Bee Cave: The Backyard at Beecave Secures PID from City
Featured Illustration (above): Concept rendering of The Backyard redeveloped as a mixed-use complex. Image: City of Bee Cave
by Art Benavidez
Bee Cave (Travis County)— The Bee Cave City Council approved one agenda item related to the The Backyard at Beecave multiuse venue development and discussed another last week.
Bee Cave approved a public improvements district (PID) submitted by the owner and developer — JPD Backyard Finance, LLC — that will allow the city to tax an appraisal against properties that the project serves. The bonds would be issued by the city in order to fund those capital projects and pay them off by levying an annual installment on those within the PID.
The project site lies southwest of the intersection of Bee Caves Parkway and RM 620 at 13801 Bee Cave Parkway in the northeast portion of the city.
The updated concept plan regarding the desired improvements listed 11 buildings consisting of a 96,000 square feet outdoor music venue capable of holding 3,000 plus people, a two story 11,300 square foot brewhouse, two parking garages, a three story, 125 room hotel with meeting and event spaces, spa, pool, business center, concession area, and fitness area, a hilltop garden, with fencing to be stone or decorative metal, next to the hotel that includes trails, seating areas and other pedestrian amenities.
There are three phases to the proposed project. They are estimated to take three to seven years to complete.
Bee Cave Mayor Kara King said JPD Backyard Finance, LLC petitioned the city for the PID so they can use the financing as a means to help them complete the improvement project quicker than if they had raised the capital internally.
Per the PID drafted terms, the desired improvements are estimated at $25 million, with maximum bonds estimated to be $20 million. The maximum years of capitalized interest is two years, with maturity of the bonds at 30 years.
The Backyard at Beecave project is intended to provide a tightly integrated work and entertainment environment consisting of outdoor music and event venue with associated concessions and gathering spaces, campus style professional office buildings, hotel, restaurants, open space trails and development.
Conceptual plan submitted May 2020 for The Backyard redevelopment at Bee Cave. Image: The Backyard
In May, the city approved amending zoning and development standards for the project after the complex was taken over by JPD Backyard Finance, LLC. This was reported in a May 29 VBX article.
Stantec, out of Austin, is the project engineer. Austin architecture firm Dick Clark and Associates is working on landscape designs. Another Austin architect, Studio Steinbomer, is redesigning the amphitheater section.
Representatives from JPD Backyard Finance, LLC have also begun discussions with the city regarding rideshare services at the adjacent Bee Cave Central Park, however city officials had concerns over closing down the park in order for the proposed reconfiguration to get under way.
JPD Backyard Finance, LLC is seeking to redesign Central Park’s existing two-way access to a one-way terraced loop. The park’s existing entrance and exit gates would need to be replaced with wider alternatives in order to accommodate the loop, according to representatives from the developer.
The Bee Cave Fire Department found that the continuous travel lane is required to be a minimum of 20 feet wide, according to city documents. The plan also includes an increase of 15 parking spaces as well as the addition of vegetation within the park.
However, city council members asked JPD Backyard Finance, LLC to come back with a concept plan that would allow the park to remain open during rearrangement.
Representatives for JPD Backyard Finance, LLC said the reconfiguration of the park would take place during phase one of the project.
The Backyard originally opened in 1993 as a 3,000-person-capacity live music amphitheater. It is located near Bee Cave Central Park between Bee Cave Parkway, Ranch Road 620, and Texas Highway 71.
The Backyard closed in 2008 and reopened with 7,000-person capacity in 2014, and was again shuttered in 2014.
Redevelopment of The Backyard languished for years, mainly due to litigation (now closed) involving the past development team and the city.
Earlier redevelopment plans included residences, data centers and a distributed energy center.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.