Cedar Park P&Z Approves Apartment Mid-Rise by Bell Blvd Development
Feature Illustration (above): Early concept rendering of The Paragon apartment building, before the height was reduced to six stories. Image: iLand Development Group.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Cedar Park (Williamson County) — The Planning and Zoning Commission approved a zoning change that will bring a six-story mid-rise apartment building to a site that is adjacent to the Bell Boulevard Development District.
The mid-rise was originally supposed to be part of the district, as a Phase 2 construction project. However, the developer ultimately was not included in the agreement between the city and RedLeaf Properties LLC, the private partner for the 40-acre Bell District project.
The 5.22-acre site is south of the south property line of the Cedar Park Cemetery and it currently has no access to a public street. However, a narrow sliver of the property reaches the 100 block of South Bell Boulevard and a road will be built between the cemetery and a commercial business at 111 S. Bell Blvd. Because of that 30-foot-wide, 300-foot-long finger of land to reaches Bell Boulevard, it has an address of 107 S. Bell Blvd.
Map of The Paragon project site in proximity to Bell District. Graphic by Adolfo Pesquera.
In addition, the master plan for the Bell Boulevard Develop District includes the construction of north-south roads that will provide access along the west and east boundaries of the project site. The developer’s representative told commissioners that they would not necessarily wait for RedLeaf to build those roads, but could construct the portion of road needed to gain access to West Park Street, which runs parallel to the north boundary of the cemetery.
The zoning change converts the property from General Business to Mixed Use with a conditional overlay. The P&Z Commission first reviewed this project May 19 and raised several concerns. Their preferences were to limit building height to 75 feet, limit the number of residential units to 370, and to be an assurance the design standards would conform with the Bell Boulevard Design Book that RedLeaf is obligated to follow.
The proposed building is called The Paragon and the developer is an Austin company, iLand Development Group. Their original proposal was to build an eight-story structure with a height of 92 feet-4 inches, and it would have 434 units with structured parking, swimming pool and other amenities common to market rate apartment communities.
There is also an office/retail component of 60,000 gross square feet at street level. Their estimated project cost was initially put at $91 million.
In response to city staff and commissioners’ input, iLand agreed to reduce the scale to six stories and the height to 82 feet. They also agreed to reduce the number of units to 370.
Early concept elevation of the West Park Street façade, prior to the height reduction. Image: iLand Development Group.
Although staff recommended approval, they persisted on insisting the height be limited to 75 feet, which is the height standard for the Bell Boulevard Development. iLand said they wanted the extra seven feet to increase the ceiling heights in the apartments to make them more appealing.
The P&Z Commission approved the 82-foot height in its motion, but on the condition that the number of stories be capped at six stories.
Andrey Derevianko, the chief financial officer of iLand Development Group, also agreed to incorporate the architectural guidelines of the Bell Boulevard Design Book into the project’s design.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.