Seaholm: No longer just a dream
The biggest downtown news of the week, and a major downtown milestone in general, is that the Seaholm power plant redevelopment is finally breaking ground. This will be another game-changer for Downtown Austin.
Almost every major news outlet did a story on it, but the Austin American Statesman ran an online headline that captured my sentiment best: “Seaholm redevelopment ready to break ground at last”.
Seaholm will included a 30-story tower with 309 apartments, a two-story building with a Trader Joe’s store, plus other retail, office and restaurant space. Most of the 117,000-square-foot power plant will be leased to one office tenant.
Most of the news stories are linking the imminent groundbreaking to the fact that the developer and the city finally signed their deal. However, the ABJ a few weeks ago published a great little story indicating that it was a lack of financing, not City Hall red tape, that held up the deal.
The vision for a Seaholm redevelopment started in 2005, and we should give credit to our city leaders for being bold and determined enough to see the deal through the recession and a host of other difficulties.
One of my big takeaways from this, is that anytime governments are involved in public-private partnerships, we should expect delays. This will likely play out with the new county courthouse near Republic Square. Delays are playing out as we speak with the Austin bike share program. And, they will also play out with the Seaholm Intake facility redevelopment, which is just starting to to gather ideas across the street from Seaholm proper.
Hotel confirmed across from Stubbs
The Austin Business Journal is confirming information that showed up on Austin Towers last month, about a new hotel being added across the street from Stubbs on Red River.
No new details were included, but the ABJ does let us know when we can find out what is going to happen, saying that Austin’s Planning Commission will hear the about it on May 23. Hopefully we will get some renderings then.
Another Congress Ave. block changes hands
The buildings that house Annie’s Cafe & Bar, the Elephant Room and the former Capitol Metro storefront have been purchased.
I posted months ago about my excitement that Capital Metro was moving out of the 300 Congress block of downtown, with optimism that the space would serve a higher and better use. I – personally – would love to see more outdoor seating along Congress Avenue. With this purchase, I think that will now be possible.
Austin Post profiles some dude
Joking aside, I’ve been egged on to post this on here after it published earlier this month, even though it feels a little self-aggrandizing I want to thank the Austin Post for the online love, and Rob Patterson for making me appear much cooler than I am in real life.
I’d also like to say that if you are reading this, and have visited this blog with any regularity since I started toiling at it years ago – much to my soon-to-be-wife’s chagrin – then I owe you, The Reader, a debt of gratitude.
It is logging into to my readership metrics and reading ya’lls comments that make the Downtown Austin Blog a true passion for me. Even though I have only a small cadre of folks contributing to this site, along with my own posts, I feel like our readers have helped build a community around it and it is an honor to be a part of something bigger than myself.