Leander set to approve retail consultant to attract new business


On the heels of the departure of Economic Development Manager Eric Zeno, Leander is considering hiring a consulting firm to help spur further retail development within the city. 

At its Thursday, Feb. 21 meeting, the Leander City Council will decide on a professional services agreement with an Alabama-based consulting firm, with the goal of mapping existing retail locations and analyzing opportunities for development. The company would also contact potential businesses to recruit retail development on behalf of the city. 

According to its website, Retail Strategies, LLC, has more than 30 employees and works with cities across the United States on retail development consulting projects. 

The company’s website states: “Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community.”  

If approved, Leander would pay $135,000 to Retail Strategies, LLC, for a period of three years, during which the company would make at least one visit to Leander per year and “proactively recruit businesses for targeted zones through the contact of a minimum of 30 retailers, restaurants, brokers or developers,” according to city documents.

The proposal is up for approval shortly after the announced departure of Leander Economic Development Manager Eric Zeno, who left on Feb. 15 to become the City of Lago Vista’s first-ever economic development manager. 

Zeno’s tenure with Leander began in 2011, and his job duties included retention and development of businesses within the city. 

During the Feb. 7 city council meeting, Leander’s Economic Development Director Mark Willis spoke highly of Zeno, saying Lago Vista is “...getting a good man, but we’re losing one.”

Leander City Council will hold a work session at 5:30 p.m. and a regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Pat Bryson Municipal Hall located on 201 N. Brushy Street.