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ULI National Panel Briefing Book

A New Future for I-35: Connecting & Strengthening Central Austin

February 27, 2020


C O N T E N TS


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Opportunity ULI Panel Preparation & Critical Issues Project Area, Goals & Critical Issues Approach to Briefing Book Questions for Panel

1 3 6 8 9

HISTORY 11 East Avenue & La Calle Ancha 13 1928 Plan 13 Redlining 13 I-35 TODAY

15

NAFTA 17 Congested Roadway 17 AIA R/UDAT(s) 17 Elevated Structures, Ramps & Aging Infrastructure 18 Health And Safety 19 TxDOT Projects & Limitations 20 This Project 23 PROJECT CONDITIONS

25

Physical & Cultural Context 27 Mobility Landscape 37 Parks/Greenspace 41 Economic Growth 45 Community Dynamics 49 POLICY ROADMAP Plans Guiding Austin’s Future Downtown Austin Vision Additional Reading Potential Partnerships/ Funding Tools Potential Revenue for The Project Transportation Funding

53 55 58 60 61 63 67

APPENDIX 69 Project Inspiration: Funding Case Studies 71 Gentrification 77 Housing Market Change 78 Speed Limits 79 High Injury Networks 80

|E


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS LEADERSHIP GROUP Mayor Steve Adler - City of Austin Dianne Bangle - CEO, Real Estate Council of Austin Darrell Bazzell - Senior VP and CFO, University of Texas at Austin Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette - President & CEO, Huston-Tillotson University Randy Clarke - President & CEO, Capital Metro Tucker Ferguson - Austin District Engineer, Texas Department of Transportation Paulette Gibbins - Executive Director, ULI Austin Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison - Council Member, City of Austin, District 1 Mike Heiligenstein - Executive Director, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Ashby Johnson - Executive Director, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Mike Kennedy - Board Chair, Downtown Austin Alliance Dewitt Peart - President & CEO, Downtown Austin Alliance Mike Rollins - President & CEO, Austin Chamber Martha Smiley - Board Member, Waterloo Greenway Conservancy Commissioner Jeff Travillion - Travis County, Precinct 1 State Senator Kirk Watson - Texas State Legislature, District 14

A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR

SPONSORS

RECLAIMING I-35 AS PUBLIC SPACE


TASK FORCE Heidi Anderson - The Trail Foundation Heather Ashley-Nguyen - Texas Department of Transportation Eric Bustos - Capital Metro John-Michael Cortez - City of Austin Miriam Conner - Community Organizer Cody Cowan - Red River Cultural District Susan Fraser - Texas Department of Transportation Matt Geske - Austin Chamber Robert Goode - Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Stevie Greathouse - City of Austin Planning and Zoning Sandy Guzman - State of Texas, Office of Senator Kirk Watson Donny Hamilton - U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Nefertitti Jackmon - City of Austin, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Nate Jones - Organization of Central East Austin Neighborhoods (OCEAN) Mike Kennedy - Downtown Austin Alliance Cole Kitten - Austin Transportation Department Jeremy Martin - Austin Chamber of Commerce Chad McKeown - Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Walter Muse - Travis County, Precinct 1 Shavone Otero - People United for Mobility Action (PUMA) Caleb Pritchard - City of Austin, Office of Council Member Harper-Madison Marisabel Ramthun - Texas Department of Transportation John Rigdon - Waterloo Greenway Yasmine Smith - PUMA/Urban League Carla Steffen - Austin Convention Center Geoffrey Tahuahua - Real Estate Council of Austin Kim Taylor - Taylor Collective Solutions Heyden Black Walker - Reconnect Austin Jim Walker - University of Texas at Austin Brendan Wittstruck - North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition 3 (NCINC3)


DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE STAFF Molly Alexander - Executive Director, Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation Melissa Barry - Vice President, Planning

Andre Boudreaux - Planning and Urban Design Coordinator Bill Brice - Vice President, Investor Relations Casey Burack - General Council and Vice President of Government Relations Samia Burns - Controller Jennifer Cote - Communication Coordinator Julie Fitch - Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Hagler - Events and Programming Manager Dana Hansen - Communication Manager Irene Kirschenbaum - Administrative Assistant Matt Macioge - Director of Operations Alexandra Martin - Executive Assistant Jenell Moffett - Director of Research and Analysis Vanessa Olson - Strategic Communication Manager Dewitt Peart - President and CEO Pamela Power - Vice President of Marketing and Communication Emily Risinger - Planning and Urban Design Manager Gabriel Schumacher - Research Analyst Mandi Thomas - Director of Strategic Partnerships Michele Van Hyfte - Vice President, Urban Design Vanessa Zhou - Vice President, Accounting Coordinator

THE CONSULTANT TEAM Tim Blonkvist - Founding Principal and Chairman, Overland Partners Miriam Conner - Community Organizer, Public City James Conway - Associate Urban Planner, ARUP Sijie Dai - Designer, Overland Partners Jason Embry - New West Communications James Francisco - Senior Urban Designer, ARUP Abby Gillfillan - Planner, Lionheart NoĂŤl Kuwabara - Architect and Urban Designer, Overland Partners Rebecca Leonard - Founder and CEO, Lionheart Trent Lethco - Leader, Americas Transport Consulting, Arup An Liu - Designer, Overland Partners Meredith Powell - Co-Founder and CEO, Public City Steve Scheibal - New West Communications Samantha Schwarze - Associate Principal, Overland Partners Justin Walker - Transportation Planner, ARUP


E X EC U T I V E SU M M A RY J|

THE OPPORTUNITY

1

ULI PANEL PREPARATION & CRITICAL ISSUES

3

PROJECT AREA, GOALS & CRITICAL ISSUES

6

APPROACH TO BRIEFING BOOK

8

QUESTIONS FOR PANEL

9


|K


THE OPPORTUNITY The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is poised to initiate the schematic design and environmental study of an approximately 10-mile reconstruction project of Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) through the heart of Austin, Texas (the Capital Express Central Project). The Capital Express Central Project will include the lowering of approximately three miles of highway through the center of the city, which is the focus of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Panel commissioned by the Downtown Austin Alliance and this project (the Project). TxDOT will evaluate removing the upper decks of the highway adjacent to the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and adding two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction the entire length of the Capital Express Central Project. This presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect Austin’s central business district and the UT campus with East Austin over a highway that has divided our city since 1950. TxDOT anticipates completing the schematic design and environmental process in 2023 and commencing construction on the Capital Express Central Project as early 2024. The estimated construction cost is $5 billion. As of January 2019, no funding has been identified for procurement or construction of the Capital Express Central Project and tolling of the proposed managed lanes is not currently authorized under Texas law. Unless Comprehensive Development Agreements (known as P3 agreements elsewhere) are authorized in the coming years, TxDOT will likely deliver the project pursuant to one or more design-build contracts.

1 | Executive Summary


PROJECT CONTEXT MAP Turnabout at 53rd Street

Hyde Park Street

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I-35 lowered through central Austin

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Blvd

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St. Davids Medical Center

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Mt. Calvary Cemetery

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The ARCH

Austin

Convention Center

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CONTEXT MAP

Palm Park

Mexican

American Cultural Center

Project Scope

0.25

0.50

Pan Am Rec Center

Willow Spence National Historic District

Fiesta Gardens

tree

t

Santa Rita Courts

E 7th Street

E Cesar Chavez Street

East Cesar Chavez

Rebekah Baines

hS

Yellowjacket Stadium

Cemetery

Austin Public Library (Terrazas Branch) E Cesar Chavez Merchant District

5

Neighborhood Label

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St George 11th Washington United Kealing Rosewood Methodist Carver Complex Middle Courts Dedrick School Hamilton Historic Victory Grill Huston Ebenezer Tillotson Baptist Our Lady of Church Guadalupe Parish Texas Central East Austin State

I -3

Institutions

12th and Chicon Mural

Wesley

Plaza Saltillo

Palm School/

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6th Street

Red River Cultural

d Blv

Rosewood Neighborhood Park

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W 6th Street

Texas State Capitol

12th Street Merchant District

Oakwood Cemetery

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Downs-Mabson Fields

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UT Dell Medical Campus

Waterloo Park

11th Street

L

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UT Baseball Field

15th Street

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Future UT Grad Student Housing

The University of Texas

Enfield Road

Man

Manor Road Merchant District

UT Football Stadium

Street

Street

Cherrywood

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I-35

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Guadalu

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Fiesta

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ay xpressw

MoPac E

Hancock Golf Course

Airp

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Martin Middle School

Sanchez Elementary School Metz Neighborhood Park

Holly Power Plant Festival Beach

Rendon Park

1 Mile

Executive Summary | 2


ULI PANEL PREPARATION & CRITICAL ISSUES The Downtown Austin Alliance, a partnership of downtown property owners, individuals and businesses in Austin, Texas devoted to creating, preserving and enhancing the value and vitality of downtown Austin, has engaged ULI’s Advisory Services Program in an effort we originally dubbed the “I-35 Cap & Stitch Project” and are now calling “A New Future for I-35: Connecting and Strengthening Central Austin.” The Downtown Alliance envisions this panel as a starting point for developing a community vision for stitching our city back together over the lowered portion of TxDOT’s Capital Express Central Project. The purpose of the ULI panel, as described in the original scope of work, is to develop: 1. Two to three design alternatives for the Project that (a) the community can build upon through a thorough engagement process and (b) TxDOT can integrate into the Capital Express Central Project schematic design, which must include: •

Direct transit access from the managed lanes into downtown and the UT campus;

More green space (“caps”); and

Enhanced multi-modal mobility on the east-west connections (“stitches”);

