Creating Downtowns

Long-planned projects to build downtown areas in Cedar Park and Leander will begin to take shape in 2023, when construction begins on their landmark features.

Cedar Park’s Bell District

Cedar Park doesn’t have a historic downtown square, and residents have said in surveys that they wanted a destination area for the town.

The Bell District project is on city-owned land between Buttercup Creek Boulevard/Brushy Creek Road and Park Street. Redleaf will begin construction next summer on its first mixed-use block, Shands said.

“It will include a high-quality wrap apartment project with additional district parking included in the garage and integrated ground-floor retail space,” Shands said.

“We are focused on a culinary-forward retail strategy to attract high-quality restaurants and shops,” Shands said. Although there have been a handful of apartment projects in Cedar Park to include some of these elements, this project will be the first to fully integrate these uses in a pedestrian-focused, urban-style product.

“What will further distinguish this project,” Shands said, “will be the connection to 16 acres of green space with irreplaceable natural features and active programming.”

Construction of the community area, known as the Backyard at Bell, will begin in late 2023, he said.

“The Backyard has been designed around large, 100-plus-year-old pecan and oak trees, and it includes the rejuvenation of Cluck Creek by turning its spring-fed pond into an amenity,” Shands said.

The first phase of the Bell District is scheduled to open in 2024. Under the development agreement, the city of Cedar Park is providing $15.3 million from its community development corporation and $1.4 million from its utility fund to pay for parking and water and wastewater infrastructure at the project.

Cedar Park also is planning to start construction of a new city library in 2023 in the Bell District. In the past year, the city completed the realignment of Bell Boulevard to improve safety and to free up more land for development in the district, according to officials.

The Cedar Park City Council approved a master plan to develop the Bell District in 2015, but it took time to buy the land that was needed.