Development http://kut.org en Hotel or Grocery Store? Two Visions to Redevelop East Austin's Plaza Saltillo http://kut.org/post/hotel-or-grocery-store-two-visions-redevelop-east-austins-plaza-saltillo <p><strong>Update</strong>: Capital Metro has chosen a developer for its Plaza Saltillo project, spanning 11-acres that used to be a downtown rail yard.</p><p>The team led by Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate and Dallas’s Columbus Realty was awarded the project at the Capital Metro Board of Directors meeting yesterday.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Capital Metro will have the final say on the design. Read below for more.</span></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Original story </strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">(May 21):&nbsp;</span>What does the future hold for East Austin's Plaza Saltillo? This week, the city came a few steps closer to finding out.&nbsp;</p><p>For years, Austin's <ins cite="mailto:wd285" datetime="2014-05-21T14:03"><a href="https://www.capmetro.org/">Capital Metro</a></ins> has held 11 acres of land in central east Austin.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Plaza Saltillo region – bound by Interstate 35 on the west, Comal Street on the east, and between E. Fourth and E. Fifth Streets – sits adjacent to Cap Metro's commuter MetroRail line.</span></p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:39:26 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Alanah Patterson 10467 at http://kut.org Hotel or Grocery Store? Two Visions to Redevelop East Austin's Plaza Saltillo Austin's New Boardwalk Leads to This Cramped Bridge With 'Poor Safety' http://kut.org/post/austins-new-boardwalk-leads-cramped-bridge-poor-safety <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's a safe bet that the new boardwalk opening along Austin's Lady Bird Lake will attract throngs of people. It’s a sleek, modern, structure. At about 14 feet wide and around a mile long, it provides plenty of space for joggers, cyclists, and people who want to take in a view of the city. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But if those people walk east, intent on realizing the boardwalk's promise of closing the loop of trails around the lake, they will find themselves at the Pleasant Valley Bridge over the Longhorn Dam</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">– a&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">river crossing that is</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;neither sleek nor modern. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For years city officials have considered it potentially unsafe, and worry it could become more so with added foot traffic from the boardwalk.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So far efforts to improve the crossing have failed.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 19:06:28 +0000 Mose Buchele 10554 at http://kut.org Austin's New Boardwalk Leads to This Cramped Bridge With 'Poor Safety' Building Austin's New Central Library Takes 1,000 Concrete Trucks. They're All Coming This Weekend. http://kut.org/post/building-austins-new-central-library-takes-1000-concrete-trucks-theyre-all-coming-weekend <p>Here's a reason to avoid <a href="https://www.google.com/maps/search/seaholm+plant/@30.2663454,-97.7523446,18z">the Seaholm area</a> near Cesar Chavez Street tonight<span style="line-height: 1.5;">: over 1,000 concrete trucks from Austin and surrounding cities constantly rotating through the area for over 24 hours.</span></p><p>The City of Austin is building <a href="http://kut.org/post/check-out-austin-s-evolving-central-library-design">a new central library</a> at 701 W. Cesar Chavez, near the former Seaholm power plant. Tonight, construction crews are putting in a five-foot deep concrete slab to create the building’s foundation. That’s a big project – requiring a total of 1,020 concrete trucks.</p><p> Fri, 09 May 2014 19:47:19 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Laura Rice 10389 at http://kut.org Building Austin's New Central Library Takes 1,000 Concrete Trucks. They're All Coming This Weekend. Austin Considers Measure Aimed at Lowering Cost of Tiny Apartments http://kut.org/post/austin-considers-measure-aimed-lowering-cost-tiny-apartments <p>The City of Austin could remove off-street parking space requirements for developers who build some apartments <a href="http://kut.org/post/tiny-apartments-could-be-big-answer-austins-housing-crunch">smaller than 500 square feet</a> –&nbsp;dwellings known as "micro-units." Advocates say&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">it could encourage development of the micro-units along public transit corridors. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"We're talking about 300- or 400-square-foot apartments. I</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">s there a market for that? In some cities, it looks like there has been</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">," Council Member Bill </span>Spelman<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> said Tuesday during <a href="http://austintx.swagit.com/play/03252014-558">a council work session</a>. "This is another way of simply reducing the cost. The whole thing is really about affordable housing."