Cedar Park - Leander | July 2021

CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION

2021 R E A L E S T A T E E D I T I O N

ONLINE AT

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 3  JULY 7AUG. 11, 2021

Increasingly expensive Central Texas real estatemarket continues to drive rapid sprawl

Average above-list margin for home sales in the Austin metro from May 3-30. From 2017 to late 2020, sales and list prices were traditionally nearly equal. SOURCE: AUSTIN BOARD OF REALTORS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 9.17%

INSIDE

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IMPACTS

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REAL ESTATE EDITION 2021

SPONSORED BY • Brohn Homes • Ja-Mar Roong & Sheet Metal

MARKET AT A GLANCE

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

Leander council questions city’s future with Capital Metro

$7.8MILLION How much Capital Metro received in sales tax revenue from Leander last year through the 1% sales tax levied for service. This is separate from the 6.25% state and 1% city sales taxes.

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

moved to their current home in Oak Creek because it is across from Lean- der Station. Her commute is about one hour compared to a three-hour roundtrip commute if she drove. Without rail service, Daly would pay about

Forty-two Leander voters said “yes” to Capital Metro in 1985. Then, 491 of 738 voters chose to continue services in 2000, according to the city. Leander voters, once again, may have the choice whether to stay in or leave Capital Metro services. But resi- dents, city leaders and council mem- bers all have questions about what the exit means nancially and for the city’s future. Mara Daly relies on Capital Metro rail service to commute to and from work in downtown Austin. Daly, a Leander resident since 2012, said her family

BUSINESS FEATURE

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LEANDER

$600 per month for a downtown parking space, she said, or her family would consider moving out of Lean- der near a MetroRail station.

SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 34

DINING FEATURE

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • JULY 2021

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We have a new test where we are comparing the performance of these two technologies side by side.” -EH Does HESOLAR install batteries? “Yes, HESOLAR is a certified installer of the Tesla Powerwall. With the Tesla Powerwall, a solar pv system can continue to operate in the event of a power outage. The Powerwalls can be added now or retrofitted to a system in the future without replacing existing equipment. This year we added Tesla Powerwalls to the test array and will continue to make suggestions based on our findings.” -DH What makes HESOLAR different from their competitors? “We have many answers to that question. The most common feedback we get is that our customers value working directly with Derrick and I from start to finish. Customers also have our direct contact after installation. On the sales side, we don’t knock on doors and we don’t push the sell, we just educate. Behind the scenes is where we really differentiate ourselves. Derrick and I have been Master Electricians for over 10 years, and we’re NABCEP Certi- fied Solar Installation Professionals. We lead our team through the design, installation, and warranty of your system. We don’t subcontract our labor and we use the highest quality materials available. Below is a table we use to display the differences between HESOLAR and our competitors.” -EH

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMDENISE: At Community Impact Newspaper , our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. I will occasionally mention this in my note from time to time because it is so important that we not forget that. We always want to keep our mission top of mind. That is why it is so important to write about issues such as health care, education and our local real estate economy. This month we are not only highlighting the state of our local real estate market, but we are also reporting on Capital Metro and where the citizens of Leander along with council members stand on the issue. Just like back in 1985 when Capital Metro was voted in by local residents, there is a possibility that the decision for these services will be in the community’s hands once again. You can read more about this topic in our front- page story, and I truly hope you continue to keep up with this developing story and stay informed. Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

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MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Denise Seiler REPORTER Taylor Girtman GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chance Flowers ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Beth Burton METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney

BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JULY 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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First Citizens Bank

