Cedar Park prepares for entertainment, retail complex
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Before the Cedar Park Center, residents of Cedar Park say there wasn't much to do in town.
"Now we have hockey, we have basketball, we have concerts, circuses, rodeos,” Cedar Park City Council member Lowell Moore said.
And now the city wants to make this arena into the centerpiece of an entertainment and retail complex.
"We think developing that area around the events center with restaurants and bars and I don't know what all--museums, hotels, conference centers--will help fulfill that destination desire," added Moore.
By creating the Entertainment Center zoning designation, city leaders hope to copy the success of other cities.
"Arlington, Texas is a prime example of a place like this," Fuller said. "We have a robust economic development engine where you can use sales tax to create more sales tax.”
City leaders hope it will also help protect the city's $55 million investment from incompatible development.
"We've never had an events center before, so it's a new circumstance,” Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell said. “I think we're looking for an innovative way to protect that.”
Future office space will be limited and drive-thru restaurants won't be allowed.
"It's flexible enough to be realistic for actual developers to come in and do the work," Powell said.
The city hopes the zoning change will help kick-start development delayed by the economic downturn. City leaders say some projects for the new district are already under discussion. Costco is already considering a new flagship store at the site.
"I would love to live within walking distance or biking distance of the shopping and the retail and the entertainments," Moore said.
"It's a city that has a great and bright future,” added Cedar Park City Council member Lyle Grimes. “It's a city that can offer more than just somewhere to live.”
For this city, there's no looking back.
"I think it changes the character,” Moore said. “I think we're still kind of a little country town, so to speak. But it's a little country town with a lot to do."