&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">City code requires most residential developments to have <a href="http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll?f=jumplink$jumplink_x=Advanced$jumplink_vpc=first$jumplink_xsl=querylink.xsl$jumplink_sel=title;path;content-type;home-title;item-bookmark$jumplink_d=texas(austin)$jumplink_q=[field%20folio-destination-name:%27APPENDIX%20A.%20%20TABLES%20OF%20OFF-STREET%20PARKING%20AND%20LOADING%20REQUIREMENTS.%27]$jumplink_md=target-id=JD_APPENDIXA.TABLESOFOFF-STREETPARKINGANDLOADINGREQUIREMENTS.">at least one off-street parking space</a> per unit. Council removed most of those requirements <a href="http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Texas/austin/title25landdevelopment/chapter25-6transportation?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:austin_tx$anc=JD_Chapter25-6Article7Division5">for downtown businesses</a> last year.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:26:56 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10034 at http://kut.org Austin Considers Measure Aimed at Lowering Cost of Tiny Apartments Once Neglected, Waller Creek Will Now Remake Downtown Austin (VIDEO) http://kut.org/post/once-neglected-waller-creek-will-now-remake-downtown-austin-video <p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/"><strong>From StateImpact Texas:</strong></a></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The more things change, the more they stay the same.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.austinparks.org/our-parks.html?parkid=371">Waterloo Park</a>, just east of the State Capitol, is a perfect example. There used to be houses there. But then in the 1970s, recalls former city council staffer and <a href="http://www.wallercreek.org/">Waller Creek Conservancy</a> executive director Stephanie Lee McDonald, “there was a lot of urban renewal efforts and the neighborhood was razed and the park was created.”</p><p>According to newspaper articles at the time, there were big redevelopment plans for the area, which sits along Waller Creek. There were even hopes that the space could become Austin’s very own version of the famed San Antonio River Walk. Of course, things didn’t really work out that way.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/125619319&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 19:47:09 +0000 Mose Buchele 9407 at http://kut.org Once Neglected, Waller Creek Will Now Remake Downtown Austin (VIDEO) Colony Park: Can Austin Transform a Community Without Displacing it? http://kut.org/post/colony-park-can-austin-transform-community-without-displacing-it <p class="p1"><a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/about-colony-park"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A new </span>master plan</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> for the Colony Park neighborhood will use a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of <a href="http://HUD.gov">Housing and Urban Development</a> in an effort to revitalize the area. The project resembles the planning of Mueller in scope and ambition, but some residents are concerned the project might eventually displace them.</span></p><p class="p1"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At a Saturday community engagement meeting, residents in the Colony Park area said they were concerned the city might move on to implementation of the plan without their approval.</span></p><p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 21:58:34 +0000 Carrie Powell 8985 at http://kut.org Colony Park: Can Austin Transform a Community Without Displacing it? This Map Carves the U.S. Into Seven Nations - And Splits Texas Three Ways http://kut.org/post/map-carves-us-seven-nations-and-splits-texas-three-ways <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F110214546" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>"America is not a single country. It is a collection of seven competitive nations and three quasi-independent city-states, each with its own tastes, proclivities, resources and problems.”</p><p>So writes geographer and futurist Joel Kotkin for Forbes Magazine.&nbsp; In <a href="http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2013/america-next-decade.html">his new map of America’s future</a>, entitled <em>America’s Next Decade</em>, Kotkin sees not only the outlines of a remarkably robust nation running from south Texas to western Florida, but also the emergence of Americas next major "global city" - right here in Texas.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 13:46:16 +0000 David Brown 8671 at http://kut.org This Map Carves the U.S. Into Seven Nations - And Splits Texas Three Ways Austin: One of the Snobbiest Cities in the U.S.? http://kut.org/post/austin-one-snobbiest-cities-us <p>Sure, Austin's got idiosyncrasies, which is a nice way of saying Austinites are "weird."</p><p>But, according to a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-snobbiest-cities/20">survey from Travel &amp; Leisure</a>, Austinites&nbsp;have also earned another, less flattering, label: Snobby.