Raising Cane’s

COURTESY FIRST CITIZENS BANK

COURTESY RAISING CANE’S

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in Austin, Round Rock and West Lake Hills. The new branch is located at 1901 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. 737-843-3727. www.rstcitizens.com 4 Milano Pizza opened its second area location in Cedar Park on May 18. The pizzeria, located at 251 N. Bell Blvd., Ste. 117, Cedar Park, serves specialty pizzas, subs, calzones, wings and more. Orders can be placed in person or by phone. The restaurant’s rst location is on Stassney Lane in South Austin. 512-770-1400. www.milanopizzaaustin.com 5 Mo’s Best Eatery opened in April on Bell Boulevard in Cedar Park, according to its Facebook page. The restaurant is operating with a limited drive-thru menu of burgers and fries at 325 N. Bell Blvd. It is closed Mondays. 512-382-6887. http://mosbesteatery.com 6 A second Cedar Park location of Raising Cane’s opened June 29 at 2920 S. Lakeline Blvd. near the Lakeline Mall. The restaurant replaced the PDQ restau- rant that closed in 2019. This is the 10th Austin-area location. The rst Cedar Park location opened in 2012 on East Whites- tone Boulevard. www.raisingcanes.com 7 Regios Tacos al Vapor in May opened its second Austin-area restaurant at 10001 W. Parmer Lane, Austin. The restaurant serves several Mexican dishes, including street tacos, tacos Tlaque- paque, tacos al vapor and quesadillas. Facebook: Regios tacos al vapor austin 8 Austin-based Restore Hyper Well- ness + Cryotherapy opened a Cedar Park location June 11. The location at 4701 183A Toll, Cedar Park, will oer cryother- apy, IV drip therapy, compression therapy,

HydraFacials, infrared sauna therapy and other wellness services. 512-866-4869. https://restore.com 9 Food trailer Tacos De Prisa Y Mas began serving breakfast and lunch tacos April 1 in Leander. The menu includes carne guisada, beef fajitas, chicken fajitas and al pastor tacos with homemade tortillas. The taco trailer opens Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. at 209 W. Broade St., Leander. The trailer closes when tacos sell out, accord- ing to owner Martha Benavides. Orders can be called or texted in. 512-994-9527. www.facebook.com/tacosdeprisa 10 On June 19, Snow Dazed Shaved Ice in Leander. The family-run business oers over 40 avors of shaved ice with a movie-themed menu. Named after the movie “Dazed and Confused,” the trailer is located in the Xpress Fuel parking lot at 10210 E. Crystal Falls Parkway, Leander. Snow Dazed Shaved Ice is a woman- and veteran-owned business, according to owner Dana Hardy. 512-229-0705. www.facebook.com/snowdazedshavedice COMING SOON 11 Mediterranean restaurant Cava will open a Cedar Park location at 905 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. The nation- wide eatery oers customizable bowls and has four Austin locations. Cava could not provide opening information at this time. www.cava.com 12 CVS Pharmacy, in partnership with Satellite Healthcare, is opening a CVS Kidney Care dialysis center in Cedar Park in early 2022. It will be located at 1515 Medical Parkway, Bldg. 3, Cedar Park. The oce will provide in-center dialysis and

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NOWOPEN 1 Domino’s Pizza opened a new Cedar Park location May 24. Located at 115 S. Lakeline Blvd., Ste. 110, the location has delivery and carryout options. This is the fourth Domino’s location in Cedar Park. 737-377-0028. www.dominos.com 2 Dynamic Sports Medicine opened a Cedar Park chiropractic sports medicine clinic April 1. The clinic specializes in

sports medicine technology and sports in- jury rehabilitation. Three other clinics are located in Austin and Dallas. It is located in The Crossover at 1717 Scottsdale Drive, Ste. 190, Cedar Park. 512-770-6068. https://dynamicsportsmedicine.com 3 North Carolina-based bank First Cit- izens Bank opened a Cedar Park branch June 14. The bank oers personal and business services, according to a release. There are three other area bank branches