2. A public engagement process and roadmap that aligns with TxDOT’s community engagement schedule for the Capital Express Central Project and results in a community-led vision and design; and 3. A phased and actionable implementation and funding plan for the Project with a focus on equitable development. Since engaging ULI this past summer, the Downtown Alliance has convened multiple working groups to prepare the ULI panel and our community for the effort ahead, including:

3 | Executive Summary


THE TASK FORCE

THE LEADERSHIP GROUP

The Task Force is made up of representatives

The Leadership Group is made up of the

from the following organizations: the Texas

following individuals: Steve Adler, Mayor of

Department of Transportation; The Trail

Austin; Dianne Bangle, CEO of the Real Estate

Foundation; Capital Metro; People United

Council of Austin; Darrell Bazzell, CFO of the

for Mobility Action; Mayor’s office; Red River

University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Colette Pierce

Cultural District; Austin Area Urban League;

Burnette, President & CEO of Huston-Tillotson

Austin Chamber; Central Texas Regional

University; Randy Clarke, President & CEO of

Mobility Authority; City of Austin staff; Office

Capital Metro; Tucker Ferguson, P.E., District

of State Senator Kirk Watson; U.S. Department

Engineer, TxDOT Austin District; Paulette

of Transportation; Capital Area Metropolitan

Gibbins, Executive Director of ULI Austin; State

Planning Organization; Travis County, Office

Senator Kirk Watson; Council Member Natasha

of City Council Member Harper-Madison;

Harper-Madison; Mike Heiligenstein, Executive

Waterloo Greenway; Real Estate Council of

Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility

Austin; Park 35; Reconnect Austin; and the

Authority; Ashby Johnson, Executive Director

University of Texas Office of Sustainability.

of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning

The Task Force has met monthly since last

Organization; Mike Kennedy, the Board Chair

September, and its purpose is to provide

of the Downtown Austin Alliance; Mike Rollins,

technical expertise and community feedback

President & CEO of the Austin Chamber; and

into the development of the preparatory

Jeff Travillion, Travis County Commissioner. The

materials for the panel.

Leadership Group has met quarterly since last September, and its purpose is to set the course for the scope of the Project and to ensure its successful implementation after the ULI Panel.

Executive Summary | 4


PUBLIC CITY

THE EAST AUSTIN COMMUNITY BRAIN TRUST

THE CONSULTANT TEAM

The East Austin Community Brain Trust is

team at the end of last year to help bring

a growing mix of activists, social justice

TxDOT’s preliminary designs to life and help

advocates and community leaders at varying

the ULI panel understand the constraints

levels of involvement and tenure. The East

with which we are working. The Consultant

Austin Community Brain Trust has convened

Team includes: Overland Partners (a Texas-

as a group twice since January with ongoing

based architecture firm); Arup (an international

one-on-one and small group conversations

engineering firm); Lionheart (a landscape

and planned participation in the ULI panel

architect based in East Austin); and Public City

process. Its purpose is to shape the ULI panel

(a public engagement firm).

The Downtown Alliance hired a consultant

experience in a way that educates the panelists on the Project’s cultural and racial context and reflects the interests of the communities east of I-35, both current and those displaced or at risk of displacement.

KEY CONCLUSIONS FROM GROUP CONVERSATIONS Through our work with these three groups, the Project’s name has not only changed, but the scope and purpose has evolved to more accurately reflect the diverse communities impacted by I-35. These conversations move us closer to our initial objective, which has been to begin to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive and meaningful community engagement process, ensuring that the final Project is not only feasible, but culminates in a community vision.

5 | Executive Summary


PROJECT AREA, GOALS & CRITICAL ISSUES Understanding that the Project study area expands well beyond the boundaries of the Downtown Alliance’s district and represents a diverse set of communities, we asked the Task Force to establish goals for the Project to guide the panel’s work, which include: •

Enhancing multi-modal access, bringing more people into the urban core of the city via transit and modes other than driving.

Meaningfully addressing affordability concerns and equity impacts in and around the study area by enabling equitable development in the region.

Truly resulting in a community vision for capping and stitching I-35 that represents the diverse voices involved in the vision’s development.

Since convening the East Austin Community Brain Trust, we’ve also established additional critical issues to guide the Panel’s study.

HEALING •

Acknowledging the division and disinvestment that I-35 has created in our community for decades, have we prioritized ways of healing the trauma and physical impediments that it has allowed to fester?

Does the design/ program celebrate, prioritize and directly benefit the communities that have survived and thrived even under these conditions, and those that haven’t?

SAFETY AND HEALTH •

Have we considered the safety (from injury, crime, hazards and other mistreatment) of all people in the vicinity of I-35 while designing it?

Does the design/ program advance innovations in public health (i.e. physical, mental, or other)?

Executive Summary | 6


CONNECTIVITY EXPERIENCE •

Does the design reflect the best experience for all travelers of all modes, especially those that are the most vulnerable (i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit-riders)?

Does the program reduce car congestion especially on primarily residential roadways?

OPPORTUNITY •

Have we leveraged the opportunity that an investment of this scale creates to equitably invigorate opportunities within all communities that surround I-35 to improve the health, environment, economic conditions and cultural resonance for the people that are there today as well as in the future and even those who have been displaced with a desire to return?

Do we understand the trade-offs associated with an investment of the scale and are we considering policies and other mechanisms to address unintended consequences on the front end?

CO-CREATION •

Have we taken the time to build meaningful relationships and earned the trust of the communities most effected by the I-35 program to truly co-create a shared vision?

Have we approached the I-35 opportunity with the highest degree of respect for all stakeholders, an earnest desire for collaboration and co-creation, and a cohesive pursuit for an outcome that makes our community more resilient and ready for the future?

7 | Executive Summary


APPROACH TO BRIEFING BOOK In addition to lining up key stakeholder interviews and an informative project tour, and in recognition of the sizable undertaking we have asked of the ULI panel, we have prepared this briefing book to serve as a reference guide and high-level overview of the relevant economic, social and transportation opportunities and challenges facing the Project. The briefing book explores: the history of I-35 and racial segregation in Austin; the state of the highway today, as well as a deeper dive into TxDOT’s Capital Express Central Project and the opportunity it presents to our community; the existing conditions, including the Project’s physical, cultural, economic and community context; the policies and planning efforts guiding Austin’s future; and the potential partnerships and funding tools available to implement the Project.

Victory Grill is a historic music venue located on E. 11th Street. The nightclub hosted famous African American acts such as Bobby Bland, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, W. C. Clark and B.B. King when Austin was legally segregated. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 1998.

Executive Summary | 8


QUESTIONS FOR PANEL To achieve the Task Force’s stated goals, in addition to the critical issues above, we’ve set forth a set of questions for each aspect of the work that we would like the panel to answer in its report.

AFFORDABILITY & EQUITY IMPACTS •

How can the project proactively

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & VISION •

advance the City of Austin’s

process look like to ensure the final

Strategic Direction 2023 Economic

vision for the project reflects diverse

Opportunity and Affordability goals?

viewpoints?

How can the project provide

residents and persons of color (and their children) in historically disadvantaged communities to stay

Who should be leading the engagement effort?

opportunities for working class •

Who should be included and how?

How can community stakeholders

and return to their neighborhoods

provide new ideas for the name the

in the face of rising property values

project?

and the influx of more affluent residents? •

What should the I-35 engagement

How can the project help preserve and create new cultural and music venues and help the Red River Cultural District, local small businesses, and other key districts along E. 12th Street and E. Cesar Chavez flourish in the face of rising property values and rapid commercial development?

9 | Executive Summary

Or provide an engagement process recommendation around doing so?

How do we ensure the process aligns and is incorporated into TxDOT’s community engagement process for the Capital Express Central Project?


MULTI-MODAL ACCESS & CONNECTIVITY •

How can the I-35 project alleviate

IMPLEMENTATION, PHASING & FUNDING •

congestion on the highway and on

the remainder of the project

the roads connecting a majority of

(examples include: caps, stitches,

the highway’s traffic into downtown?

or other mobility enhancements), including long-term operations and

How can the I-35 project enhance

maintenance costs?

and incentivize multi-modal travel into the downtown core by means

reconstruction process, as well as

How can the project optimize and

other major infrastructure projects

enhance the street grid, and reduce

in and near I-35 (examples include:

car congestion in residential areas? •

UT developments, Brackenridge

How can the project enhance

redevelopment, Convention Center

operability of local transit routes

Expansion, Project Connect Blue

(e.g., direct connects, signalization,

Line, and the Waterloo Greenway

dedicated rights of way, etc.)?

development)?

How can the project incentivize safe

What should the governance

and comfortable pedestrian, bike

structure look like to raise and

and scooter access to and from the

administer such funding?

urban core and the UT campus? •

How should the project be phased to best leverage TxDOT’s highway

other than driving? •

How should our community fund

What should the roles of various

How can such enhancements be

community actors be, including (but

implemented in coordination with

not limited to): Downtown Austin

adopted City initiatives, including

Alliance; Downtown Austin Alliance

the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan,

Foundation; East Austin Leaders and

Project Connect, the Austin Core

Organizations; University of Texas;

Transportation Plan and other local

Austin Chamber of Commerce;

policies and plans?

RECA; TxDOT; City of Austin; CAMPO; and CTRMA?

Executive Summary | 10


H I STO RY

EAST AVENUE & LA CALLE ANCHA

13

1928 PLAN

13

REDLINING 13


AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER


EAST AVENUE & LA CALLE ANCHA Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) was once known as East Avenue or La Calle Ancha (“the wide street”). Prior to the 1930s, East Avenue had park-like medians that served as impromptu gathering places for Mexican American, African American, Lebanese and Chinese communities. The construction of I-35 diminished the appearance and function of the avenue for family picnics, conversations, music performances, and sports. Street widening displaced homes and businesses, and trees and greenspace were removed. When East Avenue was bulldozed in the late 50s, the natural and political ties to downtown were physically severed, creating a

1928 PLAN

CITY OF AUSTIN

socioeconomic barrier in Austin.

