Editor’s Note: The video included in this story features the morning headlines for Aug. 9, 2023.
AUSTIN (KXAN) – The City of Austin will host a celebration Saturday morning to mark the redevelopment of the former site of the Home Depot store in north Austin.
According to a city release sent out Tuesday, the city said the free, family-friendly event featuring live music, local performances, children’s activities and breakfast tacos will happen from 9-11 a.m. at 7211 N. Interstate 35.
The city told KXAN demolition of the old Home Depot building’s vertical structure would begin Monday, Aug. 14, and take three weeks.
The site, officially called the St. John Site, held significant historical importance for the Black community, according to the announcement. The site’s roots trace back to the 1890s when the St. John Regular Missionary Baptist Association obtained 350 acres north of Austin to establish a freedman community with the St. John Industrial Institute and Orphanage as its anchor, according to the city.
The city acquired the site in 2008 and worked with the St. John community to create a plan that was adopted in 2020.
That plan calls for a mixed-use, mixed-income property and will feature publicly-accessible open spaces and community-focused commercial areas, according to the city. It will offer 526 units, with 50% dedicated to income-restricted affordable housing, while also expanding the current St. John Pocket Park to nearly triple its size, the city said, creating a larger open space complete with walking trails and a splash pad between St. John and Blackson Avenues.