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

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F45 Cedar Park

Sense & Color School of Music

COURTESY F45 TRAINING

COURTESY SENSE & COLOR SCHOOL OF MUSIC

17 Martial Athletes and Heart & Pride Wrestling Club moved July 1 from Cedar Park to 190 N. Bagdad Road, Bldg. C, Ste. C300, Leander. The businesses oer martial arts, wrestling, tness, child care, summer camps and after-school programs. It is currently located at 600 S. Bell Blvd., Ste. 7, Cedar Park. Martial Athletes: 512-709-0966. Heart & Pride Wrestling: 773-750-7302. www.martial athletes.com, https://heartandpride.com 18 Sense & Color School of Music relocated its music school June 28 to Le- ander. Classes will be taught online and in-person at 660 S. Bagdad Road, Ste. 410, Leander. The school was previously at 300 Brushy Creek Road, Ste. 202, 19 T-Werx Coworking will celebrate its ve-year anniversary Aug. 1. The business oers coworking and shared oce space at 1320 Arrow Point Drive, Ste. 501, Cedar Park. There are two more T-Werx Cowork- ing locations in Dripping Springs and in the Four Points area. 512-456-7860. www.t-werx.com IN THE NEWS 20 Washington Prime Group Inc. an- nounced June 15 that it will le voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This ling is not expected to impact Cedar Park. 512-915-9800. www.senseandcolor.com ANNIVERSARIES daily operations. Austin-area properties include A Lakeline Plaza, 11066 Pecan Park Blvd., Cedar Park; and B Lakeline Village, 12617 Ridgeline Blvd., Austin. www.washingtonprime.com

in-home dialysis care. The partnership is creating a new patient approach with kidney disease prevention and education. www.cvskidneycare.com 13 F45 Cedar Park will reopen under new franchise ownership in late July. F45 Training oers high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, classes. New owner Missy Williams said the franchise closed in January under its previous owners. The gym is located at 401 W. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. 281-923-2310. https://f45training.com/cedarpark 14 QuikTrip is planning to build a gas station and convenience store at the northwest corner of 183A Toll and Hero Way West in Leander. Leander City Council gave nal approval June 3 for the development that requires a zoning change. Robert Costello, who represents QuikTrip, said May 20 that the project will look nearly identical to the QuikTrip at 183A Toll and US 183. www.quiktrip.com 15 The Cedar Park location of Wayback Burgers will open in 2022 at 500 W. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. The Con- necticut-based company makes cooked- to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. https://waybackburgers.com RELOCATIONS 16 D-BAT Cedar Park , an indoor baseball and softball training facility, is relocating its facility this summer to near Lakeline Mall at 12617 Ridgeline Blvd., Cedar Park. The facility will have more batting cages and pitching tunnels and begin personal training and strength and conditioning classes. It was previously at 1202 BMC Drive, Ste. 800, Cedar Park. www.dbatcedarpark.com

Electric Pickle is expected to open in 2022 in Cedar Park.

COURTESY ELECTRIC PICKLE

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Cedar Park will be home to the rst of three Central Texas pickleball and entertainment complexes. Set to open in late 2022, Electric Pickle will build a 4.6-acre pickleball-themed complex with 12 pickleball courts and a two-story restaurant with a large patio and rooftop bar, according to a June 11 press release. The restaurant’s menu will include “global comfort cuisine” with tacos, pizzas, Korean protein bowls, sandwiches and burgers. A great lawn will host live music, tness classes and group gatherings. There will also be cornhole and bocce ball courts. The complex will be built near 183A Toll and FM 1431 at 580 Spanish Oak St., Cedar Park. Pickleball, a sport similar to tennis, badminton and ping-pong, is a fast- growing sport with 4.2 million players in the United States, according to the USA Pickleball Association. Electric Pickle, owned by California- based Eureka Restaurant Group and Rockets & Pineapples, will open its rst complex in Cedar Park with two more Austin-area complexes opening in 2023. One will be built on Burnet Road in Austin and the other in Bee Cave. According to the release, the company

is also building complexes in the Frisco and Houston areas and in Nevada and Arizona. “Pickleball’s popularity is skyrocketing throughout Central Texas, and we plan to elevate the playing experience by oering artisan food and drinks and other activities in an upscale club environment that is open to the public,” Eureka co-founder Paul Frederick said in the release. Eureka is partnering with Austin real estate developer David Kahn on the project. Kahn, who is also a pickleball player, said most Austin pickleball facilities do not oer places to socialize around the game. “We anticipate that Electric Pickle will become a hive of activity throughout the day with baby boomers and families in the morning, professionals on lunch breaks, and young people in the evenings,” Kahn said.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JULY 2021

