Plans for last large, undeveloped tract in Lakeway revealed

A new mixed-use community is slated to open in Lakeway.

A new mixed-use community is slated to open in Lakeway.

Although an estimated project completion date is 5-7 years down the road, developer Haythem Dawlett told Lakeway City Council members Feb. 14 his proposal for a planned development district encompassing Lakeway’s last large land tract is slated to include walkable residential and commercial projects centered around a city park as well as possibly a performing arts center.

The new Lakeway project will include a hotel and possibly a performing arts center. The new Lakeway project will include a hotel and possibly a performing arts center.park as well as a possible performing arts center.[/caption]

Dawlett owns Legend Communities, the development company that is under contract to purchase a 78-acre tract of land—bordered by RR 620, Lohmans Crossing and Rolling Green Drive—from the Lakeway Municipal Utility District.

The project’s site plan boasts public and open spaces extending off the central park space that will serve as the development’s “community heart,” said Thomas Kopf, director of planning for DTJ Design, the developer’s community design consultant.

Trail and sidewalk connections will emanate from the park to other open spaces, he said. Additional amenities for the community may include an amphitheater at which various diverse programs and events can take place—such as farmer’s markets, pop up retail, charity runs, parades and festivals—as well as smaller gathering places with benches and barbecue grills, Kopf said. The residential architecture will vary and include homes facing green spaces to provide a safe play area for children, he said. Street design within the community will include shared parking and reduced traffic volumes, he said.

Legend Communities proposed single family attached housing for its new project bordered by RR 620, Lohmans Crossing and Rolling Green Drive in Lakeway. Legend Communities proposed single family attached housing for its new project bordered by RR 620, Lohmans Crossing and Rolling Green Drive in Lakeway.[/caption]

“[The community] is not about cars, it’s about people,” Kopf said. “Everyday life happens on the street, and that’s how we make these places come alive.”

Two developments within the community will be restricted to residents age 55 and older, and the entire site will have a broad range of housing price points, said Bill Hayes, chief operating officer at Legend Communities.

In the next three weeks, Legend will be working on the draft of the community’s Planned Unit Development, or PUD, he said. A PUD provides the blueprint for the development including the type of materials to be used, building height, density and other similar restrictions and guidelines.

“That’s our big focus coming out of this [meeting] so we can come back to [City] Council with that [information],” Hayes said.

The city and developer have performed studies on the viability of a performing arts center, and Hayes said Legend wants to better understand what it can do to contribute to its viability and works in the overall scheme of the project.

Site plans proposed for the project include a pedestrian mall. Site plans proposed for the project include a pedestrian mall.[/caption]

"We told Lakeway people they would have input as to whether they would want [a performing arts center] so maybe, in your market research, you could find out if people want this," Council Member Ron Massa said. "And, they may not because of traffic issues."

Legend has 78 acres of land currently under contract with the Lakeway MUD but is working with an adjacent property owner to pick up another seven acres for the development, Hayes said. The plan includes about 600,000 square feet dedicated to commercial and retail space, 300 residential units and an additional 210 age-restricted senior apartments that already exists in a PUD providing senior living, he said.

Assuming the PUD zoning is approved within the next two or three months, Dawlett said the project can break ground at the start of 2018, and his team will be able to begin delivering sites within 12-14 months.

“Our optimum plan is to be finished in 5-7 years,” he said.