Five Major Projects to Change the Face of Austin Downtown

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor Five major projects, delayed for two years due to financing problems, are slated to break ground next year at the former Seaholm Power Plant and the site of the former Green Water Treatment Plant. The projects, [...]

Five major projects, delayed for two years due to financing problems, are slated to break ground next year at the former Seaholm Power Plant and the site of the former Green Water Treatment Plant. The projects, developed under a public-private partnership, will transform the former industrial section of downtown Austin into modern hubs with hotels, condominiums, shops and other developments.

The five development projects, coupled with other private projects in the area, equate to about $2 billion of new investment in the former industrial area.

In addition to the mixed-use projects that are planned for the sites, the city of Austin plans to rehabilitate the new central library and the former Austin Energy Control Center, as well as to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, among other projects. Austin Business Journal reports that the City Council is expected to give its approval on the design of a 200,000-square-foot central library, with the completion of the design expected in the spring of 2013. The grand opening is slated for late 2015, after two years of construction.

The lead developer on the Green Water project is Trammel Crow Co., while Seaholm’s lead developer is Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group, which plans to build approximately 450,000 square feet of development on the site. Additionally, the landmark power plant will be renovated to include special-events center, offices, shops and restaurants, according to Austin Business Journal.

Both redevelopment projects are planned to also include residential units. At the Seaholm site, plans call for 300 condo units above a ground floor of retail space. Additionally, just west of Seaholm, plans call for other 222 residential units in the Gables Park Plaza apartment complex, which will add to the existing 295 apartment units.