Lexus of Austin set to build first service and sales facility in Lakeway

Dealership proposed at RR 620 and Clara Van St. intersection

Vicki Roberts Howard, Lexus of Austin's dealer principal, announced July 17 that the high-end automotive company will be opening a second location, Lexus of Lakeway, on approximately 20 acres at the northwest corner of the intersection of RR 620 and Clara Van Street in Lakeway.

A new traffic signal is planned for the intersection, and the project is part of a larger, 39-acre plot. Lexus may later develop the additional land as a destination site with high-end retail and restaurants, according to a July news release.

Currently zoned as commercial C-1, which does not include car dealerships among its uses, Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said the city is working on a draft to amend its zoning ordinance to accommodate the construction of the facility.

"There is no classification now [in city ordinances] to allow a car dealership," Jones said. "When the zoning ordinances were written, no one anticipated there would be a dealership in Lakeway. We didn't even have a grocery store then."

Following nine months of market study, Lakeway was chosen by the car manufacturer as the site for its Customer Convenience Operation facility because of the number of Lexus owners in the area as well as anticipated growth in the RR 620 corridor, the release said. More than 5,000 current customers are in the Lakeway area, and the store will help reduce their travel time and offer a convenient location for services, the release said.

"I am excited about the possibility of the Customer Convenience Operation coming to the Lakeway area, not only because I see it as a need for our residents, but also [because] there is the opportunity of generating additional employment and sales tax revenue [for] the city, which will be very welcomed," Lakeway Mayor Dave DeOme said.

Jones said that the new store will be split evenly between customer service and sales.

The site will feature lights muted to a level below what is normally allowed by the city, limited parking areas for the display of new cars as Lexus is trying to preserve trees on the tract, Jones said.

Lexus administrators met with neighbors of the future site July 16, and the dealership's plans were well received, Jones said.

"The Lakeway community has long been a loyal supporter of Lexus of Austin, and we are pleased to show our appreciation by bringing our world-class services to their neighborhood," Howard said in the release. "Our goal is to offer our guests the time-saving convenience of a local destination, complete with the amenities of the Lexus ownership experience."

The resort-style facility, targeted for a late 2014 opening, will employ about 50 staffers, feature a natural stone exterior, a luxury retail boutique and full-service barista bar, the release said.