A final design will soon take shape for Downtown East, a 29-acre mixed-use development in Pflugerville that will expand the city’s downtown.

After several months of planning, Pflugerville City Council on Jan. 10 selected a master developer for the project: a pair of development firms called Griffin Swinnerton/Catellus.

Downtown East will include a combination of commercial and residential buildings that will be determined during the design process.

Two elements are already set in stone: a new City Hall facility and a multigenerational recreation center.

“We’ve consistently heard the message from the community to create a place that is vibrant and engaging and fiscally sustainable,” Assistant City Manager Emily Barron said.

Components of the project

Residents approved the 120,000-square-foot recreation center in a 2020 election, when voters passed a $47.3 million bond for a recreation and senior center.

In November, council approved amenities for the center including four basketball courts, a leisure water facility with lap lanes and a large weight room.

Meanwhile, the new City Hall will be a 93,000-square-foot facility that will replace the existing City Hall on East Main Street.

City materials indicate the development could also include up to 250,000 square feet of combined retail and office space, 500 residential units and possibly a hotel.

The development will connect to Pflugerville’s existing trail network and include an extension of Main Street that will run through the center of the Pfluger Tract.

Tripp Wiggins, co-owner of The Victory Tap, a sports bar and grill that opened in November just west of the development, said he is looking forward to the coming growth but also wants to see what new information comes out.

“In addition to [Downtown East], I hope they focus on the businesses that have been here forever as well as the new businesses like us that have been bringing people to the area already,” Wiggins said.

Design timeline

The concept for Downtown East evolved following a 2018 city staff needs assessment. In December 2021, the city purchased the Pfluger Tract—located at the northwest corner of FM 685 and Pecan Street—and put together conceptual designs for the project using public input.

Barron said the design process will likely take around a year, during which time the city will continue collecting public input to guide the process.

Barron said the city aims to break ground on Downtown East in mid-2024 and deliver on the City Hall and recreation center portions in 2026.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done before we break ground ... from establishing the exclusive negotiating agreements and development agreement to a planned unit development on the property and all the other entitlements that go along with it,” Barron said.