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Developer pitches for Leander bonds, proposes 1,200 homes

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Leander stands to gain miles of road, a boost in property values and as many as 3,240 new residents from a proposed residential development presented to the City Council at a workshop at its Feb. 1 meeting. 

Chapman Parks subdivision was proposed for 313 acres at the northwest city limits to the west of Bagdad Road. Representatives of Catlyn Capital Corporation promised the project would set high standards for land developments to follow.

“The only comparable development of this quality in the area is Terra Vista in Round Rock,” said Jim Knight, Catlyn Capital partner and regional business leader for Stantec Central U.S. “Our goal is to set the standard for the next player that comes through your community.”

Presuming the project moves forward as proposed, its possible construction could start sometime in early 2019, city spokesperson Mike Neu said. 

The developer is proposing to pay the full cost for a two- and four-lane extension of Lakeline Boulevard and for a share of all water and wastewater utility work needed to serve Chapman Parks and about 5,700 acres surrounding it.

The city would need to finance the extensions of Lakeline Boulevard and San Gabriel Parkway to the development site.

City staff have been in talks with Catlyn Capital for about 18 months, said assistant city manager Tom Yantis.

The company wants to fund some public features of the development, such as parks and landscaping with an assessment on home buyers. Yantis asked consultant Mary Petty of Petty and Associates to attend the workshop and present an analysis of the overall financial viability of the project.

Petty said Chapman Parks would generate about $62 million in property tax revenues over 30 years — more than offsetting $30 million in additional costs primarily to provide more police, fire and recreational services to a growing Leander population.  

“You will see an increase in your cost of services but you’re going to see a greater increase in your revenue stream over the life of the project,” Petty said.

In the council workshop session, Knight outlined selling points for Chapman Parks which will have as many as 1,200 lots when built out. The plans include 3.1 miles of walking trails, 50 acres of open space, and native landscaping. He also listed features that the company will build, but will be maintained by a homeowners association, including a $5 million system of parks and a $2 million amenities center.

“The city wants three product types and we will have five,” Knight said. “The homes will be located in villages with surrounding open space. It will be a three minute walk from any single-family home to an open space.”

Knight said Catlyn Capital is in the early stages of seeking zoning approval and permits from the city for Chapman Parks.The discussions now turn on bond financing arrangements. Petty’s projections showed that about $19.4 million in bonds will need to be sold over 30 years to finance the project.

The average home price under current plans is about $338,000, Petty said. 

“In our meetings with this developer, we can see that they plan to do several things that we recommend,” Petty said.

Mayor Chris Fielder said he had worked with Knight on other projects and that he was encouraged by Petty’s review of the plans.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that Chapman Parks proposed to bring 1,200 homes to Leander, 3,240 as previously listed. 

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