the project's phases, and Hand said the market itself will phase the project.

Council Member Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said the four separated lots made her nervous. Pantalion-Parker said she would rather see the major lot be the development focus. Hand said the western parcels would be developed later on in the plan.

Council Member Michelle Stephenson said the project is well thought out and will attract younger people to Leander.

Council Member Marci Cannon was also concerned about the possibility of "unlimited" apartments in the project. She said the city has experienced problems with buying into the pictures.

"We love all these pictures. We just want to see these pictures reflected in the legal document," Cannon said.

The 87-page presentation is available below.
By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in February 2020.


Tarvin Elementary School construction
New Leander ISD rezoning to reduce crowding at Parkside, Pleasant Hill elementary schools

The new attendance zoning will take effect in August when Tarvin Elementary, the district's 28th elementary school, opens.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

H-E-B will open a new location in the Oak Hill neighborhood of Southwest Austin in August. (Rendering courtesy H-E-B)
H-E-B to open in Oak Hill in Aug.; comedy club coming to The Domain and more news from February

Read business and community news from the past month from Central Texas.

Jo's Coffee opened a North Austin location in January. (Courtesy Chad Wadsworth)
Jo's Coffee opens in Central Austin; new restaurant coming to Georgetown Square and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Here is everything you need to know about Williamson County’s COVID-19 vaccine plan. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Here is everything you need to know about Williamson County’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

Here is a breakdown of what happened, how decisions were made and how vaccine distribution is moving forward in Williamson County.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

park rendering
Leander's Old Town Park to feature stage, water cannons, tower

City Council approved the park concept plan Feb. 23.

The 4ATX Foundation uses soccer to teach local kids life and leadership skills. (Photo courtesy Austin FC)
Austin’s new MLS team ramps up community work, engagement ahead of inaugural season

Before the team has even played a second of competitive play, Austin FC already has a handful of zealous supporters groups. Read here to find out who they are.

Leander lifts boil-water notice

Leander remains under Stage 4 water restrictions.

Williamson County is expecting two weeks' worth of COVID-19 vaccine doses after the winter storm delay. (Courtesy Pexels)
Williamson County expects double COVID-19 vaccine doses after winter storm delay

Officials said the county will prioritize individuals who were scheduled to receive a vaccine during the week of Feb. 15 before offering appointments to waitlisted individuals.