Adopted by an all-white, all-male City Council, this segregationist policy forced black residents to live within a six square-mile area of East Austin. Nonwhites who tried to settle in areas outside of the six-square district were denied basic public services such as utilities, parks and schools, unless they moved to the

REDLINING Segregation was intensified through the practice of “redlining” East Austin neighborhoods, a policy of the Federal Housing Administration to refuse to insure mortgages to residents of African American neighborhoods. Most Whites lived to the west of the avenue, while most Mexican Americans and African Americans lived to the east. Redlining was a barrier to opportunity for minorities that further worsened the effects of Austin’s discriminatory land use and transportation policies on its communities of color.

13 | History

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LIBRARIES

designated “Negro district.”


AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER

AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER

AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER

(Top) A man stands in the middle of what would eventually become East Avenue, and later I-35. This photograph was taken before streets were constructed. (Middle) Photograph of East Avenue in the 1950’s, showing a tree lined median with residences and retail space fronting the corridor. (Bottom) Construction, completed bridge, and photo from the day that I-35 was officially opened.

History | 14


I -3 5 TO DAY

NAFTA 17 CONGESTED ROADWAY

17

AIA R/UDAT(S)

17

ELEVATED STRUCTURES, RAMPS & AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

18

HEALTH AND SAFETY

19

TXDOT PROJECTS & LIMITATIONS

20

THIS PROJECT

23


TEXAS TRANSPORTATION POLICY RESEARCH CENTER


NAFTA I-35 spans currently spans 550 miles and connects the U.S. to Mexico and Canada. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ushered in a new era of growth that elevated the importance of Texas’ highways and railways to support the economies of other U.S. states that use it to access trade. According to TxDOT’s “The Effect of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the Texas Highway System,” 37 percent of all NAFTA trade through the state is concentrated on the north/south corridor of I-35.

CONGESTED ROADWAY Each day, I-35 serves 200,000+ commuters and traffic worsens every year. Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute found that I-35 in central Austin is the second most gridlocked corridor in the state. Houston’s West Loop ranks as number one, with the Southwest and Eastex Freeways in Houston and Dallas’ Woodall Rodgers Freeway rounding out the top five. SH-130 has been envisioned as a way to relieve congestion in Austin by creating a commuter and NAFTA corridor alternative to I-35. SH-130 is one element of the Central Texas Turnpike System, which includes toll roads.

AIA R/UDAT(S) The American Institute of Architects’ 1997 “R/UDAT Revisited” report identified that I-35 was still a barrier between downtown and east Austin. At the time TxDOT was considering several alternative configurations for I-35, one of which included a Downtown Austin Alliance alternative (endorsed by the City Council) consisting of depressed main lanes and boulevard frontage roads. High occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes would also be included. Western access to downtown as development along major corridors occurs was another priority for the future of I-35.

17 | I-35 Today


ELEVATED STRUCTURES, RAMPS & AGING INFRASTRUCTURE TxDOT convened a Downtown Working Group in 2014 to discuss conceptual solutions for I-35 through downtown (discussed further below). The group recognized that I-35’s elevated structures through downtown have negatively impacted our community for years. The downtown group’s report concluded that I-35 downtown has too many ramps, and that many of these ramps—designed to 1960s standards—are challenging for motorists to use, causing conflicts between local and regional needs. Further, the east/west crossings do not serve multimodal traffic, and the frontage roads are not integrated into the fabric of downtown. The reconstruction of I-35 speaks to a larger, national need to address aging infrastructure. Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assesses the nation’s infrastructure and publishes a Report Card of its findings. Nationally, bridges are at a grade of C+, roads are at a grade of D, and transit is at a D-. An estimated $2 trillion investment is needed in surface transportation to keep up with needs. In addition, water lines running below streets are also aging. The City’s Renewing Austin program is working to upgrade more than 1,500 miles of water lines.

I-35 Today | 18


HEALTH AND SAFETY Smart Growth America, in its recent study, Dangerous by Design, ranks Austin higher for pedestrian danger than larger cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia based on its Pedestrian Danger Index. This index measures how deadly it is for people to walk based on the number of people struck and killed by drivers while walking, controlling for the number of people that live in that state or metro area and the share of people who walk to work.

VISION ZERO As a result, Austin reduced the speed limits on eight of its most dangerous streets and allocated $500,000 to speed management and implementing a city-wide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. In addition, Austin has joined nine other U.S. cities in the Vision Zero Network Focus Cities program to achieve the goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries in Austin by 2025.

AIR POLLUTION & COMMUNITY HEALTH Motor vehicle emissions contribute to ozone formation, which has been near non-attainment for exceeding the EPA’s Ozone Standard. Higher rates of respiratory diseases have been documented in communities of color and lower income households who live or work close to major roadways. There are numerous studies, such as Living Close to Major Roadways Can Affect Children’s Brain Function and Development, that show the correlation between housing near highways and poor health. A large portion of the population lives near major roadways, yet a growing body of research finds living near roadways negatively affects children’s health.

CLIMATE CHANGE & SUSTAINABILITY The City of Austin has stated its goals to address climate change, including: carbon neutrality for City operations by 2020; net-zero community-wide greenhouse gases by 2050; and effective strategies for resilience in the face of climate-related threats. I-35 has a significant environmental impact, contributing to noise, visual and air pollution in surrounding communities and city-wide. Similar projects have dampened the dispersal of freeway pollutants with caps and greenspace, and further reduced environmental degradation by incentivizing multi-modal travel.

19 | I-35 Today


TXDOT PROJECTS & LIMITATIONS 2020 UTP & CAPITAL EXPRESS PROGRAM The Texas Transportation Commission-approved 2020 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), which is updated annually and earmarks funding for projects throughout the state, includes the Capital Express Program, which is an $8 billion project composed of not only the Capital Express Central Project, but projects to reconstruct I-35 to the north and south. The I-35 Capital North Express project will add one non-tolled managed lane in each direction along I-35 from U.S. 290 East and Highway 45 North, and the I-35 Capital Express South project will add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction of I-35 from Highway 71/Ben White Boulevard to Highway 45 Southeast.

CAPITAL EXPRESS CENTRAL PROJECT TxDOT’s I-35 Capital Express Central Project proposes to add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along the approximately 10-mile stretch of I-35 from US 290 East to SH 71/ Ben White Boulevard. The vast majority of the construction costs will result from the lowering of approximately 3 miles of I-35 through the center of Austin and the removal of the upper decks located at the northern end of the lowered section near UT. The lowering of I-35 as part of the Capital Express Central Project presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for TxDOT and our community to reconnect Austin’s central business district and the UT campus to the west with the neighborhoods to the east. Currently, TxDOT anticipates the schematic design and environmental process for the Capital Express Central Project will be compete in 2023, and construction on the Capital Express Central Project could start as early 2024 or 2025. The estimated construction cost of their project is $5 billion. As of January 2020, no funding has been identified for the procurement or construction of the Capital Express Central Project and tolling of the proposed managed lanes is not currently authorized under Texas law.

I-35 Today | 20


TOLLING ENVIRONMENT The 2017 Legislature did not extend nor expand TxDOT’s authority to enter into a CDA (and thus essentially

Section 228.201 provides that TxDOT may not operate a nontolled state highway or a segment of a nontolled state highway as a toll project unless:

allowing that authority to expire August 31, 2017). This decision does not affect TxDOT’s authority to toll new roadways, only TxDOT’s ability to deliver toll projects

1.

The commission by order designated the highway or segment as a toll project before the contract to construct the highway or segment was awarded;

2.

The project was designated as a toll project in a plan or program of a metropolitan planning organization on or before September 1, 2005;

3.

The highway or segment is reconstructed so that the number of nontolled lanes on the highway or segment is greater than or equal to the number in existence before the reconstruction; or

4.

A facility is constructed adjacent to the highway or segment so that the number of nontolled lanes on the converted highway or segment and the adjacent facility together is greater than or equal to the number in existence on the converted highway or segment before the conversion.

through a Comprehensive Development Agreements (or P3). TxDOT could toll the Capital Express Central Project if the Commission designated the project as a toll project, and tolling of the project is authorized under Section 228.201, Transportation Code (subject to any necessary coordination with the Governor). To date, the Governor has not authorized tolling on I-35, and the Texas Legislature, which meets bi-annually, has not passed any bills authorizing tolling on the Capital Express Program or any other state highway project; however, during interim session, the Texas House Transportation, Energy and Ways and Means Committee Chairs just released a joint blueprint for a 5-year, $760 billion transportation and infrastructure package, titled “Moving Forward.”

21 | I-35 Today


DOWNTOWN WORKING GROUP COMMITMENTS In 2014, TxDOT convened a group of downtown stakeholders to develop goals for the downtown portion of the Capital Express Central Project. A year later, TxDOT published a report representing the working group’s recommendations. Members represented neighborhood groups, business organizations, local governmental entities, I-35 users and other stakeholders with an interest in the roadway. Although downtown and the surrounding communities along TxDOT’s project have changed, and the thinking continues to evolve (particularly through the process of developing materials for the ULI Panel), TxDOT has made the following commitments to its Working Group. ☐ Maintain east/ west connectivity at 6th Street and all other current interstate crossings ☐ Consider east/ west connections at 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Streets ☐ Incorporate urban design principles regardless of raised or lowered option ☐ I-35 connections will include wider, safer bicyclist/ pedestrian crossings ☐ Preference for lowering main lanes and adding caps, or a “lid” ☐ Enhanced transit access After the Downtown Working Group disbanded, TxDOT continued to work on the preliminary engineering plans for the Capital Express Central Project with their General Engineering Contractor (GEC), AECOM. In January 2020, TxDOT decided to go back to the drawing board with local engineers from the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the Capital Metropolitan Planning Transportation Authority, the City of Austin’s Transportation Department, as well as representatives from UT, to address issues of cost, design, and constructibility.