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 19:13:20 +0000 Andrew Weber 8267 at http://kut.org Austin: One of the Snobbiest Cities in the U.S.? Chamber of Commerce Looks to Reinvigorate Austin's 'Brand' http://kut.org/post/chamber-looks-reinvigorate-austins-brand <p>Is Austin's "brand" being diluted?&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.austinchamber.com/index.php">Austin Chamber of Commerce</a> had a round-table discussion today that asked exactly that. The consensus was upbeat, but Jack McDonald, CEO of <a href="http://silverbackeg.com/index.html">Silverback Enterprise Group</a>, said a lack of affordable housing will be a more serious concern this decade ahead.</p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 22:48:08 +0000 Luke Quinton 8030 at http://kut.org Chamber of Commerce Looks to Reinvigorate Austin's 'Brand' Council Looks to Continue 'Greening' East Austin Alleys http://kut.org/post/council-looks-continue-greening-east-austin-alleys <p class="p1">The University of Texas and the city are looking to change the way we use alleys in Austin, by possibly adding affordable housing in some Austin alleyways.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Today, the Austin City Council approved an $18,000 grant to fund the Green Alley Demonstration Project, which could also add other amenities to spruce up alleys in the East Austin Guadalupe neighborhood.</p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 18:27:04 +0000 Emery Reifsnyder 8019 at http://kut.org Council Looks to Continue 'Greening' East Austin Alleys Possible Rainey Development Could Deal 'Death Stroke' to Neighborhood http://kut.org/post/possible-rainey-development-could-deal-death-stroke-neighborhood <p>East Austin activists gathered today at the Mexican American Cultural Center to protest development of the historic Rainey Street District.</p><p>Members from Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin (HABLA) say a proposed high-rise tower would overshadow the neighborhood that's seen its share of attention from developers looking to break into the budding entertainment district.</p><p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 23:40:00 +0000 Sebastian Herrera & Roy Varney 8014 at http://kut.org Possible Rainey Development Could Deal 'Death Stroke' to Neighborhood Has the Austin Backlash Begun? http://kut.org/post/has-austin-backlash-begun <p></p><p>Has the afterglow worn off?</p><p>The doting South by Southwest masses have slinked back to Williamsburg and Echo Park, doubtless telling tales about this “locals only” barbecue joint called The Salt Lick.&nbsp;But as they stumble out of their Austin-induced atrophy, some might ask the harsh question: Is Austin really that great?</p><p> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 16:21:38 +0000 Andrew Weber 7305 at http://kut.org Has the Austin Backlash Begun? What’s Next After Austin Repealed its Project Duration Ordinance? http://kut.org/post/what-s-next-after-austin-repealed-its-project-duration-ordinance <p></p><p>The Austin City Council voted 5-2 last night to repeal the city’s Project Duration Ordinance, rules limiting how long a development can remain “grandfathered” under land-use rules in place at the time of the project’s conception.</p><p>In contrast to <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/council-delays-vote-project-duration-ordinance-update">last week’s hearing</a>, which featured hours of citizen testimony, public input was closed this time. The council discussion lasted just 15 minutes. Council members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo voted no.</p><p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 16:17:16 +0000 Wells Dunbar 7149 at http://kut.org What’s Next After Austin Repealed its Project Duration Ordinance? Senate Moves to Block Capitol Complex Developments http://kut.org/post/senate-moves-block-capitol-complex-developments <p></p><p><strong>UPDATE (4/4/13):</strong> <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/SB00507I.htm">Senate Bill 507</a> by State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) passed the Senate unanimously today.</p><p>The bill would limit public private partnerships, or P3’s, in the area around the Capitol grounds. &nbsp;The bill is closely related to SB 894 by State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston).</p><p>Last month Watson even likened his bill to a failsafe for Whitmire’s initial bill in a committee hearing last month.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:42:58 +0000 Andrew Weber 7107 at http://kut.org Senate Moves to Block Capitol Complex Developments Photos: Waller Creek Tunnel Project at Waterloo Park http://kut.org/post/photos-waller-creek-tunnel-project-waterloo-park <p>City officials say they're making progress on the Waller Creek Tunnel Project.</p><p>Construction crews at Waterloo Park have wrapped up excavating the tunnel and are moving on to building a treatment plant that will help filter floodwaters.