Downtown Austin Goes For The Goal – and the Gold!

Downtown Austin Goes For The Goal – and the Gold!

If you haven’t yet read this week’s edition of The Austin Chronicle – and seen the amazing front page photo/rendering – please check it out at once here! Stupendous reporting by Senior News Editor, Michael King, of breaking news regarding a multi-billion dollar plan to build a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the middle of Lady Bird Lake, coupled with the new Light Rail line running straight through the center of the stadium as the train crosses the river.

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DAB First Look: These Are The Top 3 Seaholm Intake Ideas You Voted For

DAB First Look: These Are The Top 3 Seaholm Intake Ideas You Voted For

Earlier this week, the City of Austin announced the Top 10 and requested public input to select the Top Three ideas for the redevelopment of the Seaholm Intake Building (that concrete bunker on the north shore of Lady Bird Lake by the train bridge).

Below are the Top Three finalists.  Ostensibly, these are three designs the public most preferred.

Each of the winners get $5,000, but it is unclear if their ideas will ever become a reality. This fall or winter City Hall will issue an RFP for the project, and presumably these design winners stand a better chance than others of being selected. However, it doesn’t appear like this is going to go down like the Waller Creek competition did and these winning ideas are just that: ideas.

Below (in no special order) are the three winning visions, as selected by an anonymous jury of 10.

“Link” – Gumbully (pdf)

Team: Brendan Wittstruck, Justin Beadle, Philip Burkhardt, Roberto Jaime Deseda, Heath Henderson, Julia Weese-Young

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“Link” – Gumbully

“Lakehouse” – BOKA Powell + Design Workshop (pdf)

Team: Laura Bryant, Nathan Wilcox, Alex Ramirez, Sarah Simpson, Allison Moore Eric Van Hyfte, Kim Villavicencio, Philip Koske, Steven Moore, Tim Campbell, Mary Martinich, Conners Ladner, Jason Ferster, Magda Sayeg (local artist), Will Steakley (DEN)

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“Lakehouse” – BOKA Powell + Design Workshop

“Intake” – Gensler Team George (pdf)

Team: George Blume, Brittney Couch, Jesse Adler, Vineta Clegg, Chris Curson, Adrianna Hong, Gerardo Gandy, Stacy Reed

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“Intake” – Gensler Team George

Republic Square Postured For Awesomeness

Republic Square Postured For Awesomeness

The ABJ is predicting the next niche of downtown to blossom will be anchored by Republic Square Park – which was a surface parking lot through the mid-70s.

The Plaza Lofts kicked off the modern idea of downtown condo life overlooking the park.  Next came the AMLI on 2nd.  The Post Office site is now controlled by a joint venture between Endeavor and Andrews -Urban.  The Federal Courthouse is now complete, and it is pretty good looking as courthouses go.  Travis County deployed tons of cash to buy the block immediately south of Republic Square.

There’s a new master planning effort underway for the park.  Our take is that the park needs more concessionaires, to give people a reason to go there in the daytime.

Oh, Republic Square is also going to be an anchor for the upcoming MetroRapid.

No doubt, Republic Square Park’s rejuvenation is largely due to excellent stewardship.  Kudos to the Austin Parks Foundation and Downtown Austin Alliance.

The area of downtown centered around Republic Square has begun a slow transformation from a bland, parking lot-studded section into a center of urban activity. – Austin Business Journal

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The ONE & ONLY Way To Activate Downtown Austin Parks On A Regular Basis

The ONE & ONLY Way To Activate Downtown Austin Parks On A Regular Basis

Have you been to any of downtown Austin’s parks recently?

I walk near and around them almost everyday. Yet, they fail to draw me in.

Over the last couple of years, Republic Square Park has received a nice face lift.  Smart people and private money ensured the auction oaks are preserved and cared for.  Add to that good programming such as the Alamo Drafthouse’s Movies in the Park and the Saturday morning farmers market.

Republic Square is doing the best of the downtown parks.  Still, most of the time downtown Austin’s parks are empty.  That’s the unfortunate truth.

And, this is the reason:

During the week (daytime) Republic Square Park offers nothing to attract workers, visitors, or residents. It is neither a conduit nor a destination for most people.

Here’s how we fix it. [Read more…]