Mixed-use project in Leander loses anchor

Developer moving ahead with $1B Northline development near Austin

A rendering of the Northline project, Alex Tynberg and the Hub CEO Brad Zeitlin
A rendering of the Northline project, Alex Tynberg and the Hub CEO Brad Zeitlin (Northline Leander, Tynberg, Twitter)

A massive mixed-use development in Leander just lost its anchor retail tenant, but that’s not stopping developer Alex Tynberg from chugging along. 

The $1 billion project north of Austin, called Northline, will no longer house Frisco-based entertainment and food venue the Hub, the Austin Business Journal reported. While the decommitment may set back the retail portion of the 116-acre site, the first residential units are still on track to come online in the next few months, Tynberg said.

Hub Partners and Leander officials came to an incentives agreement in May 2022, which was later amended in November, stating that the company had to apply for construction permits by April 30, 2023, and start construction by the end of the year, while investing at least $17.5 million by the end of 2024. Hub was on track to receive up to $1.65 million in sales-tax rebates over a 10-year stretch. 

Instead, the company decided to focus on a project in Allen, closer to its home-base, Hub CEO Brad Zeitlin told the outlet.

Tynberg also cited high construction cost and interest rates as reasons for backing away, as well as uncertainty with the Hub’s capital. He anticipates Northline’s total investment will likely surpass $1 billion at full buildout over the next decade or so.

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Northline is slated for 1.9 million square feet of office space, 225,000 square feet of retail space, a 175,000-square-foot hotel and over 2,000 residential units. Slate Real Estate Partners is building 343 townhomes and apartments, and Novak Brothers is building 69 townhomes, both of which will open its first units later this summer.

Even though Hub’s decommitment is a setback, Tynberg believes it could be a good thing, as the venue would have curtailed some competitors from opening and required parking spaces that can better serve other tenants, he told the outlet. 

Leander is one of several Austin suburbs that have seen seismic growth in recent years. Its population topped 74,000 last year, compared to about 30,000 a decade prior.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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