TODO LIST

July events

JULY 918

WAY OFF BROADWAY PRESENTS ‘AMIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM’ SMOOTH VILLAGE

This presentation of William Shakespeare’s comedy is set in contemporary Athens. It consists of several subplots that revolve around the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta. The event is held outdoors. 7:30 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 6 p.m. (Sun.). $10. Smooth Village, 203 W. Broade St., Leander. 512-249-0599. www.wobcp.org

COMPILED BY ALI LINAN JULY 15 WILDLIFE ON THEMOVE PRESENTS BOAS VS. PYTHONS Join the Cedar Park Public Library for an animal presentation of Wildlife on the Move. Learn about snakes and boas as science comes to life. The event is held virtually. 1:30 p.m. Free. www. cedarparktexas.gov/departments/library 17 TAKE ON FAMILY PAINTING FUN Painting with a Twist-Cedar Park hosts a 1.5-hour all-ages art class for adults and kids age 5 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 1-3 p.m. $39 (per person). 12129 N. RM 620, Ste. 401, Austin. 512-258-7928. www.paintingwithatwist.com 20 LISTEN TO BAND SEVENDUST Lightstream Backyard Concert Series presents Atlanta-based quintet Sevendust. Tickets are available for socially distant tables for parties of two to six people as well as general admission. 6-10 p.m. $37.50-$65. The Haute Spot, 1501 E. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park. https://loveandlightstream. com/hautespot/sevendust 23 SHOP LOCAL Savory Farmers Market oers a rotating array of fresh produce, organic baked goods, wild-caught Alaskan seafood and locally crafted artisanal products. This market is held in several locations each month. 3-7 p.m. Free. 1960 Pleasant Hill Road, Leander. 512-817-3359. www.savoryfarmersmarket.com 23 TAKE PART IN FOOD TRUCK FUNDAY Organized by neighborhood volunteers to support local food trucks, the group hosts dierent food trucks each week at Twin Creeks and Quiet Moon parks. This event features Crepe Crazy, which oers a variety of sweet and savory crepes. Preorder is available. 5-7:30 p.m. Free. Twin Creeks Historic Park, corner of Twin Creeks Club Drive and Dervingham Drive. https://rebe164.wixsite.com/foodtrucks

30 ENJOY AMOVIE IN THE PARK The city of Cedar Park hosts a showing of “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” at sunset. Attendees should bring their own picnic blankets, camp chairs and snacks. 8-10 p.m. Free. 450 Cypress Creek Road,

Cedar Park. 512-401-5000. www.cedarparktexas.gov

WORTH THE TRIP JOIN A FAMILY FUN RUN

The Super Family Fund Run is held outdoors and virtually. The sixth annual event raises money to build after-school programs for kids of all abilities. There are three events this year: a chip-timed 5K; a workout challenge with Camp Gladiator, which is an untimed 5K with ve activity challenges set up along the way; and a 1-mile fun run. There is also a virtual 5K and 1 mile option. Proceeds benet Brady’s Bridge, an after-school care program that looks to bridge the gap in child care for kids of varying disabilities by providing a facility for kids of all abilities, including those with special needs. July 31, 8-11 a.m. $30-$35. Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. www.alignable. com/leander-tx/bradys-bridge/ super-family-fund-run-jul-2021

Find more or submit area events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN & IAIN OLDMAN

REGIONAL PROJECT

ment of Old US 183. This realignment, which is critical for the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Project, also includes reconstructing intersections, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and landscaping. The city of Cedar Park completed the trac shift to the new road alignment in June. Timeline: October 2020-late 2021 Cost: $11.9 million Funding source: 2015 Cedar Park bond

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RM 2222 improvements Trac will be moved to the south side of RM 2222 in early July. Once trac is switched, state crews will begin roadway work on the north side of RM 2222. Timeline: winter 2018-summer 2021 State crews continue work on RM 2222 near Four Points. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)

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Work on 183A Toll is underway. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

