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The City's $42 Million Land Sale

Conceptual art from a 2008 presentation shows Second Street extended to Shoal Creek.
Image courtesy City of Austin
Conceptual art from a 2008 presentation shows Second Street extended to Shoal Creek.

A $500 million development may bring new housing, retail and underground parking to the southwest quadrant of downtown Austin.

Today, the City Council was briefed on the sale of a plot of land facing Lady Bird Lake. The land is the former location of the Green Water Treatment Plant, bordered by Cesar Chavez and Third Street, San Antonio Street and Shoal Creek.

Austin’s first treatment plant, the City Council voted to demolish Green in 2006 to promote taxable development more compatible with downtown.  

Under the terms city staff presented today, the city would sell the plot to TC Austin Development, a subsidiary of development firm Trammell Crow, for $42.4 million.

TC Austin is pitching 826 apartments and 200 hotel rooms, plus retail, hospitality and office space on the site. Developers would also extend the street grid through the development, connecting Nueces from Cesar Chavez to Third Street, and extending Second Street through the plot.

Affordable housing—at 80 percent of Austin’s median family income —will represent 10 percent of the apartments built.  Council member Kathie Tovo questioned the seven year affordability period for the units, questioning why it wasn’t longer; she was informed the city could continue to “buy down” the cost for affordable units on the property in the future. Tovo also noted a need for bigger condominiums to attract more families to the downtown area.

Although a vote on the sale is tentatively scheduled for April 5, some council members raised concern over the time period because the developers do not have set dates for construction yet. Council member Chris Riley repeatedly tried to nail down a specific start date, but none were forthcoming. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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