We all know the Lake Travis area is booming with growth. And while we may have to experience a few growing pains a long the way, the promise of a bright future outshines the frustrations. The last piece of undeveloped property (130 acres) located behind the new Oaks at Lakeway is being considered for a unique arts district that will give Lake Travis residents a cultural beacon of its own.
What’s important for Lake Travis residents to know is the amount of care involved in this decision. The City of Lakeway has a rare opportunity to determine how the land will be used. And they fully understand it is the last huge stretch of property located in the epicenter of a growing and thriving community. It’s not a question of what should that land look like, but a question of what is our vision.
At the City Council meeting in Lakeway on January 20, Deputy City Manager Chessie Zimmerman outlined a preliminary concept for the Lakeway Arts District that may include things like theaters, museums, galleries, a science center, activities for children and/or a sculpture garden. The basic vision includes a multi-building complex that would be used for performing and visual arts, so all art forms in the community can be showcased in a centralized location.
Zimmerman explained why she and her team of staff and community members embrace the concept of an arts district in Lakeway, because it would “preserve and highlight the unique attributes of our community.” She went on to say, “What is it that makes us special and sets us apart and how do we encourage that to grow and become our identity?”
And Zimmerman is correct. Let’s be honest, that land will eventually be zoned and planned. Isn’t it better to be proactive and plan to use it for something unique and inspired as opposed to only using it for commercial real estate surrounded by 600-900 new apartments?
Another added bonus to the development of this arts district is if it can be rezoned as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) instead of a Government, Utility and Institutional (GUI), that means it would require more connectivity for vehicle traffic — which eases the congestion concerns that are already an issue on RR 620.
This preliminary concept outlines at least two potential road connections on Lohman’s Crossing at Lohman’s Spur and also at the entrance of The Village of the Hills. These intersections would be in addition to vehicle access from the Oaks at Lakeway development and on to RR 620.
Zimmerman also mentioned that Lake Travis has outgrown City Park for its large hometown events and this new concept would include a park that could comfortably host our big community events. (If you attended Goblin Glow this past Halloween, you know we need more room!)
The City of Lakeway supports this proposed arts district and is requesting city staff to gather input from various members of the arts community.
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Corey Branam says
I would love to see the arts district of The Oaks set up as a central area with a water/splash fountain and lots of outdoor seating on the exterior of restaurants. An area where families can gather, kids can play, and no vehicle traffic. Great concept that I’ve seen in Oregon. Bike friendly would also be amazing!
Todd Hower says
I completely agree, Corey! This is an incredible opportunity for the City of Lakeway to develop the last (large) piece of land into something that supports and serves the community.
Jessica McClain says
Lakeway is in desperate need of more pedestrian/bike friendly areas. i agree with your suggestions, Corey!
Joe Recer says
As a future resident of Tuscan Village I would like to see more emphasis on bike/pedestrian connections between subdivisions so we can stay off the busy streets. I also strongly support the planning ahead for an arts district. Arts district and bike/pedestrian trails both address quality of life issues.
Gail Threinen says
Lakeway has a huge community of artists of all kinds. Painters, singers, actors, etc., etc. We need a place that professional artists and artists -in-training can hold an exhibition, we need a building that houses classrooms, rehearsal rooms, a theatre. Lakeway needs to support our talented community members which will bring people from throughout the area to Lakeway to enjoy our art and in turn, shop and dine at local businesses. Let’s grow up in a way that nourishes the soul, Lakeway!!