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4 183A Toll Phase 3 Phase 3 construction is underway on the 183A Toll extension from Leander to Lib- erty Hill. The Central Texas Regional Mo- bility Authority, which operates toll roads in Travis and Williamson counties, held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony April 28 for the $277 million project. The 6.6-mile extension project adds two tolled lanes in both directions and adds a shared-use path from Hero Way in Leander to Seward Junction Loop in Liberty Hill. The project aims to relieve projected trac conges- tion due to the growth in Williamson County. Weekly, temporary road closures are listed online at www.183a.com/ construction-information. Timeline: April 2021-25 Cost: $277 million Funding sources: Mobility Authority revenue bonds, U.S. Department of Transportation UPCOMING PROJECTS 5 Cedar Park intersection improvements The project will widen roads to improve trac ow at ve intersections. The locations are at A Lakeline Boulevard at Whitestone Boulevard, B Discovery Bou-

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RECENTLY COMPLETED 1 Lakeline Boulevard at US 183 improvements The Austin Transportation Department nished improvements at the intersection of Lakeline Boulevard and US 183, accord- ing to the city. The project added dual left-turn lanes on westbound Lakeline to the southbound US 183 frontage road and modied the median along Lakeline east of US 183. Other work included extended sidewalks, updated signals, signage and striping near the intersection. Timeline: winter 2020-March 2021 Cost: $467,000 Funding source: 2016 Austin mobility bond

ONGOING PROJECTS 2 Bagdad Road and San Gabriel Parkway trac signal

levard at Whitestone Boulevard, C C-Bar Ranch Trail at Whitestone Boulevard, D Arrow Point Drive at Whitestone Boulevard and E Kenai Drive at Parmer Lane. On June 10, Cedar Park City Council approved an agreement with Austin Un- derground Inc. Construction is estimated to be complete in 200 days. Timeline: summer 2021-early 2022 Cost: $1.42 million Funding source: 2015 Cedar Park bond

This project will add a fourth trac signal to the intersection to control eastbound trac from the Devine Lake subdivision. Construction is expected to be complete in August. Timeline: June-August Cost: $99,668.60 Funding source: Leander capital improve- ment program 3 Bell Boulevard realignment The project relocates the part of Bell Boulevard between Buttercup Creek Bou- levard and Cedar Park Drive to the align-

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 18. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LCPNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JULY 2021

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Leander ISD

BoardOKs $387Mbudget for 2021-22 LEANDER ISD The school board adopted a $387.5 million operating general fund budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year June 17. The budget year began July 1. About 80% of budget expenses student growth, the local homestead exemption, increased local revenue estimates and other revenue factors. The board approved the budgets in a 6-1 vote with Aaron Johnson in dis- sent. Johnson said he was concerned about budget deficits. BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

BUDGET BREAKDOWN Leander ISD’s budget includes a $25.5 million deficit. Here is a look at the revenues and expenditures for 2021-22.

GENERAL FUNDREVENUES TOTAL: $368,557,019

GENERAL FUND EXPENDITURES TOTAL: $387,565,625

Debt service $100,000

$400M

Other $20,000

are for instruction, or goes directly to students, LISD Finance Director Elaine Cogburn said. The budget includes 2% midpoint staff raises, starting teacher salaries at $50,900, new campus positions at Tarvin Elementary School opening in August, start-up positions for Elementary School No. 29 opening in 2022 and other district expendi- tures. Fine arts allocations will also equitably increase at elementary and middle school campuses, Cogburn said. The budget does not include coronavirus-related costs or major maintenance projects. Projected revenue for FY 2021-22 totals $368.5 million. The new budget considers a 15.68% increase in the district’s property value growth, 3%

“I remain concerned about the level of deficit spending and the trend of deficit spending,” he said. “So I’m still very concerned about where this budget is landing.” The FY 2021-22 budget deficit will be about $25.5 million, Cogburn said. However, the fiscal year 2020-21 budget anticipated a $31 million deficit, but the district will end with a shortfall of $6.1 million. “Even though we started out looking very bleak, we’ve been able to turn that around,” Cogburn said. “So hopefully we’ll be able to do the same in the 2021-22 budget.” Cogburn said the tax rate is expected to go down about $0.07 to $1.3472. The board will approve the tax rate in August or September.

