As more retail stores and restaurants open in Cedar Park and Leander, area residents may have fewer reasons to drive into another city to shop or dine.

At least seven shopping centers have opened or broken ground in the two cities during the past two years. Many of these new projects include a mix of businesses, such as doctor’s offices, liquor stores, gyms and local neighborhood services, and others include a variety of national and regional chain stores and restaurants.

Phil Brewer, Cedar Park economic development director, said the new centers usher in more opportunities for residents to shop locally, bringing economic benefits back to the community.

“Whenever we’re able to bring projects like this into the community that generate a substantial amount of new sales tax [revenue], it goes a long way in continuing to allow the city to expand the programs and services we offer while maintaining a very stable property tax rate,” he said.

Expanding options in Cedar Park
One anticipated development in Cedar Park is The Parke shopping center, a roughly 400,000-square-foot shopping center that will open in the spring. The center is located near East New Hope Drive and Toll 183A and is being developed by Endeavor Real Estate Group—the same developer behind The Domain in Northwest Austin and the 1890 Ranch shopping center in Cedar Park—and will offer several national outlets, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Old Navy, DSW and Nordstrom Rack.

Endeavor Principal Daniel Campbell said the real estate group wanted the shopping center to be located along Toll 183A in Cedar Park.

“We feel like [Toll] 183A has kind of become the lifeblood of a lot of Northwest Austin; it’s really become how people get to and from everything they do as far as work and play,” he said. “We felt like we had to be on [Toll] 183A, and where we are between New Hope  and [RM] 1431 was kind of ideal.” 

Along with retail, the development also adds several dining options along the Toll 183A frontage road, including Chuy’s Tex-Mex, Red Robin, Potbelly Sandwich Co., Freebird’s World Burrito and Starbucks. Campbell said The Parke is about 93 percent leased, and he said tenants will open their stores beginning in late March through June.

Campbell said Endeavor believed the stores would do well  in that area due to the success of 1890 Ranch across the toll road, and he said that center also gave Endeavor a good idea of which retailers to attract.

“We really felt like what was lacking from the intersection was soft goods, clothing, shoes, that kind of thing,” he said. “So we put a big emphasis on getting those types of users here. We tried to make sure the retailers we were targeting were the best in their respective fields across all the different categories, and I think that’s what we were able to achieve.”

Brewer said some of the retailers coming to The Parke are the first high-end department stores to come to the area.

“In The Parke, I think we’re looking at kind of the next level of some higher-end stores, particularly with Nordstrom Rack, DSW shoes, Dick’s, Field and Stream, and 365 stores by Whole Foods; those are kind of taking it to the next step up,” he said.

Another development down the toll road is Crosscreek Market at RM 1431 and Toll 183A. Phase 1 of the project is set to open in the spring, and the 37,000-square-foot center will include a Factory Mattress, Woodhouse Day Spa, Jamba Juice and The Grove restaurant, said Ryder Jeanes, senior vice president of The Retail Connection, the leasing agent of the property. He said his company is negotiating with two other restaurants, a pet-oriented retailer and two personal service businesses.

Along with The Parke, Crosscreek Market will add to the growing list of retail options in the area between Parmer Lane and Toll 183A along RM 1431, which includes H-E-B, The Home Depot, Costco, Target and Wal-Mart.

“We’re not only expanding, but we’re diversifying the amount of options that our citizens have to shop,” Brewer said. “Hopefully by expanding that we’re able to keep more sales tax dollars in the community because there are more things that our citizens can buy here instead of having to go outside of town.”

Developments in Leander
In Leander, the Crystal Falls Town Center opened in November at the southwest corner of Lakeline Boulevard and Crystal Falls Parkway with 93,683 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The center is anchored by a Randalls grocery store, and other stores include GNC, Orangetheory Fitness, Tomlinson’s Feed, Jack Brown Cleaners and Cost Cutters.

Todd Anderton, the vice president of marketing with Cypress Equities, said Leander was an ideal choice for the center due to the city’s population growth and income demographics.

Leander Economic Development Director Mark Willis said the development of the center has been anticipated for a while, and he said it is expected to be successful in its location.

Another Leander development could bring more eatery options to the city. Cold Springs Marketplace, a 52,000-square-foot development, opened in the summer on Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Monique Rivera, a commercial agent with Don Quick & Associates, which is leasing the center, said Super Donuts and Chinese fast-casual restaurant Woks It 2 U have signed leases, and her agency is searching to add more restaurants to the available space.

Non-restaurant tenants include Best Brains Learning Center, the dentistry office of Dr. Truly Nguyen, Fantastic Sams, Tammy’s Nails and Wrinkle Free Med Spa. The center is also in lease negations with a Yoga Fit, Rivera said.

Future developments
Rivera said the developer chose the location along Ronald Reagan because the area has the most new homes in the region. Willis said several other developers are keeping their eyes on the Cold Springs Marketplace, as it could be a catalyst for future development along Ronald Reagan.

“We’re kind of watching it to see how fast it does fill up, and then [we will]be watching real closely to see how it retains [businesses] down there,” he said. “That’ll tell us a lot about how fast we can expect things to march forward up Reagan to the north.”

A handful of other future projects could also add a mix of retail and dining options to the area. Presidio, a mixed-use project planned  at Parmer and Ranch Trails Court, will include a 24,000-square-foot retail center in its first phase, said Chris Whitworth with Cordova Real Estate Ventures. The center, called the Shops at Presidio, will have a restaurant-centric design and will begin construction in the beginning of 2017, he said.

At the intersection of Parmer/Ronald Reagan and RM 1431 will sit Arbor Park, a 150,000-square-foot project expected to open in the second quarter of 2017, said Matt Kenyon, a partner and developer with Core One Commercial, the developer and leasing agent. He said Core One has signed a mattress company, and other desired tenants include a grocery store, restaurants, a gym,  hair and nail salons, and health care services.

In terms of other future shopping centers, Brewer said some developers have looked around the city and had conversations about possible developments, but no concrete plans have yet been submitted to the city. As these retail and dining hubs pop up in the area, he said developers planning for future projects are likely to build on what is already available.

“It’s kind of a stair step, so each time we do one of these [shopping centers], the vision is the next one we do we’ll be able to add onto what we’ve already done in the past and make it that much better,” Brewer said.