Economic Development board, City Council approve Kalahari Resort agreements

Hotel, water park, convention center will break ground in May

The board of directors of the Round Rock Transportation and Economic Development Corporation (TEDCo) and the City Council approved at their respective meetings Thursday, April 26, a series of agreements related to the Kalahari Resorts project.

The most significant are a $40 million construction agreement with Hensel Phelps to construct the City-owned convention center that will be a feature of the project, and a $15 million agreement with Kalahari for the construction of onsite public improvements, that includes roads and water and wastewater lines. Both contracts are with TEDCo. The City Council votes were to authorize the agreements.

TEDCo will issue bonds for the construction, which will be repaid from tax revenues generated by Kalahari Resorts.

Kalahari will hold a groundbreaking for the project on May 15.

The City Council also approved a Convention Center operation lease with Kalahari. The City will own the Convention Center. The lease stipulates that Kalahari is responsible for all operation and maintenance costs. By owning the Convention Center, the City is able to qualify for a rebate of approximately $50 million in hotel-motel tax and sales tax revenues from the State of Texas.

The Council also approved a supplement to the Master Development Agreement with Kalahari. The supplemental agreement provides that the on-site roads will be constructed in two phases instead of one phase.

The Council approved an amendment to the Ground Lease that releases the Convention Center lot from the lease.. The wastewater line that will serve the Convention Center runs under the hotel, and the amendment states Kalahari will be solely responsible for maintenance and repairs of the line.

Kalahari announced in June 2016 its intent to build a resort and convention center in Round Rock. The City Council approved an economic incentive package for Kalahari in December 2016. Zoning for the project was approved at the April 12 City Council meeting.

Kalahari intends to invest at least $350 million in the project, which will create significant property tax revenue to the City, Williamson County and Round Rock ISD.  The City anticipates the project will bring in approximately $4.7 million in annual net, direct tax revenues to the City in the first 10 years of operations. The City believes the development will also attract additional business, development and investment in Round Rock and Williamson County.

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