Round Rock City Council approved a planned unit development agreement Jan. 11 with the e-commerce conglomerate Amazon, pushing forward the development of property near Round Rock West.

What’s happening

After over a year's pause on plans for the roughly 150-acre tract of land off CR 172, Amazon submitted a request for annexation into Round Rock city limits, coupled with a PUD application detailing plans for the property.

The PUD application cites plans for a warehouse distribution center, which was included in the original PUD request file in 2022, as well as new language that includes parameters for a data center and substation on the property.

However, Amazon does not currently have any official plans for the development of a data center on the land.

The warehouse and distribution center alone is estimated to bring $250 million in real property improvements and roughly 150-200 jobs to the city, according to Amazon Senior Manager Jessica Breaux.

A result of the annexation and PUD approval will hold Amazon to a higher standard of land development than previously required when regulated by the county in extraterritorial jurisdiction, according to city staff.

The city’s standards include setback requirements, landscaping, lighting and building height.

The PUD agreement restricts uses for the land to only a warehouse, distribution center, data center and substation. If any other uses are desired in the future, Amazon must submit an amendment to the PUD and proceed through the city process.

What they’re saying

Amazon has worked with the neighboring community at length, conducting, in conjunction with the city, a total of eight meetings for the Greater Round Rock West Neighborhood Association and Chisholm Valley between 2021-23.

“In my personal opinion, and I have sat here for 12 years, this developer has met with the neighborhood way more than any other developer in the 12 years on [community] needs,” Mayor Craig Morgan said.

Though zoning requirements stipulate a maximum building height of 60 feet at this location, Amazon has reduced the plans for the building height to only 45 feet.

Noise and lighting requirements have also been more restricted on this project than is typically displayed for similar projects in other locations, according to city staff.

Looking ahead

Construction of the warehouse and distribution facility will begin by the end of 2024 and is estimated to be operational by the end of 2025.

Amazon is currently working with the city’s transportation department to conduct a traffic analysis for CR 172. Once results have been analyzed, infrastructure improvements can move forward.

A preliminary estimate from Amazon’s presentation to City Council indicates improvements will include new traffic signals, a shared-use path, and a potential realignment of the CR 172 and McNeil intersection.