What is and isn’t happening at Seaholm

What is and isn’t happening at Seaholm

It has been almost one year exactly since the site plan to begin redevelopment at Seaholm was filed, and still there is no major activity on the site. The lack of apparent progress was reinforced when news broke recently that the city of Rollingwood snagged a Trader Joes before Seaholm.

When Trader Joe’s announced it was moving into Seaholm in 2012, reporters were told that construction could begin that summer and Trader Joe’s would be open this year.

While the Downtown Waste Water Tunnel Project, which has been a big part of Seaholm’s construction delay, is nearing an end of work, there is still a lot that has to get completed with Seaholm plans before we’ll see major construction at the redevelopment.

Seaholm Map

A number of issues, including tree protection issues, are obstructing site plan approval for Seaholm, and in November 2012, the deadline to resolve the conflicts was pushed back to May this year. It’s worth noting, so as not to be confused, Heritage Trees had in the past been an issue related to the Green Water Treatment plant redevelopment, but that trees are impacting Seaholm is something new.

The new Central Library, which is also part of the redevelopment, is also slow off the mark. It seems engineers filed their site plan without doing a number of basic things first, such as obtaining a capital view corridor determination (which has been filed and is pending). Tree protection issues are also impeding progress at this site. The deadline to clear the site plan is in April, with construction set to begin by fall 2013, with completion in 2016.

At the very least, steady progress seems to be making way on the extension of Second Avenue, over Shoal Creek to West Ave., which will be very important to the site.

bridge 1

This week, City Council will likely approve a request to prepare a staging area for a construction of the library and a project enhancing the Shoal Creek trail, which also adds future access in Seaholm via the new car/bike bridge.

Construction is slated to begin this summer on improvements include completing the gap in the existing Shoal Creek Trail (from 5th to 3rd Streets), constructing the bridge on 2nd, and improving the Shoal Creek bank stabilization and mitigating erosion, as well as other enhancements to the trail.

After spending Saturday morning cleaning up Shoal Creek, as part of Its My Park Day, it’s evident that Shoal Creek could use major improvements. That the new bridge and bank/trail restoration is ramping up is an exciting development in the otherwise lackluster apparent progress related to Seaholm. Have a look below at how it looks today.

Bridge today

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. With Project Connect’s “Vision Map” now showing (admitting?) that commuter/regional rail can, and should, indeed cross downtown (it is shown extending from the current Convention Center area to Guadalupe Street) – is there any reason not to extend it an additional 3 city blocks (from Guadalupe Street to the Seaholm Power Plant) and have a regional system of commuter/regional rail? The slow redevelopment of Seaholm could allow it to become what was originally envisioned for it (but left out of the current master development agreement) – as a transit hub.

  2. Do you know specifically when they filed their site plan?

  3. The very top image is from the Statesman’s interactive map from 2011.

    Link below.


  4. avatar Fred Schmidt says:

    Good story, Jude! Thanks for answering a bunch of questions that I and others have been wondering about in recent months.

Add New Comment or Leave Reply