Tonight, Lakeway City Council reviewed a concept plan presented by developer Legend Communities founder/principal Haythem Dawlett and Chief Operating Officer Bill Hayes for a town center—Lakeway City Center—to be located off Lohmans Crossing and behind the Oaks at Lakeway shopping center.

What is included?

This rendering depicts a concept plan for the Lakeway City Center.[/caption]

Hayes estimated the project cost would possibly exceed $500 million; take seven to 10 years to complete; and include a full-service hotel, a variety of homes, a community venue, a village green space, retail and office space. He also said the proposal includes a performing arts center or, in the event the center is not approved by City Council, an alternative concept, such as a movie theater with dining.

Dawlett said he began the concept for the project—to create a true town center—about a decade ago.

This rendering illustrates a concept plan for a hotel and performing arts center within the proposed Lakeway City Center.[/caption]

“One of the things that I have always felt is we needed to create a sense of community,” said Dawlett, who is also a Lake Travis-area resident. “There wasn’t a place where there was a real heartbeat, like, ‘Hey this is downtown.’”

He said the idea complies with the concept inherent in new urban town centers and will feature wider sidewalks in the retail areas to possibly allow for outdoor dining as well as an area that will yield to community events such as farmers markets and concerts.

“The beauty of this [project] is if you look at new urban town centers, they start out with the center first and build the town around it,” Dawlett said. “We have the unique opportunity of having rooftops to support [the town center].”

He said the project aims to “create a little bit of harmony between residential and commercial” components and assured City Council members that the center will not house a mattress store, smoothie shop or another commercial deli.

Hayes said the single-family homes will feature porches, be closer to the streets and have small side yards—a design aimed at fostering a “community feel.”

Dawlett said the concept includes a “multistory, full-service hotel that has a conference component” that possibly ties into a performing arts center, a project previously studied by city staff.

A consultant hired by the city reported there is a demand and need for this type of theater.

However, Dawlett said the hotel—"the caliber of a Hilton or Hyatt”—could work on its own without an adjacent performing arts center.

What happens next?

The next step will be for the project developers to submit a planned unit development, or PUD, document that lays out specific project designs and requirements to Lakeway staff. Dawlett said his company will be filing a PUD document within the next few months.