Georgetown City Council gave preliminary approval to rezone the site of the former McCoy Elementary School during its Aug. 23 meeting after hearing developers’ plans to bring a mixed-use destination to the area.
The site—about 15 acres of land located at the intersection of Williams Drive, Rivery Boulevard and Park Lane—is seen as a “catalytic” site by city staff and City Council as they hope to realize the redevelopment plans included in the Williams Drive Gateway Plan.
The ordinance City Council approved on first reading would rezone the site from single-family residential to a planned unit development, or PUD, with commercial and multifamily zoning.
Partners Capital, the developer and owners of the property, is proposing a mixed-use development with commercial, residential, retail and office uses, according to city documents.
“It’s a very special project near and dear to our hearts,” said Julie Ward, Partners Capital vice president of development. “We believe that a great development can also bring very cool spaces to the users of Georgetown, which is one of things we strive to do if this approval goes through.”
The site plan presented includes commercial and retail uses along Williams and on both sides of Rivery with the high-density residential building on the eastern portion of the development.
Partners Capital asked to deviate from the city’s development code, proposing a 35-foot maximum height for the commercial buildings and a 60-foot maximum height for the multifamily component. Georgetown’s code has the maximum heights for these particular commercial and multifamily zones as 60 feet and 45 feet, respectively.
Ward said potential tenants at the development include boutique grocers, local Austin-based restaurants, common general goods retailers and unique destination businesses.
The site will also have a centralized green space located between the commercial and multifamily uses as well as a main thoroughfare through the development connecting Williams and Rivery and a parking garage for the multifamily building.
City Council’s vote Aug. 23 goes against the Georgetown Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation to deny the request, according to city documents.
“When I read this proposal, I was very enthused with what [the developers] were doing,” Council Member Mike Triggs said. “I was kind of surprised at the end when I read that it was actually turned down [by the commission]. I don’t know what you could put in there that would be better, and certainly this site should be developed because it's a gateway site.”
The rezoning ordinance will come back before council for second and final approval Sept. 13.