I-35 Today | 22


THIS PROJECT TxDOT has worked closely with the Downtown Alliance to prepare the ULI panel and has stated their commitment to evaluate funding and construction of the underlying support structures necessary to make the public vision for a cap possible. Our goal is to ensure such a vision is included in any future design/ procurement for design-build or P3 (if authorized) contracts to build the Capital Express Central Project.

OTHER EFFORTS TO LID I-35 PARK 35 Instrumental in convincing transportation officials that I-35 should be lowered through the central city, Park 35 envisioned capping most of the downtown PARK 35

section with parks and greenspace.

Vision RECONNECT AUSTIN A grassroots campaign that is still active today, Reconnect Austin envisions

RECONNECT AUSTIN

creating a boulevard over a buried I-35 through downtown to reclaim the corridor as public space and developable land, incorporating transit at both levels.

TXDOT’S PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROCESS This summer, TxDOT intends to commence its environmental review and schematic design process for the Capital Express Central Project. The public involvement process is highly prescribed based on their published toolkit, and involves two public open houses, a virtual open house that generally includes a fourteen-day comment period, and various meetings with stakeholders (primarily adjacent landowners). The open house locations are chosen based on transportation accessibility and ability to accommodate anticipated audience and roll plot size. They are typically held in the evenings and give the public an opportunity to meet with the project team.

23 | I-35 Today


OUR OPPORTUNITY This Project presents an opportunity to parallel TxDOT’s traditional public engagement process and bring more voices to the table to develop a vision for what surface improvements could take place in tandem with TxDOT’s project. The ultimate vision has the best chance to be included in TxDOT’s schematic design if it is included in the 30 percent design, or the first part of the public engagement process.

2021

2020

2022

2024

2025

Environmental Review & Schematic Design

TxDOT Capital Express (proposed process)

Scoping

Public Input

Final Design & Procurement

Construction

Provide a public vision before TxDOT reaches its 30% design milestone.

Urban Land Institute Panel

A New Future for I-35 Process (people+place improvements)

Public Visioning

Implementation

Engage those affected by the outcomes** 6 Square: Austin’s Black Cultural District ACLU Texas Affordable housing advocates AllATX American Institute of Architects (AIA) Austin Architectural historians Area employers Army Futures Command Austin Area Urban League Austin Board of Realtors Austin Chamber Austin Community College (ACC) Austin Habitat for Humanity Austin History Center Austin Independent School District (AISD) Austin Justice Coalition Austin National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Austin Outside Austin Parks Foundation Austin Tech Alliance Bike Austin Black Chamber Blackland Community Development Corporation Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Capital City Innovation Capital Metro Central East Austin Neighborhood Assn (OCEAN)

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) Cherrywood Neighborhood Association/Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood City Council members City of Austin Equity Office Community Advancement Network Congress for New Urbanism Central Texas Chapter (CNU-CTX) Convention Center Diverse Arts Downtown Austin Alliance Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association Downtown landowners East 6th Street Public Improvement District East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood East Town Lake Citizens Neighborhood Association Ebenezer Baptist Church Environment Texas EQ Austin Farm & City Friends of Austin Neighborhoods Friends of Riverside ATX Neighborhood Association Go!Austin/ Vamos!Austin Greater Asian Chamber of Commerce Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Greater Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council Greater East Austin Neighborhood Association Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation H-E-B

Homeless advocates/ service providers Huston-Tillotson University La Raza Roundtable Leadership Austin LGBTQ Chamber Local developers Long Center Mayor’s Office Medical District stakeholders Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) and Board Movability Austin Mt. Zion Baptist Church Music venues North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition 2 (NCINC2) Office of the City Manager P3 experts Park 35 People United for Mobility Action (PUMA) Planning Commission Planning Our Communities PODER Preservation Austin Rainey Neighborhood Association Rainey Neighbors Association, Inc. Reconnect Austin Red Line Parkway Initiative Red River Cultural District Rosewood Scenic Austin

Scenic Texas Sierra Club Silicon Labs State-level elected officials SXSW Tamale House Tejano Town/El Concilio Mexican-American Neighborhoods Tejano Trail Texas Civil Rights Project Texas Facilities Commission Texas Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) Texas Transportation Commission The New Philanthropists The Trail Foundation Town Lake Neighborhood Association Travis County Commissioners United Way University of Texas UT Division of Diversity & Community Engagement UT Student Government UT/Music Commission/EQ Austin Visit Austin Walk Austin Waterloo Greenway Wesley United Methodist ** List will grow through engagement process

I-35 Today | 24


P R OJ ECT C O N D I T I O N S

PHYSICAL & CULTURAL CONTEXT

27

POLICY LANDSCAPE MAP

28

HISTORIC LANDMARKS MAP

36

MOBILITY LANDSCAPE

37

EXISTING TRANSIT MAP

38

IMAGINE AUSTIN CORRIDORS MAP

40

PARKS/GREENSPACE 41 CITY OF AUSTIN PARKS MAP

43

PUBLICLY OWNED LAND MAP

44

ECONOMIC GROWTH

45

EMERGING DEVELOPMENT MAP

46

COMMUNITY DYNAMICS

49

VULNERABILITY TO DISPLACEMENT MAP

50


MICHAEL KNOX


PHYSICAL & CULTURAL CONTEXT NEIGHBORHOOD PLANS Citizens take a proactive role in planning how their neighborhoods will move into the future. The City of Austin provides a library of all adopted Neighborhood Plans, Future Land Use Maps, related plan amendments, implementation reports and toolkits.

CAPITOL VIEW CORRIDORS The Capitol View Corridor was established in the 1980s in response to high-rise development overshadowing and obstructing views to the Capitol. The City and State adopted several ordinances and legislation: a Congress Avenue Overlay District, requiring setbacks for buildings along the central avenue, a Capitol Dominance Zone limiting building height within a certain radius of the Capitol, and the Capitol View Corridors (CVCs), protecting 35 different viewpoints to the Capitol through specific height limits. These ordinances are playing a significant role in shaping the form of the downtown skyline.

CREATIVE SPACES The City of Austin Economic Development Department led an initiative to collect input on where creative spaces exist. Participants shared the places that have significance to them or that support creative expression. The resulting crowdsourced map shows businesses, organizations, art, workspaces, venues, educational spaces, galleries/ museums, restaurants, places of worship, events/ festivals, and more. Building upon this effort, the Downtown Austin Alliance contracts with Live XYZ to produce an interactive map that connects people with the latest downtown and daily events.

27 | Project Conditions


POLICY LANDSCAPE

I-35 lowered through central Austin Hancock

Hyde Park

Cherrywood

The University of Texas Central East Austin

East Cesar Chavez

Capitol View Corridors National Register Historic District Neighborhood Conservation Combining District University Neighborhood Scenic Roadway Overlay Atlas 14 Updated Flood Plain Waterfront Overlay 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin.

Project Conditions | 28


THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN (UT) As the flagship school of the University of Texas System, which includes nine academic universities and six health institutions statewide, UT Austin has 70,000 students, faculty and staff and functions similarly to a small city. According to its recent campus-wide plan, UT could grow by 2.4 million square feet, or roughly ten percent, per decade. Understanding how to accommodate this growth is critical for the well-being of the campus community. Partners are working to enhance the campus, facilitate safer and more efficient mobility, transform the Waller Creek/San Jacinto Corridor, improve learning and research environments, and better integrate academic and residential life. Significant campus projects adjacent to the I-35 corridor include replacement of the Frank Erwin Events Center and Denton Cooley Pavilion (basketball facility), and new graduate student housing along Leona Street as a buffer between the Blackland Community Development Corporation and neighborhoods to the east. The recently completed East Campus parking garage allows for a future facility that will serve Capital Metro shuttles and operate much like the UT Austin bus zone along 23rd Street. With room for buses to queue, this area can serve as a hub for multiple bus lines.

34

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

I L L US T R AT I V E M AS T E R P L AN

EAST CAMPUS MASTER PLAN

1

2

1

1

2 2

AN

KE

ET

O

N

3

ST .

RT DE

3

ROBE

5

SID RICHARDSON HALL

4

MT. CALVARY CEMETERY

RED

RIVER

ST

E. 23 RD ST

DE

4

DMAN

DR

LYDON B. JOHNSON LIBRARY

E.

DARRELL K ROYAL-TEXAS MEMORIAL STADIUM

CLYD E

LITTL

EFIEL

MANO

6

R RD.

D DR

BLACKLAND ND

E. 22

5 I-3

L ST.

TH

E. 20

N E W B UI L D I N G S P R O P O SE D I N E AST C AM P US M AST E R P L AN

ST.