$350M

Other expenses $4,915,110 Capital projects $292,838

Federal funding $3,265,000

$300M

State funding $75,311,700

$250M

Utilities $8,116,535

$200M

Payroll $337,187,258 Supplies $18,944,503 Services $18,009,381

Local sources $289,960,319

$150M

$100M

$50M

0

SOURCE: LEANDER ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS LEANDER ISD The district will host a listening session July 29 with Superintendent Bruce Gearing, board members and district officials. Sessions will be held virtually, via text message and in-person at the Support Services building at 1900 Cougar Country Drive, Cedar Park. Discussions will be held one-on-one and in small groups. Attendees can bring questions, comments and concerns to their meeting. Registration is available online. LEANDER ISD The district announced Staci Cordell will be principal at Faubion Elementary School in Cedar Park starting in the fall. Cordell previously worked as a Reagan Elementary assistant principal, as a Cypress Elementary assistant principal and in other school districts, according to LISD. Cordell will replace Donna LeJeune who was Faubion’s principal for two years. LEANDER ISD Wendy Gonzaba will become the Camacho Elementary School principal for the next school year. Gonzaba is an assistant principal at Akin Elementary School and began working in the Leander school district in 2008, according to LISD. She previously worked at Knowles, Bagdad and Cypress Elementary schools. LEANDER ISD The board of trustees’ next meeting is scheduled for July 22 at 6:15 p.m. Leander ISD board of trustees The board of trustees typically meets on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 6:15 p.m. Meetings are streamed online. Learn more at www.leanderisd.org. Austin Community College The board of trustees typically meets the first Monday of the month at 3 p.m. Learn more at www.austincc.edu. MEETINGSWE COVER

Committee suggests$933M bondproject list LEANDER ISD The school district is expected to add over 12,000 students in 10 years to its population of 40,761 students. To meet growth, the Lean- der school board could call a bond election for as early as November this year. About $933 million in projects were recommended to the board of trust- ees June 17. LISD’s Citizens’ Facility Advisory Committee, led by co-chairs Jeremy Trimble and Shaun Cranston, narrowed projects by priority from an original list totaling $1.5 billion. These projects include elementary school, middle school, high school BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

District names area superintendent LEANDER ISD Rouse High School principal Christine Simp- son was named the replacement BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

and districtwide projects. “Everyone is going to have an opportunity to gain from this,” Cranston said. The bond has a budget between $600 million and $1 billion without needing to increase taxes, Trimble said. Bond savings could be used to reduce the overall bond cost below $900 million. Redistricting was brought up between the committee chairs and board members as that would affect district growth plans. Cranston said student redistricting should be discussed parallel to but independent of the bond projects. “The reality is that we live in a high-growth district, and one of the curses of being where everybody wants to be is that sometimes it gets crowded,” Cranston said. The deadline for the board to call a Nov. 2 election is Aug. 16.

area superin- tendent June 18, according to a Leander ISD release. approved the hire June 17. Simpson replaces Devin The board of trustees

Christine Simpson

Padavil who became the Taylor ISD superintendent earlier this year. LISD previously picked Heather Sánchez to replace Padavil, but Sánchez withdrew from consideration in early June due to “the best interests of her family,” according to the district. Simpson will remain as Rouse’s principal during the new principal transition, according to the district, and will start as an area superin- tendent this summer. Simpson began teaching in Marble Falls ISD in 1997 and later transferred to LISD. She became Rouse High School’s principal in 2016, according to LISD. “As an LISD principal for the last nine years, I have seen the great work of my colleagues first- hand,” Simpson said in a release. “I am in awe of their unwavering dedication to putting students first. It will be an honor to serve and support them.”

PROPOSED BOND PROJECTS Projects are divided into five categories: elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, technology and ancillary services. Here is a sample of projects within each category.

