More than a decade ago, when work on Capital Metro’s Red Line commuter train line began, planning work also started on what was intended to be a huge, dense transit-oriented development (TOD) around the train’s northernmost stop in Leander.
When the great recession hit, many of those plans fell by the wayside and the TOD didn’t grow as anticipated. All that is starting to change now, though, with some big names building new developments in the TOD.
Austin Community College and St. David’s HealthCare are both building new facilities near the rail stop, which could help speed up other types of development in the TOD.
Austin Community College is building its 12th campus in the TOD, the first phase of which is under construction now and slated for completion in early 2018. The 106,000-square foot development along San Gabriel Parkway will house 17, 500 square feet of classrooms, 4,800 square feet of science labs, and feature space for a library and learning lab. The new campus will also include a high-tech learning lab, the ACCelerator. It’s ACC’s second such lab.
St. David’s development broke ground in May 2017 on what will eventually become a full service hospital with 80 beds. Included in the first phase is an 11,200-square foot freestanding emergency center that will open in early 2018. The Austin Business Journal reports that the emergency center and hospital will act as an extension of St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, a Level II Trauma Center with 171 beds.
The City of Leander adopted a master plan for the TOD in 2005. The 2,300-acre plan has the capacity to eventually contain more than 30,000 residents and employees.