FUT UR E G R AD UAT E ST UD E N T H O USI N G PARKING GARAGE

NG

BLVD

E MA

12

0

29 | Project Conditions

UT AUST I N C AM P US B O UN D ARY

5, 000, 0000

RTIN

LUTH

ER KIN

OAKWOOD CEMETERY

1950

TH

E. 18

ST

2000

2

3,905,350

415,636

2

3

2,809,119

55,092

4

4

1,892,756

204,501

1

5

3,514,786

154,000

6

459,819

0

0

1,331,912

5

PROPOSED NEW

P

C O N S T R UC T I O N

D

2

0

ZONE

EXISTING GSF

1

1,703,753

904,480

2

2

609,940

2,550,550

1

3

2,210,424

739,493

0

4

1,132,095

2,375,597

7

6,570,120

1

CALCULATED N E W

P

C O N S T R UC T I O N

D

T O TA L

6

ZONE

1

ZONE

PROPOSED NEW

PROPOSED

NET NEW

Z O N E T O TA L

EXISTING

PROPOSED

CONSTRUCTION

DEMOLITION

GSF

GSF

FA R

FA R

502,683

219,523

283,160

2,331,483

1.9

2.1

EXISTING GSF

2,048,323

EXISTING GSF

1

238,587

0

0

2

274,611

378,002

0

SUB

378,002 T O TA L

2

3,905,350

415,636

211,675

203,961

4,109,311

2.3

2.4

3

2,809,119

55,092

4,951

50,141

2,859,260

1.6

1.6

4

1,892,756

204,501 110,995 93,506 1,986,262 1.4 ACCOMMODATING GROWTH: 3,514,786 154,000 0 154,000 2.0 MAIN CAMPUS CONSTRUCTION BY3,668,786 DECADE

1.4

5

0 265 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0459,819 G RO S S GS F UU B A RE SSQ C U MU L AT IV E1,331,912 F EET

0

0

459,820

ZONE

1

2 5 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 GR OS S S QUAR E FEET

547,144

784,768

PROPOSED NEW

PROPOSED

NET NEW

Z O N E T O TA L

EXISTING

PROPOSED

CONSTRUCTION

DEMOLITION

GSF

GSF

FA R

FA R

EXISTING GSF

1,703,753

MA I N CA MPU S C 2.4 million GSF/deca

6.0

T O TA L

2 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0

*FAR (Floor-to-Area Ratio) – a measure of building

2.1

6.0

904,480

245,364

659,116

2,362,869

1.1

1.5

125 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0609,940

2,550,550

155,789

2,394,761

3,004,701

0.3

1.7

3

2,210,424

739,493

0

739,493

2,949,917

0.9

1.3

4

1,132,095

2,375,597

724,137

1,651,460

2,783,555

0.7

1.8

6,570,120

1,125,290

5,444,830

CALCULATED N E W

PROPOSED

NET NEW

Z O N E T O TA L

EXISTING

PROPOSED

CONSTRUCTION

DEMOLITION

GSF

GSF

FA R

FA R

PROJEC T ED ACTUAL

2 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0

1 5 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0

B 0 0 ,0 0 0 1S0U,0

1 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0

T O TA L

ZONE

EXISTING GSF

5 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 0

1

238,587

0

0

0

238,587

0.4

0.4

2

274,611

378,002

0

378,003

652,614

0.2

0.4

0

378,002 1900

5 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 0

SUB

378,003 1950

0

2000

P ROJ EC T ED ACTUAL

15, 000, 000

10, 000, 000

5, 000, 0000

G BLVD

1900

D

502,683

2,048,323

SUB

N E W B UI L D I N G S P R O P O SE D I N C AM P US M AST E R P L AN

P RO P O S E D IL L US T RATIVE MA STER PLA N

ER KI

4

20, 000, 000

UFCU DISCHFALK FIELD 10, 000, 000

LUTH

5

25, 000, 000 GROSS SQUARE FEET

A ST

GRADUATE HOUSING

3

MAIN CAMPUS CONSTRUCTION TRENDS: 2.4 million GSF/decade

LEON

COMA

15, 000, 000

P

C O N S T R UC T I O N

EXISTING GSF

1

T O TA L

3

T O TA L

ST.

ST

E. 21

PROPOSED NEW ZONE

SUB

4

N ST

A ST

HOUSING

HO ST

C U MU L AT IV E

20, 000, 000 NTER IS CE

TIN

2

*FAR (Floor-to-Area Ratio) – a measure of building density, defined as the ratio of total building square footage to land area.

CHICO

SALIN

CONC

GS F

TENN

E MAR

2

ACCOMMODATING GROWTH: MAIN CAMPUSGRADUATE CONSTRUCTION BY DECADE 25, 000, 000 G R OSS SQUAR E FE E T

2

1

1

NEIGHBORHOOD

ST.

1

12

GRADUATE HOUSING

MIKE A.MYERS TRACK AND SOCCER STADIUM

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

(Top, bottom right) Illustrative rendering and charts from the 2013 UT Austin Campus Master Plan showing projected growth through 2040 and a future vision. (Bottom left) 2015 East Campus Master Plan.

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, SASAKI ASSOCIATES, INC.

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, SASAKI ASSOCIATES, INC.

iv

0

1930

1970

2000

2040

1930


MEDICAL/ INNOVATION DISTRICT With the construction of the Dell-Seton Medical Center at UT and the decommissioning of the former Brackenridge Hospital, the area between 12th and 15th Streets is undergoing rapid transformation. A consortium of public/ private entities recently came together under the leadership of a nonprofit (Capital City Innovation) to form an innovation district. Anchored by UT Austin, Central Health’s Brackenridge campus, and Dell Seton Medical Center at UT, it also neighbors Waterloo Park, the Red River Cultural District, and the Capitol and provides curated programs, flexible workspaces, business mentoring, accelerators, and workforce programs. The consortium is growing and already includes and supports innovation among academic institutions, health organizations, startups, entrepreneurs, developers, government, and creatives.

CONGRESS AVENUE Congress Avenue is arguably one of Austin’s most important connectors of the downtown, State Capitol, Lady Bird Lake, and South Congress Historic District. The Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative is re-envisioning the corridor between Riverside Drive to 11th Street to create a more iconic, people-centric, multi-modal street. The South Congress District Economic Strategy published in January 2018 sets district priorities that support businesses along South Congress. Recommendations include place making, connectivity, partnerships, and marketing. The City has partnered recently with the Downtown Alliance to understand parking and mobility constraints.

Project Conditions | 30


RED RIVER CULTURAL DISTRICT The Red River Cultural District is a world-wide destination for live music, food and culture. Managed by the Red River Merchants’ Association, a coalition of small businesses ranging from live music venues to food, hospitality, lodging, lifestyle, and entertainment, it is home to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, First Baptist Church, German-Texan Heritage Society, and the Waller Creek Conservancy. Two annual music programs are hosted in the district – Free Week & Hot Summer Nights – which supports musicians and staff during Austin’s slow seasons.

PLAZA SALTILLO STATION The Plaza Saltillo station planning area was identified in the TOD Ordinance to include the area generally bounded by E. 3rd Street, E. 7th Street, and between I-35 and Chicon Street. It includes portions of three Neighborhood Planning Areas – Central East Austin, East Cesar Chavez, and Holly. The 11 acres of the Plaza Saltillo District served as Austin’s train depot for 100 years until it was abandoned in the 1980s. Capital Metro purchased the property in 1995 with plans to incorporate it into future light-rail service. In 1997, Capital Metro leased 1 acre to the city of Austin for Plaza Saltillo, a Mexican-style plaza named for Austin’s sister city Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Built as a community-gathering place intended to showcase East Austin’s vibrant Hispanic culture, the plaza is now served by Capital Metro’s Red Line.

6TH STREET ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT Among the most notable of these districts is the 6th Street Entertainment District, which extends between Congress Avenue and I-35, and is home to numerous bars and music venues within short walking distance from the Convention Center. In addition, 2nd Street, Rainey Street, Red River, and East Austin are also within close proximity to the Convention Center.

FIFTH STREET MEXICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE CORRIDOR The Fifth Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor, established in 2011, recognizes the contributions of Mexican and Mexican American community members who settled along Fifth Street and adjacent spaces. This heritage corridor connects to and enhances downtown’s network of public parks and streets, amplifies the history of the Mexican American community in downtown Austin, and emphasizes the importance of Hispanic/Latino-owned businesses.

31 | Project Conditions


MEXIC-ARTE MUSEUM The Mexic-Arte Museum on Congress Avenue is dedicated to cultural enrichment and education through the collection, preservation and presentation of traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture to promote dialogue and develop understanding for visitors of all ages. A total of 75,000 visitors tour the museum each year.

REPUBLIC SQUARE Edwin Waller’s original design of Austin consisted of a grid with a central square (Capitol Square) and four smaller, secondary “public squares.” In 1888, the squares were named Brush, Hemphill (now First Baptist Church), Bell (now Wooldridge), and Hamilton (now Republic). Austin’s leaders saw little value in parks and public spaces, initially. Although the original city plan set aside public land, the city quickly found other ways to use these spaces for storage, garbage dumps, or other city services. Between 1950 and the early 1970s, Republic Square functioned as a parking lot. Returning Republic Square to its original purpose began in 1976 as part of the U.S. Bicentennial celebration. Austin chose the current name, Republic Square, in tribute to the Republic of Texas. Through a unique public-private partnership, the Downtown Austin Alliance, Austin Parks Foundation, and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department partnered to renovate the park and elevate its status once again as an important gathering place in the heart of downtown.

Project Conditions | 32


AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER By the end of 2020 there will be more than 12,000 hotel rooms within a 10-minute walk of the convention center. A visioning study recently published by UT calls for a more compact, vertically stacked arrangement, connected by bridges to maximize flexibility and open up space for retail and community functions that activate the space. Per the UT study, Second and Third Street would continue as pedestrian passages and create a network of public space that reconstruct the street grid. A new public event space could extend Palm Park to Neches Street and connect Waller Creek with the Convention Center. I-35 can help connect future civic, event, hotels, residential, office, restaurants, bar, and retail spaces that the re-imagined convention center may spur over time. Increases in Hotel Occupancy Taxes and service industry jobs are some of the anticipated direct and indirect outcomes.

