It is no surprise that there has been constant criticism and some confusion regarding the installation and purpose of the new toll roads SH 45, 183 A and TR 130. Although, most people don’t like change, these toll roads are imperative to the growth and traffic control in Austin and surrounding cities such as Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander and more. In and around the country, real estate and home prices have declined but that is not the case in the Central Texas Austin area. Here the housing market is steady and home prices have increased 8.62% over a 12 month period which ended in October. Austin’s median home price rose 3% to $180,000 according to the Austin Board of Realtors. Even though there are over 10,000 listings, there is still movement and that institutes more traffic and the need for more roads. According to economist Ray Perryman, CEO of the Perryman Group, he states that our economy will stay strong and predicts the Texas economy to grow approximately 4 percent with an addition of 200,000 jobs. More growth, more people on the road. Of course that is why we needed the toll roads to ease the pain.
Because of the new roads, surrounding cities are booming with new communities, abundant shopping and commercial growth. Recently, Toll Rd 130 opened all the way to Hwy 71 giving access to the Austin-Bergstom International Airport. So, basically you can get on in Georgetown, TX, north of Austin and end up eventually in Sequin which is south of Austin near San Antonio. The growth comes because drivers using 130. SH 45 and 183A (instead of the over crowed IH35), will need gas, lodging, shopping, grocery stores, housing etc. This corridor is exploding at an alarming rate.
By city, here are some of the effects the toll road will have or has had
IH 35 and Toll 130 connect just 1 mile north of Georgetown, hence major intersection which could lead to multiple commercial, employment centers and retail developments. With that said, it could lead to many companies moving their operations because of ease of traveling up and down these two major highways and the ability to transport product. Especially since the airport is now only 35 minutes away. Georgetown is in the process of building a new high school which sits on 130 acres, sq. footage of the project is 235,500. In addition, Georgetown has added a Premier Outlet Mall, Wolf Ranch shopping center, a new proposed 73 acre retail center and more is in the planning. Along with Sun City, 3 major neighborhoods are planned building upwards of 2,000 homes or more.
Hutto is one of the fastest growing towns in Central Texas located on Toll 130. Once a one light town, this once little town is busting at the seams. Lowes and Home Depot are already there, so you know someone has done the demographic studies. Multiple restaurants have bought into the anchor stores and more are expected to be added. Hutto’s first hotel, which is an amazing sight and a proposed Target with additional shopping, is expected in 2008. One definite project off Toll 130 is a 466-acre mixed -use development named the Crossings of Carmel Creek, also expected to break ground in 2008. The growth in Hutto is also due to excellent schools, of which they have added many and very affordable housing.
ROUND ROCK, TX
Because there is no infrastructure set yet, there are no development projects in the planned stage, but you can be sure things are underway. While planners and land sellers are talking, there are many decisions that the city council and other parties will have to make to get proper zoning. It is said that just like Georgetown and Hutto, Round Rock’s leaders are looking for ways to generate business-type uses and commercial projects to skirt the toll roads and outer limits of the city. Round Rock has done many things right in the past, especially when they attracted Dell Computers, Dell Diamond (4 A baseball arena), a water park in Old Settler’s Park, La Fronterra, IKEA, Scott & White Hospital, Seton Hospital, Texas State University Campus, Premier Outlet Malls and many other corporations to support Dell and existing companies. Round Rock currently has almost 100,000 residents
Pflugerville is taking a very aggressive stance for business opportunities. They have already put water, wastewater, streets and utilities in place predicting the growth to come. The Council approved a zoning ordinance that cuts through 3,000 acres that have been targeted for economic and business growth, thus adding to their current growth bank. Trey Fletcher, the city planning director, stated that employers were needed for sales tax dollars. Employers provide employees who buy homes and shop near their offices. Pflugerville has done their homework; they want new places to shop and work while keeping a sensible, clean design for the city. Pflugerville has created a great town with such key pre-planning. They had for years stifled growth, but within the last 5 – 7 years decided… we welcome change. They then started planning their community for the residents. They have added multiple parks, a man-made stocked fishing lake, several golf courses, a city park that rivals few. Anchor stores include HEB, Wal-Mart, Ashley Furniture, Tinsel Town (entertainment) and many chain restaurants, these all add to the hustle and bustle of what is an up and coming desirable community to live and play.