The first phase of Northline, a mixed-use project planned for Leander, could bring a town square to the city.
Mayor Troy Hill announced June 19 the first phase of Northline will include 1.3 acres of “urban civic space” called Leander Town Square, according to a press release from the city.
“Leander Town Square will be the focal point of our new downtown,” Hill said in the release.
While this public space is anticipated to be included in Northline, the city has not yet approved a final design, according to the release.
A new city hall could be adjacent to the civic space, city spokesperson Mike Neu told Community Impact Newspaper. City Council will discuss possible locations for a new city hall during a retreat meeting June 21-22.
Northline is proposed to be a walkable development that provides retail, housing, hotel, business, restaurant and civic space. The city agreed to a public-private partnership with Northline ownership to fund part of the infrastructure in June 2018. This includes $15 million in bonds for public improvements, such as streets, sidewalks, utilities, drainage and parks.
Alex Tynberg, developer and owner of Northline Leander Development LLC, said that his design team and the city have been working together to program what the civic space, which would be in the middle of the Northline project, would look like.
“Rather than it be a park, we feel it’s more suitable to serve as a town square, which has sort of a better interrelationship with commercial businesses that are going to surround the civic space,” Tynberg told Community Impact Newspaper June 20.
Tynberg said the 1.3 acres could have a pavilion and stage for community events, a big lawn area, a fountain or water feature, public bathrooms, benches and trees. He said he anticipates the space would be used for festivals or farmers markets.
“Separately, we hope the city will want to move city hall to Northline,” Tynberg said. “That will be in a separate block in a location nearby.”
Northline is 115 acres and located in Leander’s transit-oriented-development. The project is south of San Gabriel Parkway between US 183 and Toll 183A. The TOD district is intended to encourage pedestrian-friendly growth. It includes projects such as Austin Community College’s San Gabriel campus, St. David’s Emergency Center and Capital Metro’s Leander Station.
Tynberg said Northline will be built in phases, as projects of this caliber often are, and could take 10-15 years to be completely built out. The project could be valued at $800 million, he said.
Tynberg said he plans to begin horizontal construction, such as roads and utilities, for the first phase later this year.
“Residential and commercial projects we are expecting after that,” he said. “I expect we can make some announcements next year as far as what’s coming out of the ground.”
Lincoln Property Company, an international real estate firm based in Dallas, has been brought on to oversee planning, marketing and vertical commercial development in Northline.