EAST CESAR CHAVEZ BUSINESS DISTRICT The East Cesar Chavez neighborhood business district is located on the east side of Austin, between I-35 and Pleasant Valley. One of the oldest districts in Austin, East Cesar Chavez still retains the roots that have helped Austin flourish. This neighborhood is known for promoting art and movement, with businesses like SprATX providing a safe workspace and opportunities to up-and-coming artists. East Cesar Chavez still offers all the basic amenities for residents. The East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood Business District is currently working with Souly Austin to preserve a small-scale, friendly atmosphere, and deepen the cultural heritage of the area through beautification projects that include public art, gateways and pocket parks. The merchants association promises to build a strong, inclusive network of communication and growth between all businesses in East Cesar Chavez.

33 | Project Conditions


AUSTIN TEJANO TRAILS The Austin Tejano Trail preserves the stories and cultural assets of East Austin. It is 4.95 miles long and weaves under/ over I-35 to stitch together. The trail was developed by East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood leaders who wanted to accomplish goals in their Neighborhood Plan.

PALM DISTRICT On the corner of Cesar Chavez and I-35 stands the Sir Swante Palm School. Founded in 1892, it was the first public school in Austin to have a kindergarten class. During the 1940s and 1950s, it was the gathering space for family celebrations and picnics. Then, Palm School was slated to be replaced per a 1958 Austin Plan recommendation. The school survived for a time, but the construction of I-35 cut it off from the community it served. When Sanchez Elementary School opened east of the highway, students in that neighborhood attended the new school. The Palm School closed in 1976. Today the building is home to Travis County Health and Human Services and Veteran Services. The future of the property is the subject of community concern.

RAINEY STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT When I-35 was built through downtown Austin in 1956, Rainey Street was severed from East Austin, isolating its residents. Rainey Street was prime property—catching the attention of developers, as well as historic preservation activists. In 1985, the Rainey Street Historic District was listed with the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood experienced a period of calm until zoning implemented in 2004 allowed businesses to enter the area. The 2011 Downtown Austin Plan set specific goals for the Rainey Street Historic District which include stronger pedestrian and bicycle linkages to the downtown, Town Lake, Waller Creek, east Austin, I-35, and Cesar Chavez.

EMMA S. BARRIENTOS MEXICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER In the 1970s neighborhood artists approached the City of Austin to request support for a Hispanic cultural arts facility. The long-time dream was finalized on September 15, 2007 with a ribbon cutting attended by thousands from the community. Today, galleries offer free exhibits by Latino artists. Residency programs host theatrical, dance, and music performances. Free and low-cost activities, including salsa, crafts, music lessons, bilingual arts, and fitness classes, are conducted in Spanish. An incredible oral history of the MACC is also available. As programming at the cultural center grows and with another phase of the building yet to be built, the results of the oral history project can help shape the center’s future, said Herlinda Zamora, the center’s culture and arts education manager. “I think all voices need to be heard because it is a complex history, but it’s also very positive and encouraging history.” City Council adopted a master plan in 2018 which guides redesign and options for the “Gran Entrada” at Lady Bird Lake and Waller Creek.

Project Conditions | 34


EAST 12TH STREET In East Austin between Comal Street and Chestnut Street, East 12th Street is a district that was built through the perseverance of proud people as demonstrated in a recent documentary about the area. The East 12th Street District has been a part of Austin’s diverse history for decades. The ties that bind this neighborhood can be found in the places that promote a sense of community. The district is home to religious institutions, retail shops, convenience stores, beauty parlors, barbershops, and an assortment of restaurants, bars and eateries that include all the staples of Southern cuisine. East 12th Street preserves and celebrates the history of the African American community. The East Twelfth Street Merchants

In 2015 the City of Austin completed a Historic Resources Survey Report to locate, identify, and document all buildings, structures, sites, landscapes, and objects built in or before 1970 within East Austin. This effort built upon the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, which sets forth preservation as a key goal for the city, and marks survey and documentation as an essential step toward meeting that goal. Each identified resource was evaluated for eligibility for local landmark, historic district listing, and/or National Register listing. All evaluations were made by professionals meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards (36 CFR 61), carefully following the City Code of Ordinances and the National Register criteria.

Association (ETSMA) has solidified the district’s boundaries, in collaboration with Souly Austin, ETSMA is in the process of furthering the association’s mission through the improvement of infrastructure in the area and the implementation of projects and events that celebrate this vibrant community and preserves East 12th Street’s rich history.

HUSTON-TILLOTSON UNIVERSITY (HT) HT is the oldest institution of higher education in Austin and the sole college for African Americans until Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Its parent schools—Tillotson College and known as Bluebonnet Hill) of Tillotson College and adopted “In union, strength” as a motto. Today, HT is one of only 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) still operating in the United States. It recently opened the Sandra

HUSTON-TILLOTSON UNIVERSITY

Samuel Huston College—merged together on the site (then

Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center that will help address health disparities, increase the number of African American physicians in Central Texas, and serve the medical needs of students and faculty members. The land formerly 12th Streets remains an opportunity for space that honors the 140-year contributions of HT to the community.

35 | Project Conditions

HUSTON-TILLOTSON UNIVERSITY

owned by Samuel Huston College at I-35 between 11th and


HISTORIC LANDMARKS

I-35 lowered through central Austin

National Registered Historic District National Registered Historic Landmark City of Austin Historic Landmark 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin.

Project Conditions | 36


MOBILITY LANDSCAPE CAPITAL METRO The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) is Austin’s public transportation provider, connecting people, jobs and communities by providing quality transportation choices to Central Texas. It offers MetroBus, MetroExpress, MetroRapid, MetroRail, Pickup, High-Frequency Routes, UT Shuttles, Late-Night service, MetroRideShare, MetroAccess, Guaranteed Ride Home, CARTS and more. Created in accordance with Chapter 451 of the Texas Transportation Code, Capital Metro was established by a voter referendum on Jan. 19, 1985. The agency is funded in part by a 1 percent sales tax levied by its service area members. Stitching or capping the I-35 corridor could tie into the many existing services provided by the organization.

AUSTIN STRATEGIC MOBILITY PLAN & PROJECT CONNECT The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP), unanimously adopted by City Council last year, is Austin’s new city-wide, comprehensive transportation plan. The plan calls for Austin to be mobile and interconnected, and calls for reducing the city’s drive-alone rate. It includes not only the mobility goals for the city, but current and future transit, sidewalk, bicycle, urban trail and street network maps. Project Connect, preliminarily adopted by the City Council as part of the ASMP, is our city’s vision for a regional, high-capacity transit system currently under development as part of the NEPA process. Funding approval of the system plan is likely to go to voters in the fall of 2020. The proposed system map includes two potential light-rail lines that run through downtown, connecting folks from north and south Austin, as well as the airport.

AUSTIN BIKE PLAN The City of Austin provides a Bike Map, which shows bike routes for safe and convenient cycling around Austin. Citizens are able to suggest new bike facilities and provide comments through this on-line resource.

37 | Project Conditions


EXISTING TRANSIT

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Crosstown E-Bus Express Feeder Flyer High Frequency Local Night Owl Rail UT Shuttle 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Project Conditions | 38


DOWNTOWN CIRCULATOR Capital Metro noted an 11.5% increase in ridership from 2018 - among one of the highest in the nation. The Downtown Alliance is leading a circulator study to explore a smaller scale service that connects sub-districts and that supports shared parking downtown.

DOCKLESS MOBILITY Both dockless and shared vehicles are available for short-term rental in the right-of-way. Dockless vehicles include electric scooters, skateboards, or other compact devices for personal mobility which do not have a license plate issued by TxDMV. Several operators (Bird, JUMP, Lime, Lyft, Ojo, Spin, VeoRide and Wheels) are licensed to operate in the downtown, and beyond. Austin Transportation shares open data through its dockless Reporting Dashboard, which provides monthly statistics such as miles traveled, average distance traveled, average trip duration, and number of devices so that everyone can understand the latest trends.

SHARED VEHICLES In addition to transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, which are increasingly popular in Austin, other shared vehicles services include mopeds, smart cars and small electric vehicles, such as Revel (licensed, 500 mopeds) and ZipCar (contract, on average 23 vehicles).

PARK-ATX PUBLIC PARKING APP An app showing all metered parking within the City of Austin helps people find parking close to their destinations, pay in advance for a guaranteed spot with a credit card, and receive alerts to manage parking directly from their smartphone.

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN PARKING STRATEGY In addition to partnering to expand affordable parking, the Downtown Austin Alliance led a comprehensive inventory of downtown parking options and recommendations. To develop its Downtown Parking Strategy, the Downtown Alliance employed an extensive process, including public engagement, a review of codes and policies and a detailed analysis of usage patterns for every downtown parking space. Since then, the Downtown Austin Alliance has partnered with the City of Austin, Movability and other downtown stakeholders to further implement its Downtown Parking Strategy.

39 | Project Conditions


IMAGINE AUSTIN CORRIDORS

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Imagine Austin Corridor 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Project Conditions | 40


PARKS/GREENSPACE The reconstruction of I-35 can bridge and strengthen connections to many parks and amenities in the central city, which are not currently accessible to everyone, as indicated by the below graphs. Summarized on the next pages are a few of those adjacent opportunities.

Combined Planning Area Recommendations Central Central, at a Glance

Black

3%

7%

Race

(51% overall)

$58,474

White

Median Household income (2017)

15.8%

All “At A Glance” statistics are calculated using the 5-mile ETJ boundary not the City of Austin boundary.

+

Expanding park access when land is costly. Existing parks in the central area are rich in amenities, but access to those facilities is low with only 40% living within walking distance to a park. Given the + dense development pattern in central Austin, location, and high land costs, potential new parkland may be difficult and expensive to acquire. of residents Live in Park Deficient areas

East

East, at a Glance

58%

154

(51% overall)

$43,584

Our parks, our future.

Median Household income (2017)

($73,800 overall)

23.3%

Residents living in Poverty (2017)

(13.5% overall)

All “At A Glance” statistics are calculated using the 5-mile ETJ boundary not the City of Austin boundary.