$350.4M ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS • Construction of elementary schools 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 • Building modernization • Playground improvements at all elementary campuses $252.6M HIGH SCHOOLS • Construction of first Early College High School • Construction of school of choice high school • Leander High School renovations

$94.3M TECHNOLOGY • Districtwide wireless equipment replacements • Interactive classroom panels MIDDLE SCHOOLS • Construction of middle school 10 • Building modernization • Light and sound equipment updates at all schools $143.1M

ANCILLARY SERVICES

$93M

• Replacing 127 buses • Construction of science material center warehouse

SOURCE: LEANDER ISD/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REGIONAL

Updates on area projects

West TravisCountyworkforce housingcomplex toopenearly2022

BY GREG PERLISKI

an application to live at the Villas of Cardinal Hills, according to the city of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Oce. Proposed amenities include a 7,000 square-foot clubhouse with a tness center, business center, pool and other features commonly found at apartment complexes. What will be dierent about the Villas at Cardi- nal Hills is that family services, such as credit and homebuyer courses, afternoon child care, and health and nutrition classes, will be oered free of charge, Fisher said. “Our job in aordable housing is to provide family stability. We are kind of the front line against people getting into homeless situation; so we provide supportive services,” he said. Workforce housing such as the Villas at Cardinal Hills is also an important economic development tool for west Travis County because it allows people who work at local businesses, schools and government agencies to live close to their jobs, Fisher said. “The rst 15-20 people on our wait list at that development are teachers at Lake Travis ISD,” he said. “They basically say, ‘I can’t work out here much longer if I can’t live closer to school.’”

Construction is well underway by Dallas-based developer Rise Residential on a 180-unit workforce apartment complex on about 7.94 acres at RM 620 and Storm Drive. Project planners are now estimating to have the rst residents on-site in the rst quarter of 2022. The apartments will likely open under the name Villas at Cardinal Hills, according to documents provided by Rise Residential. With delays caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic increasingly less of an issue, the project is scheduled to have the rst of its buildings com- pleted by the end of the year, accord- ing to Bill Fisher, Rise Residential founder and consultant on the project. The complex, which is less than a mile outside the Lakeway city limits in Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdic- tion, is being built in partnership with the Strategic Housing Finance Corp. of Travis County, or SHFC. As such, the project is taking advantage of federal tax credits and property tax exemptions to oer reduced rent to families earning 60% of the area median income or less. Thus, a family of four making less than $58,550 would qualify for

Rise Residential has built numerous workforce housing complexes in Texas, including Creekview apartments in East Austin. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

Villas at Cardinal Hills

The apartment complex will have 180 units spread across multiple four-story buildings served by a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse with a tness center and business center. The business center will be equipped with internet access and oer a community meeting room. Other amenities include a pool, a dog park and picnic areas. The average rent is estimated at about $950 for qualifying residents. Rise Residential oers a waiting list for those interested in leasing an apartment. Contact the Housing Authority of Travis County at www.hatctx.com.

180 units

1

Future locations 1 Villas at Cardinal Hills RM 620 & Storm Drive, Cardinal Hills Estates, TX 78734 2 Nightingale Proposal RM 620 &

620

7,000 sq. ft. clubhouse

Nightingale Lane, Lakeway, TX 78734

$950 average rent

2

N

NIGHTINGALE LN.

SOURCES: RISE RESIDENTIAL, LAKEWAYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Las Vegas-based tech rmto build data center inRoundRock near Dell global headquarters

DELL WAY

35

45 TOLL

BY BROOKE SJOBERG

preparation and permitting this sum- mer, and once complete, The Rock will be part of a large ecosystem of Texas campuses held by the company that will total more than 2 million square feet and 185 mega- watts of power, the release states. Chamber President and CEO Jason Ball said the number of jobs associ- ated with The Rock campus has not yet been announced. According to another press release from the Switch website, the company recently purchased Austin-based Data Foundry Inc. in May. Data Foundry was a colocation pro- vider, which means that it provided

Switch, a high-performing comput- ing technology infrastructure com- pany based in Las Vegas, announced that it will build a fth campus in Round Rock next to the Dell Tech- nologies global headquarters located northeast of the intersection of I-35 and SH 45 N. The announcement came June 2 in a news release from the Round Rock Chamber. The property purchased from Dell will allow Switch to con- struct a 1.5 million-square-foot Tier 5 data center facility, which will be called The Rock. Switch is set to begin site

