If all goes according to plan, the City of Lakeway will see the start of a new town center encompassing a customized grocery store, dine-in theater, shopping and possibly a hotel as early as 2015.
On May 10, developer William H. "Beau" Armstrong III, president and Chairman of the Board at Stratus Properties, confirmed that the $50 million project will be anchored by H-E-B, a Texas-based grocer, at Glen Heather Drive and RR 620 in Lakeway.
"Lakeway's been a target market for H-E-B for some time," Armstrong said. "It's an ideal site, not just for H-E-B but to create a town center for Lakeway."
After spending some time in the Lakeway area researching the type of store which local customers would value, H-E-B sought out the West Austin site for its upcoming build, said Leslie Sweet, director of public affairs for H-E-B. Sweet said that although no decision has been made regarding the format of the H-E-B, the new grocery store will be custom designed and built for the area, similar to what the company has done with its new Mueller development store.
"We're going to create something specifically for Lakeway," Sweet said of the store's footprint which is about 90,000 square feet. "The store will enable residents to keep more of their tax dollars in their community and schools."
Sweet said that the new Glen Heather store will be a "fresh powerhouse" with healthy living and 'to go' options for busy families. Sweet expects construction of the Lakeway H-E-B to begin in late 2014, with an anticipated opening in 2015.
Town center to add to city's economic growth
A Lakeway town center plan has been in the works for years, said Laura Mitchell, president of the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce.
"We always want to see sound economic growth that spurs the economy with jobs and more amenities for our community," Mitchell said.
The town center will house retail shops and multiple restaurants. The movie theater tenant has not been confirmed yet and single family housing targeted to seniors, patio homes, may also be included in the buildout, Armstrong said.
"The idea is that it [town center] would function as a traditional downtown as most cities have," said Chessie Zimmerman, City of Lakeway Deputy City Manager. Zimmerman said that the entire proposal includes land which was originally owned by the Wunneberger family and encompasses the Glen Heather subdivision as well. Zimmerman said that the area will be built out as a "Main Street-type development", offering more accessible public spaces.
Zimmerman is working with Stratus on rezoning requirements for the property which is currently designated as R6, agriculture residential, and Ag, agriculture.
"Lakeway is a very attractive market for these retailers—it's growing and affluent," Armstrong said.
Armstrong said that the 250,000 square foot project will be walkable, accessible by bike or golf cart and include open spaces but not have a strip center feel. Stratus will be seeking an LEED certification denoting the project's green build.