With the City of Leander’s small-town charm, progressive attitude, and growing population, it’s no secret that people are flocking to the little city that could. The city’s accolades have been accumulating. In 2017 Leander was named the #1 Place to Raise a Family in Texas as well as the 37th Safest City in the state. Leander also boasts attractive multi-family community-oriented residential housing developments and is in close proximity to Austin’s city limits. And, not to mention, that it’s a neighboring city of the Texas Hill Country.
There’s no doubt that the City of Leander is on the move. Below are a few key points to keep an eye on in 2018.
City of Leander General Election
The 2018 General Election. On Saturday, May 15 the city will hold a general election for four expiring councilmember terms including the mayor and places 2, 4, and 6. After six years as a public servant, unprecedented growth and a multitude of improvement projects, Mayor Chris Fielder has announced he will not seek re-election in 2018. In addition to the accolades mentioned above, according to the city’s website, under Fielder’s guidance the city’s operating budget grew from $16,104,791 in 2012 to $35,581,585 for 2018. The city also increased its land area from 22.82 square miles in 2012 to 36.79 square miles in 2018. And, reductions in property tax rates and a favorable bond rating have been added to his success.
The City of Leander’s population. Leander is not so little anymore. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Leander’s population increased 61.7 percent between 2010 and 2016. And, according to the city’s website it is predicting that its 2018 population count will soar to 56,267. Check out this Growth and Development Update presented at the January Chamber of Commerce luncheon by Assistant City Manager Tom Yantis on the future of Leander.
Quality of life projects. Those projects worth noting in this area include the expansion of parkland and parks programs and the construction of a fifth fire station. Leander will build a fifth fire station located at 2800 Travisso Parkway in the Travisso community. During the Thursday, Jan. 18, city council meeting officials voted to move forward with the project’s design elements. The new facility will serve Travisso’s third and fourth phases in addition to parts of nearby Grand Mesa. Plans are to begin construction this September with a completion date of May 2019.
City of Leander Economic Development Projects
Amazon headquarters proposal. The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce submitted a proposal to Amazon to house their second headquarters here. Also included in the proposal were the cities of Leander and Cedar Park. Leander was included in the proposal because of its Capital MetroRail commuter rail station. The retail tech giant received over 230 proposals from cities nationwide. On January 18 Amazon officially announced 20 cities that we still in the running including the Austin Area. Amazon’s ties to the Austin area include its August 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods Market. In addition, Amazon built an 855,000 square-foot Fulfillment Center in 2016 in nearby San Marcos, a 31 mile distance exists between the two cities. The facility houses over 1,000 employees. Amazon plans to announce a final decision at the end of this year. Stay tuned.
Economic development projects. There are several notable projects in the works. The project list includes the Austin Community College (ACC) San Gabriel Campus, St. David’s Hospital Campus, Holiday Inn Express, and the city’s first Chick-Fil-A. The future location of ACC’s San Gabriel campus is at 640 Mel Mathis Blvd. and Hwy. 183A. Watch for it to open this summer. The 106,000 square-foot learning institution will house classrooms, science labs, and the college’s second ACCelerator Learning Center. St. David’s initially started its project in Leander with an Emergency Center. However, the plan is to continue to expand the facility’s services in phases that will include a full-service 80-bed hospital.