Development agreements for a 220-room Sheraton hotel and conference center at the Rivery were approved by the Georgetown City Council on January 14 and finalized this week. The Summit at Rivery Park project near Interstate 35 will include a 16,000 square-foot conference center. Construction on the hotel and conference center is slated to begin this fall and be complete by the end of 2015.
Plans for the Summit at Rivery Park project include future phases with retail stores, restaurant sites, single-family homes, and multifamily residences for a total project investment of $150 million, including $65 million for the hotel, conference center, and public parking garage. Private investors will fund most of the project cost. Novak Brothers, the developer for the Summit at Rivery project, has already constructed several brownstone residences at the site. Hines, an international real estate development firm headquartered in Houston, is a partner in the hotel and conference center.
Rivery Park will see major improvements in access and parking. The existing parking lot will be expanded and resurfaced and new park amenities will be added such as a new pond with fountains, new trails, and boardwalks with a shade structure and seating. Improvements also will be made to the disc golf course. In addition, a new 336-space public parking garage will be constructed and will be available for Rivery Park visitors at no charge. The public parking garage will be owned by the City, but its use will be shared with the hotel and conference center.
The City, the 4A Georgetown Economic Development Corporation, and the 4B Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation will contribute approximately $13.25 million for construction of the new public parking garage, improvements in Rivery Park, and public roadway and utility infrastructure. The City and GEDCO will issue debt and the GTEC contribution will be made from cash on hand.
The City, GEDCO, and GTEC each will be reimbursed for their contributions over time from the tax increment fund that was established for the property in 2007. Monies in the tax increment fund consist of 100 percent of the City’s property tax increment generated from the land in the Rivery Park Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, and 80 percent of Williamson County’s property tax increment generated from land in the zone. It is anticipated that the tax increment fund will be sufficient to provide reimbursement of $12.5 million to the City and GEDCO as well as $750,000 to GTEC and $3.5 million to the developer.
The City will remit half of the 1 percent City sales tax generated in the Rivery Park TIRZ to Williamson County in consideration of Williamson County’s participation in the tax increment fund.
The Summit at Rivery Park project on I-35 will serve as a northern gateway to the Austin metro area and an anchor for future retail, office, and residential development in the center of Georgetown.