Top Issues + Access to existing wealth 41 | Project Conditions of facilities. The number of

facilities per capita is higher than other areas. The more urban areas west of US-183 include a high number of

Under 18

9%

14%

83%

Age

222,537 jobs 203,740 residents 7.8 people per acre

Citywide Comparisons 77% 35% Hispanic pop. Growth by 2040* 75% White, 8% Black, 7% Asian, 10% Other 18-65 yr 546,757 jobs Job GROWTH BY 2040** 1,078,227 residents 5.7 people per acre * Population Growth Calculated for 2016 to 2040 + 45% population growth by 2040 ** Job Growth Calculated for 2010 to 2040 + 80% job growth by 2040

+50% +77%

Residents living in Poverty (2017)

(13.5% overall)

+

Over 65

19% Hispanic

($73,800 overall)

Top Issues

7%

Note: ‘Other’ includes American Indian, Hawaiian and pacific islander, One other race, & Two or more races

Integrating parks into new development. As development continues and the population continues to grow, expand convenient and safe access to parks to keep up with growing demand. Cultivating active urban park spaces. Some of the city’s smaller centrallylocated urban parks are Note: ‘Other’ includes American Indian, underperforming. PublicHawaiian and pacific Other islander, One other race, &be Two or more private partnerships may 15% races Asian

an important tool to revitalize urban parks and ensure they are diverse, engaging, and welcoming to all residents with more frequent and active programming. +

2%

Black 19%

Race

64% White

50% Hispanic

Parks in non-residential areas. Many parts of the central area are dominated by non-residential office, institutional, and commercial uses that have unique park needs, including a surge in the daytime population.

Over 65 8%

Under 18

25%

Age

41,767 jobs 123,579 residents 2.0 people per acre

Citywide Comparisons 67% 35% Hispanic pop. Growth by 2040* 75% White, 8% Black, 7% Asian, 10% Other 18-65 yr 546,757 jobs Job GROWTH BY 2040** 1,078,227 residents 5.7 people per acre * Population Growth Calculated for 2016 to 2040 + 45% population growth by 2040 ** Job Growth Calculated for 2010 to 2040 + 80% job growth by 2040

+71% +105%

the population is under 18 years old. According to studies of gentrification risk, households within these park planning areas are also at risk for continued displacement moving forward. Planned improvements in parks

AUSTIN PARKS

60%

of residents live in Park Deficient areas

Other

master plan will guide future park improvements. In addition, a new master plan for development of the John Treviño Jr. Metropolitan Park began in 2019. +

Reflecting cultural diversity

AUSTIN PARKS

Asian


BRUSH SQUARE Brush Square is located at a busy downtown location fronting the Austin Convention Center and CapMetro’s new Downtown Station. It is one of the three remaining original squares as envisioned in Edwin Waller’s 1839 plan for Austin. Waller’s plan set aside four blocks for public squares; today, Republic Square, Wooldridge Square, and Brush Square remain public parks. The 2019 Brush Square master plan includes indicators for how it can transform into an inclusive public park space—many of which relate to efforts to re-envision I-35. The Downtown Austin Vision also emphasizes that programming for Brush Square should be inclusive to all of Austin.

PALM DISTRICT/WALLER CREEK In spring 2019 the Austin City Council passed a resolution instructing staff to conduct a master planning process addressing a variety of issues and concerns in an area of downtown that has been dubbed the Palm District based on its proximity to Sir Swante Palm Park and Palm School. This area has an array of overlapping interests, stakeholders, and long-term on-going planning efforts, and deep historic and cultural importance to the community. The City of Austin has been selected for an AIA R/UDAT to provide a foundation for the launch of an inclusive and successful community conversation as the City embarks on creating a district plan for this area.

LADY BIRD LAKE HIKE-AND-BIKE TRAIL Austin boasts a circuit of scenic trails around Lady Bird Lake, including a new Boardwalk Trail that opened in 2014. The trail is the longest trail designed for non-motorized traffic maintained by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and watched after by a local non-profit named The Trail Foundation. 3,000 to 15,000 people use the trail every day of the year.

THE RED LINE PARKWAY The Red Line Parkway is a proposed linear park and public space along the planned Red Line Trail, extending 32 miles from Downtown Austin to Leander. The trail is identified as a top priority (Tier I) trail in the City of Austin Urban Trails Master Plan (UTMP). Currently about 10-20% is completed or funded, including Walnut Creek to Braker Lane (adjacent to Highland Mall), Boggy Creek Trail (part of EastLink Trail), and the Crosstown Bikeway (Lance Armstrong Bikeway). Future connections will provide access to the Butler Trail around Lady Bird Lake, Shoal Creek, Waller Creek (both downtown and near Highland Mall), the Northern and Southern Walnut Creek Trails (eventually creating a continuous 30-mile trail loop), Mueller, The Domain, Wells Branch, and UT Austin. The trail is part of a continuous 200-mile network that will connect the city to suburban and rural areas. Based on data from Austin bicycle traffic counters and similar examples in other cities, it is estimated that the Red Line Trail will see well over one million visits in its first year.

Project Conditions | 42


CITY OF AUSTIN PARKS

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Waterloo Greenway

Cemetery District Golf Course Greenbelt Metropolitan Nature Preserve Neighborhood Pocket Park School 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin.

43 | Project Conditions


PUBLICLY OWNED LAND

I-35 lowered through central Austin

State Owned City Owned University of Texas Owned 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin.

Project Conditions | 44


ECONOMIC GROWTH

Downtown Austin Alliance | Market Data

Austin is part of the growing I-35 “high-tech

45%

corridor” between Dallas and San Antonio.

population growth projected between 2018 and 2040

The rapid addition of high-tech companies to the city have spurred growth to the north, south, and west, demanding new solutions to congestion that enables everyone to move products and meet demands quickly.

POPULATION & JOB GROWTH According to the Texas Demographic Center, the population in the MSA is expected to double by 2040. In addition to local, state and federal government functions, and UT, private sector employers include: Dell, IBM Corporation, Seton Family of Hospitals, St. David’s Healthcare Partnership, Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, Applied Materials, AT&T, Flextronics, Freescale, Gentiva, National Instruments, Samsung, and Whole Foods.

EMERGING DEVELOPMENT

80%

job growth projected between 2018 and 2040

“AU BE SUSTA SOCIA AND E OPPO WHERE D Population (2040) AND C 1,281,915 ARE CEL WHERE CO NEEDS AN ARE REC Population (2018) WHERE LE 967,629 Our research team's analysis inform COM REPUBLIC SQUARE (HTTPS://REPUBLICSQUARE.ORG/ ITS CO people and businesses inte MEM RESOURCES (HTTPS://DOWNTOWNAUSTIN.COM/WHAT-WE-DO/RESEARCH/RESOURCES/ W NECESSITIE ARE AFF AND ACCE

Mark

About Us

What We Do

Population (1840)

553

AUSTIN PARKS

large amount of activity in the downtown core this past year. With 10 projects completed in 2019, 20 under construction, and 19 planned, downtown development doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon. This reflects emergence on the national stage as both the top overall real estate prospect as well as the number one place to live. The Downtown Austin Alliance’s Emerging Projects map reflects the most prominent projects recently completed, under construction, or being

Downtown Developm

Data Source: City of Austin past decennial figures are from the US Census Bureau, all other annual figures - including the projected 2040 population - are internally generated estimates from City Demographer and Department of Planning for the City of Austin as of November 2018. Note: About 70% of the annual growth from 1997 to 1998 was largely the result of annexing large tracts of populated land into the City in late 1997. Population figures are as of April 1 of each year. Historical and current period population figures for the City of Austin take into account annexations that have occurred. Forecasted population figures for the City of Austin do not assume any future annexation activity.

Downtown Development Snapshot

63 MSF 7 MSF

Total Existing

Total Under Construction Total Planned

9.5 MSF

Estimated Redevelopment Potential

48 MSF

Source: Downtown Austin Alliance Emerging Projects and Capacity Analysis Database, As of December 31, 2018 Note: Estimated redevelopment potential for downtown is based on a calculation and methodology developed by McCann Adams Studio in 2016. The Downtown Austin Alliance commissioned McCann Adams to conduct a capacity analysis as a complimentary project to the Downtown Parking Strategy. Share

45 | Project Conditions

Economic Develop

(/)

Market data shows that Austin has seen a

planned in central Austin.

IM A V

V i b r a n t. Li v a b l

Downtown curren

existing developm

under constructio

Chapter 1 : Purpose & Bac

have been planne

development cod has the potential feet to its skyline.


EMERGING DEVELOPMENT

I-35 lowered through central Austin

PUD Mixed Use Civic Commercial Single Family Residential Open Space Utility Industrial Transportation 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin Development Services Department. Included projects on the map are 10 or more acres OR those that will contain 20 or more residential units.

Project Conditions | 46


CBD Office Net Absorption and Delivery

$1.00 $0.80 $0.60

Office Market

There are 14.9 MSF of Multi-Tenant Office Inventory in downtown.

$0.40 $0.20

Net Absorption

Net Deliveries

0 800K

OFFICE MARKET

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

600K There is undeniableSource: demand CoStar, 2019 for locating

Share

SF

nearly 20% of the city’s office space, and office rents are higher on average than 200K

2016

2005

2006

2019

There is undeniab

25 M 38% 17%

businesses down

of the city’s office

higher on averag

that businesses a

downtown space

grown 17% and fir 4% since 2010.

