AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the city of Austin looks at the viability of using an empty lot in north Austin for a soccer stadium, there are other options for the use of that city property if the Major League Soccer proposal doesn’t become a reality.
On Tuesday evening, the president of the Gracywoods Neighborhood Association called a community meeting to host two development project proposals for McKalla Place, and allow for residents to discuss concerns regarding the MLS stadium and alternate proposals.
The Capella Capital Partners group was first of the two developers to share their proposal. Capella’s plan, per their blueprint of the proposed layout, includes space for retailers and restaurants, some office spaces, a grocery store, green spaces and multi-family apartments. The group also noted that if the proposal is pursued, then the cost to move the Capital Metro station would be at the expense of the developer.
The second presenters were Private Developers represented by Husch Blackweel LLP. Two members of the development team said their development would focus on local retailers and artisans, living and work spaces for artists and creators, education work spaces in which they hope to collaborate with the school district, and a small to medium sized national chain grocery store. The proposal included plans for apartment housing.
Both developers noted the rising housing costs in Austin and shared a focus on making affordable housing a possibility in the development in partnership with the city.
Some of the attendees voiced concerns including parking limitations, the cost of renting retail spaces, accessibility and the effect on Capital Metro.
Council Member Leslie Pool stated in the meeting that she will not stop representing and fighting for the concerns and desires of her community members in regards to the issue.
“Two very different styles of development, but they were both very responsive to community needs,” said Francoise Luca, president of the Gracywoods Neighborhood Association. Luca said she hopes the discussion continues for the community voices will be heard by the city, and wishes that an “open bidding” system were present for all McKalla Place development proposals.