Universal City City Council on April 16 approved multiple ordinances and resolutions for the sale and rezoning of 43-acres of land located at Loop 1604 and Kitty Hawk Road, behind the H-E-B and Walmart.

The details

According to agenda documents, the Economic Development Corporation and City Council selected Reunion Development Partners to move forward with the development in 2022.

The development could include:
  • General and medical office space
  • Hotel
  • Open spaces
  • Multifamily
  • Senior living
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
Michael Cassata, Universal City development services and economic development director, said the market will dictate the uses for each section of the development.

The site plan presented to City Council included eight lots, with two lots focused on providing private open spaces that can be used by the public.

Cassata said the project will also include access points from Loop 1604, Kitty Hawk Road, Byrd Boulevard and Universal City Boulevard. Roads throughout the development are expected to include areas on each side of the roadway to be used for walking and biking.

What they’re saying

Prior to City Council approving the resolutions and ordinances, a public hearing was held to give residents the opportunity to voice concerns and opinions about the development.

Residents raised concerns about traffic, open space, police and fire services.

Resident Bernard Rubal said he is concerned about the loss of commercial uses with the updated zoning and how much of the tax burden would be added to the city.

“The point of having commercial areas, of course, is to reduce property taxes for residents. That is one of the primary reasons,” Rubal said.

Rubal also mentioned that the area around Northlake was recently listed as a 10-acre park in the Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Master Plan.

Meeting highlights

During the meeting, Cassata explained that while the development will generate traffic, the nearby roads will have the level of service required to meet traffic growth when the development is at full build-out.

City Manager Kim Turner said that the city looked back at calls and services for apartment complexes and heavy traffic areas around the city to determine the need for police and fire in the new development.

With this data, Turner said that the new project would likely result in a 2%-3% increase in call volume, which may require hiring additional police and fire staff in the future.

Items worth mentioning

Public Works Director Randy Luensmann said that the linear park aspect of the project and the acreage of the lake would still give a park area for residents.

The green spaces within the development will be privately owned but open to the public, Turner said.

To address questions regarding the loss of sales tax revenue due to the loss of commercial zoning, council member Steven Buck said offers for full retail developments were not being presented to the city, and the mixed-use development planned would bring in residents who pay indirect property taxes through renting alongside retail areas that will generate sales tax.

“Two years ago, I would have loved to have a developer come to us and say they want to put in a huge whatever that was going to bring in for Universal City the type of revenue that Home Depot and Costco and IKEA bring in for our sister communities,” Buck said. “The reality is, however, we’re not getting those offers.”

The final reading for agenda items tied to the development is scheduled for the May 7 City Council meeting.