What is The Bell District?
The Bell District is a new take on a walkable, mixed-use development. The development will replace the existing buildings and structures in the area along Bell Boulevard and transform it into a vibrant district that serves as the heartbeat of Cedar Park.
This unique project will create a central gathering place filled with local restaurants, retail and recreational options, including multiple acres of greenspace, walking trails and the new Cedar Park Library.
The Bell District is located along Bell Boulevard, between Buttercup Creek Boulevard/Brushy Creek Road and Park Street.
What is the project history?
In 2014, the City of Cedar Park held a comprehensive planning process known as “Imagine Cedar Park.” During that process, residents expressed a desire to see Bell Boulevard revitalized, as well as the need for a unique destination in Cedar Park that could be somewhere “special” to go. The Bell Boulevard Redevelopment Master Plan, which was finished in 2015, sought to address both of these concerns.
Beginning in 2014 and running through 2019, the City embarked on a robust public engagement process that included multiple large public workshops, numerous small stakeholder meetings and presentations to targeted groups. Collectively, more than 2,000 people attended these events, marking the highest participation level for any project in the history of Cedar Park.
In 2020, the City of Cedar Park and RedLeaf entered into a Master Development Agreement that governs development of land, the deconstruction of existing improvements, the construction of infrastructure, financing agreements, phasing and expected timeline of the project, and numerous other development obligations and responsibilities.
With public agreements and zoning finalized, RedLeaf assumed leadership of realizing the community’s vision for the project, now officially known as The Bell District.
To view the entire Project Archive click here.
What is the size of The Bell District project area?
The project area is approximately 50 acres, including roughly 16 acres of unmatched greenspace.
What are the benefits of The Bell District to the City, taxpayers and the community?
A sense of place: The Bell District is a destination that will bring people together to celebrate the best of Cedar Park. The Backyard, in particular, will provide a central gathering place for the community to explore, relax, and unwind.
Vibrant Location for Business: The Bell District is true revitalization in the heart of Cedar Park. While other parts of Cedar Park have experienced tremendous development and growth, data has shown that this area is currently the only part of Cedar Park that has seen sales tax revenues decline in recent years. Sales tax revenues help offset the City’s reliance upon property taxes to fund City services and projects. With this redevelopment, the area will become a destination for businesses to [re]locate – a central location with unique amenities – where they can create a vibrant environment for commerce and thrive.
Tax Base Benefits: This project is a long-term financial investment for the City of Cedar Park. The total investment of new buildings and infrastructure at final buildout of The Bell District is expected to be approximately $350 million in today’s dollars – the vast majority of which is private funding. This development will generate a significant increase in taxable commercial property values compared to the existing taxable property values in the area.
Public Library: The Bell District will be home to the new City of Cedar Park Public Library. This new library will be a welcoming facility for a variety of patrons, adding new space for an expanded library collection, new rooms to support meetings and events and new services to expand the digital catalog offered by the library. Nestled among Bell’s natural setting, the new library will have scenic indoor spaces and opportunities for outdoor programming.
Open Space: The redevelopment opens access to the Buttercup Creek Natural Area and Cluck Creek, an area currently inaccessible to the public.
Pedestrian-friendly environment: The streets in the project are designed to maximize the walkability and expand pedestrian-friendly options in Cedar Park.
How much parkland and greenspace will be included in the project area?
The project dedicates about one third of the project area (approximately 16 acres) to greenspace. Due to the unique location of this project, The Bell District has been designed around large, 100-plus year-old pecan trees, and it includes the rejuvenation of Cluck Creek by turning its spring-fed pond into an amenity.
The City and RedLeaf have made a significant commitment to preserve the greenspace within the development, a key feature that will make Bell distinct from other mixed-use developments and provide spaces for the community to gather.
What is the land use mix at The Bell District?
The Bell District incorporates a variety of land use mixes in one area, including:
- High-density residential units, some with ground-floor retail
- A new public library
- Retail, restaurants and other commercial uses
- Individually-owned urban brownstones
What is the phasing for The Bell District and how long will it take to complete the project?
The Bell District is being developed in multiple phases. The priorities for Phase I include the public amenities, such as The Backyard, The Marketplace, The Trails and The Library.
Subsequent phases will build on the vibrancy established by Phase I and further the project’s vision.
The project kicked off in 2020 with the road realignment of Bell Boulevard by the City of Cedar Park and TxDOT. This phase was a critical component to complete, before significant construction could begin on the development itself. In December 2021, TxDOT marked the highway realignment project complete and released this section of the roadway to Cedar Park.
The full build-out of The Bell District is expected to take approximately 15 years, depending on market conditions.
Will traffic and utilities be interrupted due to the project?
The realignment of the section of Bell Boulevard from Buttercup Creek Boulevard/Brushy Creek Road to just north of Park Street must be completed in order for construction on The Bell District to begin. Road realignment construction is expected to last through 2021.
Because the new road construction will take place to the east of the current Bell Boulevard and out of the way of existing highway travel, minimal traffic disruption is anticipated during this time. Once the new section of highway is built, traffic will be shifted to the new roadway.
What can visitors expect at The Bell District?
Filled with local restaurants, retail and recreation, The Bell District is a destination that will bring people together to celebrate the best of Cedar Park. Visitors should expect to see a variety of local dining options and curated retail shops that reflect the desires of residents shared through the Comprehensive Planning process.
The Backyard provides the community a space to gather together for events like farmers markets, live music performances and outdoor movies.
With approximately 16 acres of greenspace, The Bell District will also connect visitors with new trails and a new City park to explore.
Who is The Bell District for?
The Bell District is for everyone: it’s for neighbors and visitors and just-passers-through.
With a variety of amenities, there is something for everyone from families (yes, the dog too) and long-time Cedar Park residents to young professionals and those new to the Central Texas region.
How can my business partner with The Bell District?
Visit our Partner page for more information on how to get involved with The Bell District.