Bell District Archive
Welcome to the Bell District
The Bell District will be located on Bell Boulevard (US 183), the primary north-south corridor for Cedar Park, between Buttercup Creek Boulevard and Park Street. While the area was once a vital community hub, it has not experienced the same level of economic growth seen in other areas of the city. In 2014, during a city-wide comprehensive planning process, the community expressed strong interest in seeing this area revitalized. The Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Project is a top priority for Cedar Park. The project is backed by a master plan utilizing redevelopment experts from across the nation, thorough financial modeling and forecasting for the public and private sector, and significant public investment in the project thus far. At full build-out, the 40-acre Bell District is anticipated to include approximately 16 acres of greenspace, the City's new library, a park and social hub, restaurants, multiple blocks of high-density residential, some with ground-floor retail, professional office space and individually-owned urban brownstones. Construction on the Bell District is expected to begin in early 2022. Planning and development of the new Library are now underway. The design process kicked off in January 2021, with renowned Lake | Flato Architects, Inc. and public engagement to help capture the community's creative aspirations and ideas. Construction on the new Library is expected to begin in fall 2022. Learn more about the new Library.
In February 2020, the City entered into a Master Development Agreement with RedLeaf. As a Master Developer and partner with forward-thinking public entities such as cities and educational campuses, RedLeaf is known for creating vibrant, amenity-rich mixed-use communities. RedLeaf's developments in Central Texas include serving as the master developer and partner with Austin Community College in a public-private partnership for the redevelopment of Highland Mall in Austin, co-developer for La Frontera Plaza in Round Rock, and master developer for the City of Austin Planning and Development Center in Highland. In addition, prior to forming RedLeaf, Founder and Principal Matt Whelan was responsible for the $2 billion Mueller Redevelopment while working for Catellus Development Corporation.
The Realignment of Bell Boulevard
The realignment of Bell Boulevard is the critical path forward for the project. Before construction of the Bell District can begin in early 2022, the City must finish realigning a section of Bell Boulevard/U.S. Highway 183 from Buttercup Creek Boulevard/Brushy Creek Road to just north of Park Street. The realignment of this section will open a large swath of land for development of the Bell District. Utility relocation work began along the section of road in January 2020, enabling the road construction to start in summer 2020. Road realignment construction is underway and is expected to last through 2021.
Comprehensive Plan Adopted
The City of Cedar Park conducts an in-depth study to update the Future Land Use Plan and identify community priorities. Through the process, the community expresses interest in improving the Bell Boulevard corridor.
Master Planning Process
Three public workshops are held with over 1,000 in combined attendance. Input conducted through the master plan development process identifies community priorities and helps refine the vision for the project. Input and feedback is analyzed and incorporated into a master plan adopted in late 2015.
2015 Bond Election
75% of voters approve transportation-related bond which includes $20 million in funding for the road realignment portion of the project.
Roadway Plan Amended
City amends Roadway Master Plan to include Bell Boulevard Redevelopment District.
Additional market analysis is conducted. Market assumptions and financial forecasting are refined.
Design of Roadway
Design of the roadway realignment begins. The design, permitting and right-of-way acquisition process for the road realignment is expected to last until the end of 2018, with construction beginning during 2019.
Partner Selection Process Begins
The process of forming a public-private partnership with a master development partner begins. Partner selection planned for late 2018 or early 2019.
Partner Selection Continued
Multiple developers respond to Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued in May for a Master Developer for the Bell Boulevard District.
Two developers are selected to submit responses to an invitation-only Request for Proposal (RFP) to be issued in September 2018.
Council Approves Master Developer Finalist
Cedar Park City Council voted to approve City staff's recommendation of RedLeaf Properties as the City's Master Developer finalist. The City and RedLeaf will now enter exclusive negotiations for the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment project.
Road Realignment Prep Work Begins
In January, relocation of utilities in preparation for the road realignment began. It is planned to be complete in spring 2020. Road construction is slated to begin in summer 2020 and last through the end of 2021. The completion of the realignment of Bell Boulevard is the critical path for the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Project to begin.
Council Approves Master Developer Agreement with RedLeaf
In February, following an extensive procurement process and a full year of exclusive negotiations, the City of Cedar Park and RedLeaf entered into a Master Developer Agreement (MDA) - a comprehensive, long-term agreement that details the development, design and use of the property, financial plan, property takedown terms and obligations and responsibilities of both parties. The term is 20 years.
Road Realignment Prep Work Completed, Road Construction Begins
Relocation of utilities in preparation for road construction was completed in summer 2020. Road realignment construction immediately began and is expected to last through 2021.
City Council Approves New Cedar Park Public Library Designers
In December 2020, Council chose the renowned, internationally-recognized Lake | Flato Architects, Inc. to design the Cedar Park Public Library. Their projects include the Pearl District and Witte Museum in San Antonio. The hallmark of their work is "distilling what a community wants to be, into a building": creating "a great front porch" for the city, and a "civic living room."
Design Process Kicks off, Construction Contractor Selected
In February the Community engagement survey garnered 2,000 responses! In March, City Council approved J.E. Dunn Construction Group, Inc. to build the new Library. Construction is slated to begin in fall 2022.
Our master developer RedLeaf has been busy installing the water/wastewater infrastructure and making way for the Phase One streets within the Bell District, which will be an urban-style, walkable mixed use development.
RedLeaf has been prepping the land for construction of the first high-density residential building, Bell Park, and the Backyard to begin later this year.
Our first focus is on public amenities in the Bell District so the thing we’re most excited about right now is that construction begins this month on the Cedar Park Public Library, which will anchor the Bell District. The new multi-story Library will be surrounded by dozens of large heritage trees and a 16-acre park with a trail. The Library is designed by renowned architects Lake│Flato and will be a true indoor-outdoor experience. They’ve called it a great front porch for Cedar Park. It will be two stories, with places to read, study and socialize. It will contain hundreds of thousands of library materials, along with a one-of-a-kind kids area with interactive learning stations, a nature play area, a youth activity room and museum-quality interactive exhibits, two screened outdoor reading porches, a teen area, an event space, a classroom and two maker spaces – literally places to make things. The new Library will feature an outdoor courtyard, plenty of outdoor seating and an amphitheater. We anticipate construction to last through 2023 and for the Library to open later in 2024.
Cedar Park citizens are at the center of the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Project. Throughout the process, there have been numerous public input opportunities. Collectively, over 1,000 community have attended Bell Boulevard meetings and even more have shared their input. Here's a look at our biggest public input events.