The city of Leander, Texas, has announced a partnership with Leander Springs LLC, a division of iLand Development Group, for the development the 78-acre Leander Springs mixed-use project. Leander Springs will be a veritable city-within-a-city, sprouting up 36 miles north of Austin at a final development cost of an estimated $1 billion.
Leander Springs will take shape at the southwest intersection of FM 2243 and the 183A Toll Road in Williamson County. Architectural firm STG Design is behind the blueprint of the project, which will boast a centerpiece in the form of a 4-acre crystalline lagoon surrounded by 10 acres of boardwalk and amenities. At full buildout, Leander Springs will feature in excess of 1 million square feet of commercial development and as many as 1,600 multifamily units, including apartments and townhomes. The specifics, according to iLand’s website, call for approximately 253,000 square feet of retail space, 856,000 square feet of office accommodations, a 275-key hotel and a 20,000-square-foot conference center.
However, the public-private partnership will take a phased approach to the project, starting off small. As Leander Mayor Troy Hill noted in a prepared statement, the multi-phase strategy will bring in much needed commercial development at the beginning of the project, while incorporating residential uses in a proportional manner.
Benefits of partnership
Under the terms of the public-private partnership, the City of Leander has signed-off on as much as $22 million in performance-based tax incentives for Leander Springs LLC’s development of Leander Springs. The city will allot sales tax rebates per phase, making the developer obligated to deliver 35,000 square feet of commercial development and the lagoon by December 31, 2023, with the number of residential units not to exceed 400 as part of Phase One. Phase Two will bring an additional 100,000 square feet of commercial development and no more than 250 multifamily units within five years of the developer’s receipt of the first certificate of occupancy for projects under Phase One.
Demand for a sprawling live-work-play destination already exists in Leander, and the call for accommodations is only going to grow louder. As the U.S. Census Bureau reported in May 2020, Leander ranked as the fastest-growing large city in the U.S. between 2018 and 2019, recording an increase of 12 percent. The jump in population constitutes a growth rate 24 times faster than that of the U.S., which was only 0.5 percent for the same period. And the Leander is likely to benefit from Apple’s planned $1 billion expansion in Austin.
There are still a few hurdles to overcome before Leander Springs can move forward. The developer is scheduled to present the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission with the proposed zoning for the project this week on October 22. The City Council will then make the final determination on the zoning during the readings on November 19 and December 3, 2020.