Austin approves northwest Austin hotel purchase for people experiencing homelessness

Austin

Candlewood Suites Pecan Blvd

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council approved the purchase of an empty northwest Austin hotel Wednesday, set to be transitioned into housing for people experiencing homelessness.

On Wednesday, Council voted 7-4 in favor of buying the Candlewood Suites on Pecan Park Boulevard near U.S. 183 and Farm-to-Market Road 620 for over $9 million. In its previous proposals, the City says it planned to convert the hotel into 80 rooms for people experiencing homelessness.

There’s been outspoken opposition against Austin’s intentions for the site.

Previously, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell told KXAN he’s planning to sue the city, if they go ahead with buying the property

“From the perspective of Williamson County, I just want to say this — we’re going to stand up for our business owners, we’re going to stand up for our community, we’re going to stand up for our citizens,” Gravell said previously. “The City of Austin should be or would be, well suited to have a conversation, instead of dictating.”

An Austin small business filed a lawsuit and organized multiple protests in an attempt to stop the City’s purchase from being finalized.

Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, who represents District 6 in northwest Austin, said Wednesday in a Twitter statement she was “disheartened” by the Council’s decision to approve the purchase.

“Since the beginning of my term, I have listened to ongoing concerns voiced by residents and Williamson County officials regarding the lack of community engagement and transparency throughout the process. I do not believe we have done enough to address those concerns,” Kelly’s statement reads.

Council Members Kelly, Alison Alter, Ann Kitchen and Leslie Pool voted against the purchase.

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