Cedar Park to lure major tennis group into giant residential, retail development

The tennis center at the Williamson County Regional Park has a proud history with United States Tennis Association league play. But an economic winning shot may have been played just down the road.

It involves land at the NW corner of the intersection of Sam Bass & 143. The site represents a symbolic “Game. Set & Match” for Cedar Park Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale.

“Yeah it’s very exciting it’s the biggest economic project we’ve ever had in Williamson County and it certainly is the biggest tonight at Cedar Park ever brought it in, so it’s very exciting," Van Arsdale said.

The city council Thursday night voted to authorize a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Indigo Ridge development team. The eventual deal may involve a $60 million incentive package that could yield the city almost $140 million in 20 years. The incentive money would come from a special fund fed by a sales tax and not from residential property tax revenue.

“It looks real good, it’s not a done deal but there’s been a lot of leg work put into this,” Van Arsdale said.

The plan involves the relocation of the United States Tennis Association's Texas headquarters, which is currently located in Austin. The complex would be part of the even larger $1.5 billion Indigo Ridge retail and residential development. The tennis site is envisioned to include indoor and outdoor courts for training as well as tournaments.

It would be similar to the association’s complex in Florida, according to Mayor Van Arsdale.

“In Florida there were also folks, employers that started locating their offices right near the tennis facilities," Van Arsdale said.

An added bonus to the plan is that the tennis courts would also be open to the public.

This is not the only big project being served up for Cedar Park.

Apple is building a new campus just south of town along Parmer Lane. There is also the redevelopment of old Hwy 183-Bell Boulevard that’s still moving forward. It’s going to be a Domain-like complex.

“I think Bell Blvd. is the only thing that is really a true makeover I think everything else is new development,” said Economic Development director Ben White.

The overall game plan is to flip the tax base and have more commercial taxes to ease the burden on the residential.

“This is going to create Cedar Park as the employment hub for Austin MSA, so when companies are looking to relocate to this region Cedar Park it’s going to be on the map we’re going to have high class, class A office product for them to move into,” said White.

The new growth will impact an already strained and limited transportation infrastructure. City officials realized doing nothing could result in the type of gridlock that hurts Austin.

“I can tell you that these big kind of developments get the attention of politicians that can allocate the money,” said Van Arsdale.

City leaders hope to finalize the development deal before the end of summer and the groundbreaking could begin in six months.