The Bee Cave City Council voted Oct 26 to approve property assessments on future property owners within the 35-acre The Backyard multiuse development to pay back public development bonds.

Dollars generated by the assessments and bonds would fund $18.38 million in infrastructure construction, such as roads and utilities, needed to complete the multiuse project. If fully constructed just west of Bee Cave's Central Park, The Backyard would include a 3,700-seat amphitheater, a dance hall, hotel and retail shopping.

Before unanimously approving the assessments, Bee Cave council members also heard from its team of financial advisors about the marketing of the tax-exempt bonds to the investment community and that three institutional investors, including Goldman Sachs, have placed orders. The issuance of the bonds are part of the Backyard Public Improvement District (PID) that the council voted to create in October 2020.

Arranging and approving the complex set of financing is a significant reason that The Backyard development has yet to begin, said Christi Van Rite, co-manager of JPD Backyard Finance LLC, which is developing the project. The target date for construction to begin is Q1 2022 with the public likely to see activity on the site beginning in January 2022, Van Rite said.

While the city of Bee Cave voted to apply the assessments, the general public is not affected by the assessments, and those assessments would only be paid by the property owners within the PID, according to city documents.

City's first capital improvement plan approved

In other business, Bee Cave City Council voted unanimously to approve its first Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which sets a roadmap for the design, financing and construction of major infrastructure improvements over the next five years. The $103.5 million dollar plan can be financed in various ways, including the proposed issuance of debt by the city of Bee Cave and the Bee Cave Economic Development Board.

Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza said to council members that much of the first year of the plan will be spent designing projects, which fall under the categories of road improvements, pedestrian pathways and facility improvements. Notable projects that have been proposed by the plan include the city's participation in the southern extension of Willie Way to Hwy. 71, a possible pedestrian bridge spanning Hwy. 71, a new police headquarters and possible relocation of Bee Cave City Hall.

Debt issued by city's capital plan would not increase property taxes or have a major impact to Bee Cave financial operations, according to city documents.