A Look at Cedar Park

By: Joe Cline

Cedar Park, Texas is not one of the most well known areas of Texas. As a suburb of Austin, the state's capital often outshines the smaller, neighboring area. However, that is a grave misdeed, for just as Austin is full of history, industry and real estate, Cedar Park is, too.

History

Only sixteen miles northwest of Austin, it is no surprise that Cedar Park's history begins similarly. The same nomadic Native American tribes that set up camp in Austin did so in Cedar Park as well. It was home to the Tonkawa, Comanche and Lipan-Apache tribes, among others throughout the year. Cedar Park was originally named Running Brushy for the spring that flowed from the area's creeks.

In the 1870's the first European Settlers bought land and built a ranch in Running Bushy. George and Harriet Cluck became the focus and the center of town. By 1874, the area had its own post office, and when the Texas railroad was completed, it ran straight through Running Brushy, making the area a possible stop. Running Brushy quickly became a legitimate settlement, and in 1887, the Cluck's son renamed Running Brushy - Cedar Park, starting it on its journey to what it is today.

Cedar Park remained a busy yet small and unnoticed town until the 1970s. At that point, the growth of Austin spilled into the area, causing a large population boom. In fact, in merely a decade, the town grew from 125 to 3,000 individuals. Houses were erected and residents moved in. Soon, shopping centers, malls and other commercial buildings were added. Today, Cedar Park has 52,721 residents and is the seventh fastest growing city in the country.

Economy

So close to Austin, Cedar Park sends many of its residents into the city for work. In fact, more than 50 percent of the population commutes 10 miles or more every day. That commute could soon change. Many companies are discovering Cedar Park and creating a base in this suburb of Austin. Most recently, the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center was built creating a large number of medical positions and thus attracting doctors, nurses, medical technicians to the area. Other employers include Advanced Drywall Systems Inc., Electronic & Medical Industries Inc., TDK, Texas Technologies and Human Systems. It may seem given the large number of commuters that there are few opportunities for employment, but that's not true.

Real Estate

As a suburb, particularly one connected so closely to a large city, there's no question that the real estate industry is alive and well in Cedar Park. The growing population number showcase that fact well: In 1990, there were 5,161 residents; in 2000, there were 26,049; and by 2008, there were 52,721 residents. People are flocking to Cedar Park, and that means houses have to be built, developments have to be created and realtors have to buy and sell daily.

The average price of a home is $239,900, with new homes a bit more costly and foreclosures costing considerably less (about $138,000). Market value will continue to rise steadily in the years to come. Describing the area as a sound real estate investment seems to be an understatement.

Cedar Park is a city, a small one but a city nonetheless. It is growing in leaps and bounds. Now is the time to become a part of the explosion that is Cedar Park.

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