Cedar Park City Council members discuss potential visions for Bell Boulevard

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Cedar Park citizens take a look at conceptual plans for the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Project during a public workshop in 2015.

Visual concepts for the potential Bell Boulevard redevelopment project were covered and discussed by Cedar Park City Council members during a meeting Thursday night.

Council members received updates on conceptual design elements along Bell Boulevard and at the gateways to the potential development, as well as the schedule for the project moving forward.

In the next few years, the city of Cedar Park plans to move the existing Bell roadway east to align with Old Hwy. 183 from Buttercup Creek Boulevard and Brushy Creek Road to just north of Park Street. The realignment of the highway would open space for a mixed-use “destination district.”

Brian Rice with city-hired engineering firm Binkley & Barfield, which was officially hired in September to design the realigned roadway, said in the six months since, the company has been working to get the project in line. The company met with stakeholders in the community, including business owners, to talk about the development, Rice said.

“We’ve done the surveying, we’ve done sound evaluations,” Rice said. “We’ve done a lot of right-of-way evaluations to define the schematic for where this is going to go.”

The company is almost complete with environmental documents, which Rice said will be sent to the Texas Department of Transportation within the next 30 to 40 days.

Rebecca Leonard, a city-hired consultant with Lionheart Places LLC, went over different design elements that have been discussed by subcommittee members and have received public input over at least the past two years, including the gateways to the area, sidewalk design, greenery, lighting and public art.

Leonard said some goals of the project are to have a flexible design, create a unique character within Cedar Park and set a high-quality precedent for future development.

“This is the first implementation project of capital improvement in this area, so we want to make sure that we’re putting a high bar out there,” she said.

Council members put some focus on public art, agreeing that city staff and the consulting firms should go forward with design concept discussion, possibly considering a theme for the art in the area.

“One thing that I’d like to see in terms of the theme you come up with is that it’s not just whatever is trendy now, but what’s it going to look like in 20, 30, 40 years,” said Council Member Kristyne Bollier.

The design elements encompassed not only the gateway to the future redeveloped area but also ideas for lighting and public art along Bell Boulevard and the property lines.

The schedule for design is expected to go through the third quarter of 2019. Construction is projected to start in the end of 2019.

As the discussion was for council feedback, there was no formal action taken by council members during the meeting. Staff expects to continue design conversations and bring plans before council again in the summer.

For more history on the project, visit www.destinationbellblvd.cedarparktexas.gov.

Cedar Park citizens take a look at conceptual plans for the Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Project during a public workshop in 2015.