N

Once complete, the facility will be the newest of several similar centers owned by Switch. (Rendering courtesy Switch)

equipment, space and bandwidth to retail customers, according to information from the company. The facilities purchased from Data Foundry make up the rest of the 2 million square feet of the Texas technology campus ecosystem owned

by Switch. Similar to its campuses in Las Vegas, Nevada; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Atlanta, Georgia, Switch facilities in Texas will be powered by renewable energy, according to information from the company’s website.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JULY 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Leander, Cedar Park & Williamson County

NUMBER TOKNOW Williamson County residents as of June 30, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. 57.6% The percentage of fully vaccinated CITY HIGHLIGHTS LEANDER Council Members Nacole Thompson and Esmeralda Mattke Longoria were sworn into Leander City Council on June 17. Mattke Longoria serves in Place 2, and Thompson serves in Place 4. City Council also voted to appoint Council Member Becki Ross to the mayor pro tem position. Mayor pro tems serve as mayor during a mayor’s absence. CEDARPARK City Council will create a 15-member bond advisory task force to “evaluate and develop recommendations for the City Council to consider for a future bond program.” Cedar Park voters approved the last bond in 2015 for road, public safety, public library, and parks and recreation projects. Cedar Park City Council Typically meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. 450 Cypress Creek Road, Bldg. 4, MEETINGSWE COVER Cedar Park • 512-401-5000 www.cedarparktexas.gov Leander City Council Typically meets the rst and third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. 201 N. Brushy St., Leander 512-259-1239 • www.leandertx.gov Travis County Commissioners Court Typically meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin 512-854-9020 www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court Williamson County Commissioners Court Typically meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1100 • www.wilco.org

HomesteadexemptionOK’d for Leander homeowners

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

because it would not put the city in a bind. Council Members Jason Shaw and Annette Sponseller also voted for the 2% change. Williamson County commis- sioners voted May 25 to extend the property tax exemption for individ- uals age 65 and older and disabled individuals and add an exemption for homeowners. The homestead exemption is 1.5% or $5,000, which- ever is greater.

said. The state minimum is a $5,000 or a 1% exemption. Leander has an exemption for individuals 65 and older and for disabled homeown- ers—a $10,000 exemption and a property tax freeze. A 2% exemption was considered by the council, but the motion’s vote failed 3-3. Council unani- mously granted the 1% exemption. Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said she would like the city to go up to 2%

LEANDER Council members approved a residential homestead exemption June 3 for all Leander homeowners as property values rise across the area. The exemption is $5,000 or 1%, whichever is greater. This exemption would save the average Leander homeowner about $30 in city property taxes based on the current rate. Leander Finance Director Robert Powers said the exemption would impact city tax revenue by about $400,000. Leander has 13,482 residential homesteads totaling over $5 billion in value with a $373,213 average value, according to city documents. The tax exemption would take $5,000 or 1% o a home’s appraised value. Property taxes will be calcu- lated from the reduced value. Cities and counties can adopt residential tax exemptions, per state law, Powers

EXEMPTION COMPARISON

Other municipalities in Central Texas have property value homestead exemptions. Here is how Leander’s exemption compares to them.

LEANDER $5,000 or 1%*

WILLIAMSON COUNTY $5,000 or 1.5%*

CEDAR PARK $5,000

AUSTIN 10%

SOURCES: AUSTIN, CEDAR PARK, LEANDER, WILLIAMSON COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER *WHICHEVER IS GREATER

Davis House rezoned for restaurant uses

Federal aid to help cover gap in construction costs

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

LEANDER Potential uses of one of Leander’s oldest standing homes, the Davis House, include a brewpub and restaurant after City Council gave nal approval June 17 for the zoning change at 104 N. Brushy St., Leander. The city aims to create a part- nership so a private business can preserve the character of the city-owned building, said Cameron Goodman, a city ocial, June 3.

BY IAIN OLDMAN

WILLIAMSON COUNTY The county will allocate $1.8 million of federal relief funds to the William- son County Children’s Advocacy Center to help cover unexpected construction costs on its new headquarters. The new WCCAC is $1.8 million over its $5.5 million budget as the cost of lumber has risen.

The new children’s advocacy center would be adjacent to the current center in Georgetown. (Rendering courtesy Williamson County)

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • JULY 2021

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