City Council OKs $12.5 million for parking garage, conference center development

City Council approved an ordinance Dec. 10 to amend The Summit at Rivery Park planned unit development district as well as several agreements with Novak Brothers and Hines Georgetown Hotel LLC regarding the development.

The project includes 114 single-family townhomes known as The Brownstone at The Summit as well as a $64 million hotel and conference center with a 16,000-square-foot ballroom and public parking garage.

The council agreed to pay $12.5 million for the parking garage as well as transportation and infrastructure improvements and other public improvements on the site.

City Attorney Bridget Chapman said the city plans to issue $8 million for the parking garage, Rivery Park improvements and other eligible project costs. The first issuance of $6 million is expected in October 2014, and a second of $2 million could be made in October 2015. The hotel, conference center and garage must be completed by Dec. 31, 2015.

"Once we have all of the agreements approved, there will be a little bit of time to let the developer bring their financing commitment and the operating agreement and so forth, but once they do that they can start the next day," Chapman told the council.

Additional funding for public improvements and roadways include $4.5 million from the Georgetown Economic Development Corp. and $750,000 from the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp. The remaining costs, up to $3.5 million, will be paid by the developer, Chapman said.

The more than $16 million of improvements are eligible to be reimbursed from taxes generated by increased property value in the development's Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, she said.

Within the zone, property taxes the city and county collect are capped at what the assessed property value was when the zone became effective in 2008. Taxes collected above that point go into a fund for projects within the zone's boundaries.

Williamson County committed 80 percent of its property tax increment collected in the zone back into the TIRZ fund, and the city committed all of its tax increment, according to the agreement.

As a result of the Dec. 10 council-approved TIRZ amendments, the zone gained an additional 8.33 acres of land, and the city or TIRZ board is allowed to incentivize additional development through economic development agreements. Council also extended the terms of the TIRZ until Dec. 31, 2041.

Plans for the development also include retail and commercial space as well as high-end multifamily apartments.

At a later meeting, City Council is expected to consider three other agreements, including a lease agreement between the city and Hines Georgetown Hotel LLC for the use, operation and maintenance of the parking garage and conference center, Chapman said.