Developers break ground on hotel, conference center in The Summit at Rivery Park

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The Summit at Rivery Park hotel, conference center ground breaking
The Summit at Rivery Park hotel, conference center ground breaking

Novak Brothers and international real estate firm Hines broke ground Feb. 19 on a 224-room Sheraton Hotel and conference center in The Summit at Rivery Park.

“This is a game-changing project,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “A lot of people behind the scenes made this happen. It’s a great day to be in Georgetown.”

Starwood Hotels and Resorts will operate the hotel, which is expected to open in summer 2016.

“The projects that excite me the most are the ones that are truly an integral part of the communities they’ll serve,” said Hoyt Harper, senior vice president and global brand leader for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts Group. “We pride ourselves on being truly global and yet locally relevant. … The exciting part is I get to tell the world about your hotel.”

Along with the hotel and conference center, the 32-acre mixed-use development will include a 223-unit multifamily complex and 114 single-family brownstone residences. Developers have completed 31 brownstone homes and construction on the multifamily units began in April.

Several restaurants and retail stores are also expected to open with the hotel, according to a news release from the city. The project will also include a multilevel parking garage.

“We’re in the process of delivering a world-class development here in Georgetown,” developer Jeff Novak said in December. “The rental properties that we are building are well underway. Our homes are selling as fast as we can sell them, and we are getting the same type of response for our retail sites.”

On Dec. 9, City Council approved amendments to its agreement with the project’s developers to extend the completion date to June 30, 2016 from Dec. 31, 2015.

A tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, covering the development was created in partnership with the city and Williamson County and will reinvest revenue generated by the project to help fund the parking garage as well as improvements in Rivery Park, public roads and utility infrastructure, according to the news release.

The TIRZ is a special taxing district that caps property values at the value when the TIRZ is established. Any city property taxes collected on the increased property values are put into the TIRZ fund. Those dollars can only be used to fund improvements, such as roads and other infrastructure projects, in the zone.

“The city has had a really important part in this. This doesn’t happen without the city,” Novak said.