</p><p> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 21:40:21 +0000 Filipa Rodrigues & Andrew Weber 7061 at http://kut.org Photos: Waller Creek Tunnel Project at Waterloo Park Council Delays Vote on Project Duration Ordinance (Update) http://kut.org/post/council-delays-vote-project-duration-ordinance-update <p><strong>Update:&nbsp;</strong>The Austin City Council decided to delay their vote Thursday night, citing concerns that they did not have enough information.</p><p>City staff will return next week with a sampling of how many properties repealing the Project Duration Ordinance would affect. Mayor Lee Leffingwell&nbsp;was the only council member against the delay last night.</p><p><strong>Original Story </strong>(March 20,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">7:22 p.m.):&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Permits for building projects may lose their expiration dates, depending on a vote at Thursday’s City Council Meeting.</span> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 11:20:50 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7020 at http://kut.org Council Delays Vote on Project Duration Ordinance (Update) City Hall Hustle: Luxury Hotels, Affordable Housing & the Zoning Brawl Over Downtown Density http://kut.org/post/city-hall-hustle-luxury-hotels-affordable-housing-zoning-brawl-over-downtown-density <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The City Council adopted the </span><a href="http://kut.org/2011/04/plans-to-increase-downtown-density/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Downtown Austin Plan</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in late 2011. With it, the council </span>OK’d<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> what’s called the </span><a href="http://kutnews.org/post/downtown-austins-density-plan-scrutinized" style="line-height: 1.5;">Downtown Density Bonus Program</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It basically says that developers who want to build more densely than the standards allow would have to offer certain community benefits: things like on-site affordable housing or a paying into a fund for affordable housing elsewhere.</span></p><p>But nearly a year and a half later, Austin’s still waiting on specific guidelines for the Density Bonus Program.</p><p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 22:06:25 +0000 Wells Dunbar 7023 at http://kut.org City Hall Hustle: Luxury Hotels, Affordable Housing & the Zoning Brawl Over Downtown Density SXSW Transplants: Coming for the Tech, Staying for the Weird http://kut.org/post/sxsw-transplants-coming-tech-staying-weird <p>Another South by Southwest has come and gone – and in its wake comes the inevitable cry from some local natives: “Don’t move here.”</p><p>Pulling up the drawbridge on SXSW visitors isn’t anything new: back in 1997, <a href="http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Awards/BestOfAustin?Award=91158">one local band minted t-shirts</a> telling folks they could go back home when the music’s over.&nbsp;But as SXSW Interactive continues <a href="http://www.austin360.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/digitalsavant/entries/2013/03/12/breaking_sxsw_i.html/">its explosive growth</a> – with a 25 percent surge this year and over 30,000 attendees – it attracts a different set of attendees than music-loving spring breakers. And some of those attendees may not be going back.</p><p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:35:41 +0000 Andrew Weber 6990 at http://kut.org SXSW Transplants: Coming for the Tech, Staying for the Weird Can the Lowly Alleyway Transform Downtown Austin? http://kut.org/post/can-lowly-alleyway-transform-downtown-austin <p>When you think about downtown Austin, do you ever think about the spaces between the buildings?</p><p>Probably not, and you're not alone. That’s may be because alleyways – in movies, and sometimes in real life – are usually shady, dirty and even dangerous places. But some local leaders want to bring the city’s alleys back into the light.</p><p>In an alley downtown, I met with Meredith Powell and Dan Cheetham. Powell is with the <a href="http://www.artallianceaustin.org/">Art Alliance</a>&nbsp;Austin.&nbsp;The alley, she says “was laid out in the original 1839 map by Edwin Waller and it is on Ninth&nbsp;Street between Brazos and Congress.”</p><p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 15:15:36 +0000 Joy Diaz 6977 at http://kut.org Can the Lowly Alleyway Transform Downtown Austin? City Hall Hustle: What’s Up With Downtown Parking? http://kut.org/post/city-hall-hustle-what-s-downtown-parking <p></p><p>In a few days, downtown Austin will be overrun with crowds for <a href="http://kutnews.org/term/sxsw">South by Southwest</a> – so why is the city practically doing away with downtown parking requirements?</p><p>“Many cities are reducing or eliminating their parking requirements as a means of reducing congestion,” argued Chris Riley, the Austin City Council’s resident transportation wonk. Coincidentally, he's the prime proponent of a measure deep-sixing most parking requirements downtown.</p><p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 22:58:15 +0000 Wells Dunbar 6846 at http://kut.org City Hall Hustle: What’s Up With Downtown Parking?