2222 CONA shares Karlin’s proposed updates of former 3M site

The 156-acre site off of River Place Boulevard and RM 2222 is now called Highpoint at 2222. Karlin Real Estate is rehabbing the existing nine buildings and the 1.1 million-square-feet of office space. That is expected to be finished this summer.   Karlin photo

2222 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations had a meeting recently with Karlin Real Estate leaders about the former 3M campus at RM 2222 and River Place Boulevard.

Karlin expressed plans to open Scotch Trail Road back up for Leander ISD school buses at its 156-acre campus. The real estate investment firm also shared plans for less office space and apartments than earlier projected. It now plans to build retail space for shops and restaurants for public use, and it is proposing public amenities including walking trails and gardens. 

In an effort to keep the community informed, 2222 CONA shared notes from its latest meeting with Karlin held in late February.

“Karlin Real Estate (former 3M property) Community Update 5”

Dear neighbors,

We have important updates about Highpoint 2222 (the former 3M campus) and future home of a life sciences / research and development tenant.

Ever since you and your neighbors completed the online survey about this property a year and a half ago, 2222 CONA has consistently asked the property owners, Karlin Real Estate, to consider your feedback as they develop this 156-acre property. The survey results told us that your biggest concerns include traffic, safety, school bus routes and the need for community benefits like a public park and/or sports facilities. We also learned that neighbors would prefer to see office and public retail over apartment buildings.

While we recognize that these kinds of projects always involve a little give and take, we were encouraged during our most recent meeting in late February with the Karlin team when co-founder Matt Schwab emphasized the importance of community engagement during their process.

Below are highlights from our most recent discussions, but please note that all of these concepts are very early stage and subject to change. In addition, development on this entire campus will be spread out over several years and is not planned to occur at once.

The newest plan includes thoughtful architectural landscaping and focuses on environmental preservation, open space and sustainability, with a particular emphasis on green infrastructure and public amenities, including:

  • Improved school bus safety: On March 19, Karlin plans to open Scotch Trail Road for Leander ISD school buses, keeping the buses off FM 2222 and Ribelin Ranch Drive. Karlin will try to maintain this as a long-term benefit, but cannot guarantee at this time.
  • Proposed environmental and public amenities: walking trails, a public park with gardens, vegetative buffers, bioswales, a dog park and pickleball court.
  • Improved wildfire safety: Karlin is installing several cameras on its tallest buildings that can automatically detect smoke and wildfire up to 10 miles away.
  • Restaurants and shopping: Retail spaces will now be designed for public use and ideally, will include locally owned restaurants and service businesses with associated parking.
  • Karlin plans to reduce previously planned residential units by 30 percent and office buildings by 25 percent.
  • More than 40 percent of the property could be left in its natural state, including a 38-acre conservation easement or preserve.

While 2222 CONA expressed cautious optimism about the project’s direction, we agreed that we need further discussions about traffic management, parking, increased density, and specifics on the community benefits.

We also suggested community outreach and are working with Karlin to host an upcoming neighborhood feedback session to gather more of your input. Please be on the lookout for a future email with details about that upcoming meeting.

We look forward to your continued engagement on this unprecedented project and in helping us shape our community’s future.

Linda Bailey

for 2222 CONA (Coalition of Neighborhood Associations)

P.S. Email us back lindabailey123@gmail.com if you have questions or want to provide input now. We are all volunteers and receive no compensation or personal benefit for our community involvement.