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Colony Park neighborhood land set for development

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TWC News: Colony Park neighborhood land set for development
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In East Austin's Colony Park neighborhood, plans are moving forward to develop more than 200 acres of land.

Jesus Lopez doesn't have any kids of his own, but he treats his car like a child. He moved to Colony Park from Elgin a year ago and likes the decent size lots and quiet streets.

But getting anything beyond a loaf of bread in the neighborhood requires driving elsewhere. The nearest grocery store is about two or three miles away and if you want options, you'll have to go much further than that.

As far as a sit-down meal at a restaurant, Lopez says you might as well go to Downtown Austin.

"Get the community more over here,” Lopez said. “Open up more restaurants and maybe a gym.”

The city received a $3,000,000 grant to design a master plan for 208 acres of public property just north of Colony Park.

"The houses will have more value out here. People will want to live over here because everything else is closer," Lopez said.

It's unknown how this land will look in five to 10 years.

"We want to spend the next three years talking with the community about what their vision is for this land, what they want to see, what amenities they need in their neighborhood," Kelly Nichols with Austin Neighborhood Housing & Community Development said.

Some have suggested it will be a mini-Mueller development. Nichols doubts that but does see some positives.

"There are elements of Mueller that we see—sustainability planning, the neighborhood engagement that went on there. There are some great practices that Mueller provides,” Nichols said.

Transforming Colony Park from a neighborhood of homes to a community with a better quality of life for residents begins with choosing a community engagement officer who will relay the desires of the neighborhood to planners.

City leaders are hosting an open house where residents can hear from and vote on the candidates for the position. The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 2, at Overton Elementary, 7201 Colony Loop Drive, from 4 to 8 p.m.

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