The vacant, rusted Gypsum Supply building located near the Union Pacific Corp. rail line on Bagdad Avenue in downtown Round Rock will soon be a memory.
The 3.7-acre lot on which the building stands is the future site for an urban living community set to break ground later this year, bringing new residents within a stone’s throw of downtown Round Rock.
David Foor, vice president of land acquisition with Houston-based developer InTown Homes, said the objective of the project is to produce a contemporary urban community that blends seamlessly with the current portrait of downtown Round Rock. The 80-unit townhome community will feature an exterior composed of limestone, steel and glass that marries modern urban living with the surrounding historic district.
And the city of Round Rock thinks the development will provide a unique opportunity for people to live in Round Rock who may not be looking for the suburban feel of existing communities.
“Someone that would purchase one of these townhomes would like the ability to get up in the morning and walk right out the door and go to Star Coffee Texas for coffee and breakfast, and go to Fire in the Hole for dinner,” said Brad Wiseman, director of planning and development for the city of Round Rock. “You can see the units they construct, not only the exterior, but when you look at the floor plan and the layout, and the finishes and all the things that they use, it’s that contemporary style that is different from what we have in Round Rock.”
Michelle Ly, owner of The Rock Sports Bar & Grill and The Alcove Cantina in downtown Round Rock said she hopes that residents of the future townhomes do just that. She said the townhomes could diversify the clientele of downtown Round Rock retail and entertainment spots, and that the residences are a step in a positive direction.
“I am very excited,” Ly said. “The growth is amazing down here, and I’m really glad that the city is supporting the forward thinking of how to keep people in Round Rock—they don’t have to go to Austin to be entertained; we have things to do here, and I think the townhomes play into that plan.”
As part of the city’s continuing downtown development plan, the transportation department is in the process of initiating construction on McNeil Road, extending it just north of the railway in downtown, providing a southern border to the townhome community. Although the McNeil extension has slowed the progress of the townhome development, Foor is confident that construction on the homes will begin in the third or fourth quarter of this year.