Bell Boulevard Redevelopment
City selects two nationally-recognized firms to compete in process to select Master Developer
(Cedar Park, Texas) The City of Cedar Park, Texas has selected two developers with respected redevelopment portfolios and proven track records in mixed use development as finalists in the procurement process for a master developer of the Bell Boulevard District. The City selected RedLeaf and Centro Development to submit responses to an invitation-only Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Master Developer for the Bell Boulevard District, to be issued in September. This narrowing-down to two finalists represents the first step in a two-step procurement process to secure a Master Developer that will transform a portion of Bell Boulevard into a true gateway and destination for the community. Cedar Park is part of the Austin Metro, located on the north-northwest border of Austin and has been twice named Fourth Fastest-Growing City in the Country by the U.S. Census Bureau in recent years.
RedLeaf and Centro Development were selected from among multiple submittals to the City’s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that was issued in May. It stipulated that the City is seeking a qualified, visionary Master Developer to participate in the City’s efforts to develop City-owned property along US 183/Bell Boulevard between Buttercup Creek Boulevard and Park Street as a catalyst area that will spur redevelopment and high-quality development throughout the Bell Boulevard District and broader Bell corridor.
Centro Development is a real estate development firm located in Austin, Texas. The firm’s focus is mixed-use residential development and urban redevelopment. Their development projects are primarily located in the central Texas region, but are as far away as Dallas and Atlanta. Their projects in Central Texas include the Seaholm Power Plant, Residences at the Domain/Villages at the Domain, and Post West Avenue in Austin.
RedLeaf Properties is an Austin-based real estate developer known for working in partnership with public entities to create large-scale, mixed-use projects. RedLeaf’s developments in Central Texas include serving as master developer for the redevelopment of Highland-ACC in Austin and co-developer for La Frontera Plaza in Round Rock.
Through the next steps of the invitation-only RFP process, the slate will essentially be cleared and the developers will start from scratch with their responses to the RFP. The City seeks ultimately to form a true public-private partnership with one firm that will be responsible for managing the development and disposition of the Bell Boulevard District from initiation to final buildout, overseeing site preparation and infrastructure development, financing, marketing and asset management.
City of Cedar Park Assistant City Manager Katherine Caffrey says, “We are thrilled to have two such prestigious development firms – RedLeaf and Centro – competing for this opportunity to transform the Bell Boulevard District into an exciting destination for our community. Both firms have a strong presence in communities across our country and a proven track record of placemaking. We are eager to see the vision that each firm brings to the table in the next stages of this process.”
The City of Cedar Park anticipates making a decision of which group it would like to negotiate a development agreement with later this year and work with the selected developer to negotiate a comprehensive agreement in 2019.
What is the Bell Boulevard District?
The Bell Boulevard District is 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. Revitalization of the Bell Boulevard District 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. This area will become a 40-acre mixed-use development featuring retail, restaurant, office and residential space as well as the 12-acre Buttercup Creek Natural Area. The core of the Bell Boulevard District will be a walkable area designed especially for pedestrian traffic.
More information about the Bell Boulevard District may be found at www.DestinationBellBlvd.com.
About Cedar Park
Cedar Park is a vibrant community situated on the northern border of Austin just 17 miles from downtown. We are named for an actual park that was a rail stop in the late 1800s and were incorporated as a City in 1973. True to our namesake Cedar Park now features 47 City parks and 22 miles of trails. Today’s population is about 79,104 1 and Cedar Park is consistently ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau as one of the Fastest-Growing Cities in the Country. We’re a bustling high-tech employer hub, too, with a median age of 34.1 years 2, 45.9 percent with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher 2 and a median household income of $90,160 2.
Cedar Park is also home to three professional sports teams: the 2014 Calder Cup-winning AHL Hockey League Champion Texas Stars, affiliates of the NHL Dallas Stars; the 2012 and 2018 NBA G-League Champions, the Austin Spurs and affiliates of the five-time NBA World Champion San Antonio Spurs. The Stars and Spurs play at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, a City-owned facility is a multi-purpose venue that holds up to 8,700 guests and hosts more than 130 events per year.
Two Fortune 500 companies are major employers in Cedar Park: Dana Corporation and National Oilwell Varco. Cedar Park is also home and headquarters for several high tech employers including Firefly Space Systems, Fallbrook Technologies, LiveOps, Tolteq and Corvalent, along with industrial manufacturers such as BMC West Materials and BMC Millworks.
National online real estate brokerage firm Movato has named Cedar Park the Fifth Most Desirable Suburb in the Country in terms of amenities, cost of living, education, unemployment, household income, and safety. Movoto has also named Cedar Park the Third Best City to Move to in the Nation, and the Fourth Best Small City for Education in America. We are one of Family Circle Magazine Ten Best Towns for Families and Forbes Magazine has identified Cedar Park as one of America’s Fastest-Growing Suburbs. Security corporation SafeWise has ranked Cedar Park near the top of its 50 Safest Cities in Texas list, and for several years Cedar Park has had one of the lowest crime rates for cities of its size in Texas according to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s annual Crime in Texas Report. NerdWallet.com has also named Cedar Park the Best City (in the U.S.) to Open a Restaurant. All of these rankings are independent and unsolicited.
Cedar Park is a city that truly espouses its core values of community, service, innovation, professionalism, integrity, leadership, and fiscal responsibility. These standards are at the heart of daily life for Cedar Park residents, City leaders, City staff, and business leaders. Visit www.cedarparktexas.gov today to learn more about the City of Cedar Park.
1 Source: City of Cedar Park Development Services Department-Planning Office; 2 Source: Applied Geographic Solutions