Powell predicts growth in offices, jobs for Cedar Park
Cedar Park is poised to attract developers of multi-story office buildings, providing workplaces for new employees during the next two years, Mayor Matt Powell said Dec. 9.
“Office [development] is something we’ve struggled with,” Powell said during his annual State of the City address at the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “There have been some smaller one-story offices that have gone up, and goodness knows that’s been essential to what we’re doing here. But we’ve been really wanting to get into more multi-story office.”
The city needs to attract more employers that provide a family’s primary income, he said.
“A lot of people say, ‘Why can’t we get more restaurants here?’” Powell said. “[But] restaurants need a lunch crowd. We need a daytime population. Nighttime population around here is awesome at this point. Daytime population, we’re still getting there.”
Powell said he has talked with at least 10 prospective developers who wanted to hear early feedback about how their projects could work in Cedar Park.
“I think seven of the last 10 have [asked] about doing multi-story office,” Powell said.
The mayor said new offices would help meet the “work” portion of city leaders’ goal to focus on developments that help residents live, work and play better within Cedar Park. New offices and employees would help the city rely more on revenue from sales taxes rather than property taxes, which allows city leaders to lower property tax rates, Powell said.
Powell also predicted development in seven years at the Lime Creek Quarry site. On Aug. 27, Cedar Park City Council approved a purchase resolution to buy the 215 acres from the city of Austin. Agreements with site tenants call for an end to blasting and operations there by 2023.
The quarry property has a lake and opens new expansion opportunities for the city, Powell said.
Meanwhile, redevelopment plans will continue for a portion of Bell Boulevard—between Park Street and Cypress Creek Road—after the city sponsored a redevelopment study, he said. On Nov. 4, about 75 percent of voters approved a ballot proposition for about $63 million worth of bonds for transportation projects, including $20 million intended to begin Bell redevelopment.
During the last 10 years Cedar Park has grown from a quiet bedroom community to a thriving full-service economy, with restaurants, retail, a hospital and an event center, Powell said.
“There’s a tremendous amount of retail that’s coming in here,” he said. “You can’t look around at this town anymore and say, ‘I just wish there was somewhere around here to dine or shop.’ … We’re providing better qualify of life. Because you don’t have to go to Austin for fun and shopping and necessities anymore. You can do it all right here shopping at these businesses.”