Cedar Park council votes on new shopping center incentives

On Nov. 12, Cedar Park City Council approved incentives for a new shopping center that could include retail and restaurants southwest of the intersection of Toll 183A and New Hope Drive.

The Parke, which will be anchored by Whole Foods 365, could open in 2017 and include 300,000 square feet of new commercial space on vacant land north of At Home in the Town Center plaza and south of the Cedar Park Center, according to city documents.

The project would cost at least $50 million, representatives from landowner Endeavor Real Estate Group said.

At an Oct. 8 City Council meeting, Charlie Northington, Endeavor Real Estate Group managing principal, said the center will bring retail that is "unique" to Cedar Park and Central Texas. Endeavor has many prospective tenants eager to be located in The Parke shopping center near Toll 183A, Northington said.

“This is going to be best in breed of retail tenants that are in the [Austin area],” he said.

However, Northington said Nov. 12 that he is not yet able to reveal the names of the businesses because of confidentiality agreements. He said Endeavor could announce the business names in mid-December.

“Some of these [businesses] will be their first locations in the state of Texas," Northington said during the Nov. 12 meeting.

On Nov. 6, Whole Foods announced plans to build at The Parke. Cedar Park will be the site for one of the Austin-based chain grocer’s first Whole Foods 365 stores, which will open in 2017. The 365 concept is intended as a smaller-scale version of Whole Foods’ larger stores and will include affordable products, Whole Foods representatives said.

Phil Brewer, city of Cedar Park's economic development director, said Nov. 10 that Whole Foods 365 will be a key anchor for The Parke.

“That is going to be indicative of the caliber and quality of the other tenants that you’re going to see in this development,” Brewer said.

On Nov. 12, City Council approved an ordinance amending sign requirements on The Parke's property. The ordinance allows for taller signs to more "easily be seen" from Toll 183A, Northington said during council's first reading of the ordinance Oct. 8.

City incentives

The two incentives Council approved for The Parke are worth a total of $3.5 million.

The first incentive will reimburse Endeavor up to $2 million throughout five years. The reimbursements will be drawn from new city revenue resulting from the new shopping center. Endeavor would get back its payments of one-fourth of the 2-cent sales taxes on the property as well as half of its payments of property taxes for The Parke.

The tax reimbursement incentive is based on metrics the developer needs to meet within a certain timeframe. Endeavor must develop The Parke project for at least $25 million by Aug. 31, 2017 and finish The Parke for a total of $50 million by Aug. 31, 2018.

A second city incentive will reimburse Endeavor for an additional amount, up to $1.5 million, for costs of construction such as water, sewer, drainage, roads and sidewalks. According to the proposed incentive agreement, Endeavor must finish the shopping center completely to receive the reimbursement in two halves—the first within three months, the second within six months.

The infrastructure reimbursement would come from the Cedar Park Community Development Corporation, or 4B Board. On Oct. 13, 4B members unanimously approved the agreement. The 4B board is funded by one-quarter of the city's 2-cent sales tax.

This story has been updated.


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