Cedar Park reviews plans for second Walmart

Rezoning plans for a second Walmart were presented to the Cedar Park City Council at its July 12 meeting.

Walmart announced in December plans to build a new superstore at the northwest corner of FM 1431 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard. Construction on the 180,000-square-foot retail building is expected to begin in January, with the store tentatively scheduled to open in early 2014, according to Henry Gilmore, Walmart's land use lawyer from Dubois, Bryant and Campbell LLP in Austin.

The new Walmart superstore will employ 300 people and feature an efficient and environmentally friendly design, Gilmore told the council.

The project has city staff and Planning and Zoning Commission approval, Cedar Park Planning Director Rawls Howard said. The building will have a much more contemporary design than the original Walmart on Bell Boulevard, he said.

The project's plans were submitted before the City Council approved new big-box development standards June 28, but Walmart developers still attempted to meet many of the design expectations outlined in the new ordinance, Howard said.

"They tried to design the store as close to standards as possible," he said, estimating the blueprint is 75–80 percent in compliance. "Technically, they didn't have to meet those standards to begin with."

The project drew concern from nearby neighbors Sharon and Roland Krienke, who each spoke at the July 12 public hearing. They each voiced safety concerns, both traffic and criminal.

"I'm against 24-hour stores," Sharon Krienke said. "I just think there's a high crime rate that goes along with these stores."

Gilmore said Walmart has not settled on keeping the new Walmart open at all hours, but store officials would prefer to do so.

"We're in a competitive business, and we want to be able to compete," he said, using the H-E-B across the road from the proposed location as an example of nearby competition.

Aside from a right-turn-only entrance and exit along Ronald Reagan Boulevard, a new traffic signal is expected to be placed at FM 1431 and Market Street to help accommodate traffic in and out of the proposed store. The added traffic will create an especially congested intersection, Roland Krienke told the council.

"I guarantee you five years from now, that's going to make a tremendous traffic jam between Market [Street] and [FM] 1431, and nobody even seems to be concerned," he said.

Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell said he has voiced opposition in the past over having a traffic signal at Market Street, but the pending development likely makes it "unavoidable."

The City Council did not act on the first hearing to rezone 29.68 acres from development reserve to general retail conditional overlay. A second hearing will be held at the July 26 meeting.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


MOST RECENT

Sade Fashokun was sworn in as a Leander ISD trustee Oct. 21. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Sade Fashokun sworn in to Leander ISD board

Fashokun has served in PTA leadership, on the School Health Advisory Committee and on the Bond Oversight Committee, according to the district. 

Brandon Cardwell, the district's executive director of facilities and construction, addressed the PfISD board during an Oct. 21 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bohls Middle School within PfISD slated for late December completion

Brandon Cardwell, the district's executive director of facilities and construction, said during the district's Oct. 21 board meeting that much work is still needed on the campus, but he is encouraged by the pace at which crews are operating.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Homes are under construction in the Cross Creek development near 183A Toll in Cedar Park. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cedar Park, Leander home sales slow in September

September home sales in Leander decreased 43% from 2020, but the average price reached $503,497—a 34% year-over-year increase.

Rodeo stock image
Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo ready to open gates Oct. 21 after coronavirus delay

After the inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo was postponed in 2020, county and fair officials said they are excited to kick off the agricultural celebration.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Black Rock Coffee Bar's menu features Americanos, drip coffees, cold brews, specialty lattes, teas and smoothies. (Courtesy Black Rock Coffee Bar)
4 businesses coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Barton Springs Pool reopens and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Williamson County Commissioners hope to vote on a new county precinct map before the end of November. The redistricting process comes after the county saw an explosion of population growth from 2010-20, according to census numbers. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Officials look to make new Williamson County precinct map available to public in early November

Williamson County will redraw its commissioner precinct map after the county saw a 44% growth in population over the past decade.

Perky Beans Cafe is located next to the coffee shop at 2080 US 183, Ste. 220, Leander. (Courtesy Perky Beans Cafe)
Perky Beans Cafe open for breakfast, lunch in north Leander

The cafe menu includes pancakes, omelets, eggs Benedict, sandwiches, mimosas and more.

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: New H-E-B in Leander opening soon; Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 18.