AUSTIN (KXAN) — A redevelopment plan for an empty shopping center near South Lamar and the 360 Loop was approved on its final reading at the Austin City Council meeting Thursday night.
A planning commission signed off on the Brodie Oaks proposed planned unit development, or PUD, late last year, and was sent to city council for approval. Council members added amendments over the course of three readings they heard prior to signing off on the project during its final reading Thursday.
Roughly four decades after the shopping center was built, it’s now in the early stages of becoming a small skyline in south Austin. The space to be developed is nearly 40 acres, located in the shopping center near the intersection of South Lamar Boulevard and South Capital of Texas Highway, or the 360 Loop. It’ll be on the opposite side of Lamar from the Target and Radio Coffee.
The plan includes a standalone affordable housing site which will have a minimum of 100 units to serve those making between 30% and 60% of median family income, according to the Brodie Oaks Redevelopment website. It will work with Foundation Communities on that section. It estimates it will have between 70 and 100 affordable units spread throughout its other residential buildings, which will have a maximum of 1,700 units.
“The developers have gone beyond what you would typically see as the percentage you would have,” of affordable housing, Council Member Ryan Alter said.
The Brodie Oaks website also said it planned to ensure at least a quarter of the retail space goes to local businesses, and provide 10,000 square feet of the retail space “at 60% of market rents for artists.”
According to council documents, the plan will include space for a Fire/EMS station, an Austin Energy Substation built to ensure water quality requirements are met, parkland and connections to the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Violet Crown Trail, bicycle facilities and a shared use path, electric vehicle charging stations as well as outdoor art pieces. It will also work to capture stormwater runoff from the site and harvest rainwater to use in cooling towers and for irrigation.
Council member Ryan Alter said he’s spoken to people who live near the proposed development. Many were concerned about the effect on Barton Creek and Barton Springs, but he said the project will actually help mitigate runoff into those waterways that’s currently happening.
“By and large, almost unanimously people are excited about this development,” Alter said. “It’s going to be done in a very environmentally friendly and just really improve what is there right now from an environmental perspective.”
Council member Leslie Pool also applauded the project for the way it “thoughtfully deals with complex environmental issues while also providing a project that is appropriately dense,” saying it “sets the bar” for future PUDs to balance affordable housing, parkland and environmental concerns.
“And the best thing about this PUD is that it did not ask for public tax dollars to make it happen,” she said.