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Rapid new growth brings new challenges for Leander

In 2019 the city had a population of 56,101 and according to city, in 2023 it jumped to 80,331.

LEANDER, Texas — The Central Texas city of Leander is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It's now Williamson County's third-largest city and growing quickly.

In 2019, Leander had a population of 56,101 before it jumped to 80,331 in 2023.

Leander Mayor Christine DeLise said Leander has become particularly attractive to families.

"A lot of that comes down to our quality of life and schools, and being a wonderful place to raise your family," DeLise said. "We do see a lot of people here in Williamson County that are moving out of Travis County because Williamson County is a little more affordable than Travis County. And have a little more room to spread out in some of our areas.

Prescilla Rogers, a mother of two, said she moved to Leander for multiple reasons.

"Wanted a bigger home, wanted to be away from the city ... More in the suburbs," Rogers said. "And wanted to close to better schools as well."

Leander has also developed more retail space throughout the city. One of the biggest projects in the works is Northline, which will become Leander's new downtown. The project has retail shops, office space, a hotel and more than 300 housing units.

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"Live, work, and play. It's all condensed right there, and right and the end of CapMetro Redline," DeLise said. "Easy for employees, easy access for anyone who wants to shop."

Ani Tucker and his family moved to Leander three years ago and said one of the reasons was the school system for his kids.

"It's a rapid growth not only from the housing perspective, but you see a lot of businesses," Tucker said.

While Tucker said he loves Leander, he also has concerns with its rapid growth and the water.

“Traffic is one," Tucker said. "It is going to be bottlenecked. Keeping up with the infrastructure is the biggest challenge we have with the growth."

Leander has big construction projects planned like the Ronald Reagan Corridor for RM 2243, also known as Hero Way.

"They are starting this project here in Leander in the fall that's going to be divided highways like 183A," DeLise said.

For water, Leander will add more water towers that can hold more than 1 million gallons of water each, and will continue looking for ways to draw more from its main water source, Lake Travis.

“We have done a tremendous job of staying on top of that and planning for our future. It’s not just Leander when you talk about these communities in Williamson County that are booming," DeLise said. "Water is the most important thing to all of us and the hardest thing to deal with."

Leander's population is expected to reach 130,000 by 2040.

"Boomtown is KVUE's series covering the explosive growth in Central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, head to KVUE.com/Boomtown."

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