Developer pitches $1.2B Pflugerville project, The Pecan District

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Pflugerville City Council agreed to seek more information regarding a proposed $1.2 billion development called The Pecan District. The developer-owned 45-acre property is at the southwest corner of West Pecan Street and Heatherwilde Boulevard.

As presented, the proposed mixed-use development with multifamily residential, office and retail space would rely on a tax increment reinvestment zone to pay for $102.6 million for a civic building and structured parking and a municipal utility district for $15.5 million for 10 acres of outdoor civic improvements and underground infrastructure.

The rest of the project would be privately funded by the developer Presidium Group LLC, with property owner and developer Cid Galindo a partner on the project.

Austin-based Angelou Economics Chief Operating Officer David Wallace made the presentation to the City Council on Tuesday night, showing what the difference could be if the city chooses to help finance the project. Angelou Economics is another partner in The Pecan District.

“There is no financial risk to the city,” Wallace said, saying no bonds would be issued until the assets are built and are collecting tax revenue.

Wallace said the project would start with development of 260 multifamily units. Several phases of the project would take more than 10 years to develop. He also said The Pecan District is a tale of two developments depending on whether the city agrees to the investment with the TIRZ and MUD, both of which have been used successfully in Pflugerville, according to officials.

Without city help, the development would include 735 residential units, 194,000 square feet of office space and 84,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.

With the city’s investment, Wallace said the project would include structured parking, 1,208 residential units, 1.1 million square feet of office space, including a civic building, 300,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and 200 hotel rooms.

The presentation showed if the city partners with the financing options, office employment will have a capacity of 3,081 jobs, retail employment will add 329 jobs while hotel employment is estimated at 125 additional jobs.

City Council Member Mike Heath questioned why the city needed to be a part of the development at all.

“This is a great place to be,” Heath said. “A lot of businesses are coming in. Why are we subsidizing a developer?”

Heath asked questions about the return on investment that Wallace said would be answered in future talks with city officials.

“Those are discussions that will be handled in future meetings,” Wallace said after his presentation. “We will call and set up a meeting to discuss the details.”

Mayor Victor Gonzales said the city has looked at some form of this development for the last “10 or 11 years.”

“The property has been sitting there vacant,” Gonzales said, indicating a goal for the city is to develop its downtown. “But we don’t want to have it be a vacant piece of property.”

Wallace told the council he welcomes and expects the city to seek certain guarantees and milestones for the project, and a deep dive by the city’s financial adviser is a $50,000 expense the developer is willing to pay.

Council members said they needed more information than could come from a 30-minute presentation.

“It went the way I expected,” Wallace said after the meeting. “We look forward to providing the information on this project.”

3 comments
COMMENT
  1. While I am personally very excited about this project, the following statement has me very concerned and has taken the wind out of my sails.

    “project would start with development of 260 multifamily units”

    Why? This worries me that this development will be another case of the “gotcha Pflugerville.” Pflugerville doesn’t need another multi unit mega apartment complex, it needs a respectable quality of life that comes in the form of having retail and play space for the people that already live in this area to enjoy their free time with their families. What if this developer magically “runs out of money” after the mega apartment complex is built or finds some other legal loop to free themselves from the obligation of building retail space? Who else is going to want to build into that property? More mega plexes. Please no.

    Why not require the development to start with the retail portion first? Then at least, our community has a chance to get what we have been asking for, for over 10 years in this area, while the rest of it is built out. It will make living there more attractive for future residents as well. We don’t need 500+ more bored people in this area without anywhere to go. Please think this through, and throttle this project in a chronological way will best improve the lives of the residents that already live here and have money invested in this city. No subsidies without improving the lives of the residences that pay taxes in this city. In fact, no one should even be given the chance to buy period, unless proving that this is their first priority to align their goals and project timeline with the desires of the pf residents and city improvement projects. I don’t see step one of this project of building another mega apartment complex as being aligned with the expressed needs and improvements PF residents have been asking for or that the city has been promising. I personally see this as a red flag and hope it will be brought up at the next meeting. Thanks.

  2. The property is surrounded by Family Dollar stores, car washes, chain restaurants and auto parts stores, like the majority of Pflugerville. The HUGE red flag is the fact that it will “take over 10-years to build out” and it will be built in “several phases.” Based on that, my guess is that they would make much of their profit off the apartment complexes over 5+ years, then throw in a couple retail stores when they have extra money. This is no Domain. Its basically another massive apartment complex. Its like the guy from Hawaiian Falls who conned the City Council into thinking they were getting a year round resort with one of the countries best water parks. $1.2 Billion — what a joke.

  3. http://www.mediate.com/articles/cooley1.cfm

    While I am personally very excited about this project, the following statement has me very concerned and has taken the wind out of my sails. “project would start with development of 260 multifamily units” Why? This worries me that this development will be another case of the “gotcha Pflugerville.” Pflugerville doesn’t need another multi unit mega apartment complex, it needs a respectable quality of life that comes in the form of having retail and play space for the people that already live in this area to enjoy their free time with their families. What if this developer magically “runs out of money” after the mega apartment complex is built or finds some other legal loop to free themselves from the obligation of building retail space? Who else is going to want to build into that property? More mega plexes. Please no. Why not require the development to start with the retail portion first? Then at least, our community has a chance to get what we have been asking for, for over 10 years in this area, while the rest of it is built out. It will make living there more attractive for future residents as well. We don’t need 500+ more bored people in this area without anywhere to go. Please think this through, and throttle this project in a chronological way will best improve the lives of the residents that already live here and have money invested in this city. No subsidies without improving the lives of the residences that pay taxes in this city. In fact, no one should even be given the chance to buy period, unless proving that this is their first priority to align their goals and project timeline with the desires of the pf residents and city improvement projects. I don’t see step one of this project of building another mega apartment complex as being aligned with the expressed needs and improvements PF residents have been asking for or that the city has been promising. I personally see this as a red flag and hope it will be brought up at the next meeting. Thanks.

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Joe Warner

Joe Warner is managing editor of the eight Austin editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.

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