Share

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Downtown Tourism Market Snapshot 

Source: CoStar, 2018

with convention-goers, business travelers and

Austin Annual Visitors

vacationers. The number of hotel rooms have Share

75% in the lastyear10 years. Occupancy Downtown Austinincreased hotelsby are bustling remains very high even as new supply is added,

round with convention-goers, business

1/2

 resulting in a market for new hotel development

travelers and vacationers. The number of that is stronger than ever.

hotel rooms have increased by 75% in the

Austin Annual Economic  Impact from Visitor Spending

Number of Downtown Hotels

last 10 years. Occupancy remains very high even as new supply is added, resulting in

2018

Source: CoStar, 2018

Downtown Austin hotels are bustling year-round

TOURISM

2017

Tourism

17% and first floor retail -400K space has grown 4% 2004

2015

2010-2018

-200K

space. The office space inventory has grown 2003

2014

Growth from

are willing to pay a premium for downtown

2002

2013

Share of Austin 

1/2



rents citywide, indicating that businesses 0

2001

2012

Square Feet of Total Office Space

businesses downtown. Downtown has 400K

since 2010.

2011

Downtown Office Market Snapshot 

Residential Market

27.4 M $8B 11,017

Source: Texas Office of Governor - Office of Economic Development & Tourism, 2018; Visit Austin, 2019 Share

a market for new hotel development that is

Downtown Residential Population 

stronger than ever. As Austin has grown, so has our downtown

https://downtownaustin.com/what-we-do/research/resources/market-data/ residential population. We’ve also seen a boom in

14,632 10,882 92%

Number of Residents

housing development that shows no signs of

RESIDENTIAL MARKET abating. Factoring in the housing units in the pipeline, the population downtown could Factoring in the housing units in theofpipeline,

Number of Residential Units

exceed 20,000 within the next few years.

the population of downtown could exceed

20,000 within theAsnext few years. As an an example, the number of residential units more than doubled sinceunits 2010 to reach 10,882. The example, the number of residential

Growth from 2010-2018

current downtown population is around 14,600 more than doubled since 2010 to Downtown reachAustin Alliance | Market Data

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, ACS Estimates 2013-2017, Downtown Austin Alliance, 2018 Residential Database

residents, a 92% increase since 2010. Developers https://downtownaustin.com/what-we-do/research/resources/market-data/ 10,882. The current downtown population continue to add new housing, with another 6,000

2/19/20, 9:36 AM

Pag

Share

either under construction or in planning. is around 14,600 units residents, a 92% increase Austin Apartment Rental Occupancy

since 2010. Developers continue to add new

Citywide Occupancy

housing, with another 6,000 units either

100%

under construction or in planning.

95%



CBD Occupancy

90%

85%

80%

75%

70%

https://downtownaustin.com/what-we-do/research/resources/market-data/ 65%

Pag 2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Source: CoStar, 2019

47 | Project Conditions

Share



2/2



Tourism

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019


Downtown Austin Alliance | Market Data

2/19/20, 9:37 AM

Austin Apartment Rental Rate Citywide Rate

$2.80



CBD Rate

$2.60 $2.40 $2.20 $2.00 $1.80

$/SF

$1.60 $1.40 $1.20 $1.00 $0.80 $0.60 $0.40 $0.20 0 2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

RISING RENTS

Source: CoStar, 2019

Average rent is increasing faster in Austin than in any other major metropolitan city in Texas. Share

According to industry data, in 2018, rents in Austin rose by 4.4 percent, in contrast to 3.8 

1/2



percent in Fort Worth, 3.5 percent in San Antonio and 2.7 percent in Dallas. Those residents earning between 60 and 80 percent of AMI are particularly vulnerable as they do not qualify for conventional housing resources, yet the market is outpacing what they can spend on a

Tourism

mortgage. Austin-area research has found that more than 232,000 households were at risk of displacement, requiring just over $8,600 in assistance per household to shield them from the Downtown Austin hotels are bustling year-round

effects of fast-rising property values. with convention-goers, business travelers and

Downtown Tourism Market Snapshot 

27.4 M The city needs 60,000 affordable units below 80 percent of the median family income (MFI) over $8B the next 10 years. Of those 60,000 units, 15,000 are earmarked for families earning between 61 vacationers. The number of hotel rooms have

increased by 75% in the last 10 years. Occupancy

AUSTIN’S STRATEGIC HOUSING BLUEPRINT remains very high even as new supply is added, resulting in a market for new hotel development that is stronger than ever.

Austin Annual Visitors

Austin Annual Economic Impact from Visitor Spending

Number of

to 80 percent of MFI. State law does not permit inclusionary zoning, but it may require set-asides Downtown Hotels for projects applying for a density bonus, increased entitlements above base height/FAR. Source: Texas Office of Governor - Office of Economic Development & Tourism, 2018; Visit Austin, 2019 Share

https://downtownaustin.com/what-we-do/research/resources/market-data/

Page 4 of 6

Project Conditions | 48


COMMUNITY DYNAMICS GENTRIFICATION A scholarly survey conducted by UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement found that many longstanding residents hold a negative view of the changes taking place around them. A remarkable 93 percent said that they do not patronize new businesses because they did not cater to them, and some residents felt specifically unwelcome in these new businesses. They pay higher property taxes without experiencing an improvement in their overall quality of life yet they affirm a responsibility to stay in East Austin and they do so despite gentrification, not because of it. A drastic reduction in the number of children is perhaps the most profound and troubling marker of gentrification: one neighborhood surveyed lost half of its child population between 2000 and 2010. Even as the neighborhood’s general population began to grow again between 2010 and 2015, its proportion of children remained small.

DISPLACEMENT Displacement is the defining feature of gentrification. East Austin remains a focal point for civic debate over the future of the entire city. Many see the diminishing number of Black and Latino residents in East Austin as a sign of things to come for other Austin neighborhoods, where longstanding residents of all races are being increasingly priced out of their homes.

UPROOTED & THE EASTERN CRESCENT Since 1990 Austin has seen a dramatic rise in housing costs, shifting it from one of the most affordable cities in the country to a place in which many residents can no longer afford to live. As affluent residents move into central neighborhoods, low-income and minority residents are pushed to the outskirts or out of the city altogether. Communities of color and households in the eastern crescent (a ring surrounding downtown) continue to be disproportionately impacted by gentrification. In 2017, City Council passed a resolution, published an Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities report, and dedicated funding to address destabilization of existing communities, and loss of diversity and sense of place for Austin. The city partnered with UT to publish a landmark study titled Uprooted: Residential Displacement in Austin’s Gentrifying Neighborhoods and What Can Be Done About It.

49 | Project Conditions


VULNERABILITY TO DISPLACEMENT THROUGH GENTRIFICATION

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Hancock

Hyde Park

Cherrywood

The University of Texas Central East Austin

East Cesar Chavez

Most Vulnerable More Vulnerable Vulnerable 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Design, UpRooted Report.

Project Conditions | 50


THE PEOPLE’S PLAN TO CURB DISPLACEMENT Last year, a group of community activists from East Austin marked Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by releasing The People’s Plan, a six-point initiative for fighting gentrification and displacement. The plan was endorsed by Austin’s Anti-Displacement Task Force and laid out in detail six resolutions or draft ordinances for City Council to adopt and begin implementing now. 1. Establish Interim Land Restrictions in East Austin to limit degradation of the fragile natural and cultural environment. 2. Establish a Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. Overseen by a community body like in Denver, this fund would make public investments exclusively in low income housing. 3. Use City Public Land in 2018 to create 2000 low-income housing units on 8 city properties. 4. Implement an East Austin Neighborhood Conservation Program with Conservation and Historic Preservation Districts to restrict land use that have been successful in other cities. 5. Enact Right to Return and Right to Stay Programs (like in Portland and Houston that help seniors and low- income residents stay in and return to their communities). 6. Enact a local Environmental Quality Review Program to ensure environmental justice.

HOMELESSNESS Based upon the 2019 one-night count, there were 2,255 people homeless with 1,086 found unsheltered. ARCH currently serves only 135 people with overnight shelter, case management and homeless navigation services. They no longer provide in/out day services for people that are not staying overnight and engaged in case management services. The ATX Helps shelter will provide low-barrier shelter day and night and homeless navigation triage services. The shelter will also provide storage for personal belongings for the people staying there. ECHO is the local organization that orchestrates the annual HUD Continuum of Care funding application process and oversees the programs funded to ensure they are meeting their metrics. ECHO has led local efforts to reach “effective zero” with veterans’ homelessness.

51 | Project Conditions


BUSINESSES, ARTISTS & TALENT With half of the musicians living in Austin earning less than $25,000 a year, and business owners facing rising rents and razor-thin profit margins, an affordability crisis threatens the Austin’s status as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Lack of affordability is edging out musicians as industry workers are paying more for rent, mortgages, property taxes, and other costs of living.

AISD SCHOOL CLOSURES In November 2019, the Austin Independent School District approved a School Changes plan that will close some East Austin elementary schools and reinvest savings district-wide. The plan is a result of declining enrollment. More than 13,500 students within AISD boundaries went to charter schools last year and the district is expected to lose 7,000 more students over the next 10 years.

PEASE ELEMENTARY (DOWNTOWN) Pease is a Texas Historic Landmark that has undergone significant renovations and additions over its 137 years in existence. It is the state’s longest continually operating public school, serving as a cultural symbol for Austin and for the value and importance of public education. Effective in the 2020 school year, Pease Elementary School will close. Students will co-locate at Zavala Elementary and consolidate under a single school name by 2022.

METZ & SANCHEZ ELEMENTARY The Metz and Sanchez sites are powerful symbols in the history of East Austin’s Hispanic and Black communities. Metz will close and resources will be combined and invested to enhance academic programming at Sanchez.

NORMAN & SIMS SCHOOLS The Sims facility will close and be combined at the modernized Norman-Sims school. The Norman and Sims sites are significant historical symbols in the story of Austin’s African American communities. The district will support efforts to each school’s legacy through programming and other creative means.

Project Conditions | 52


P O L I CY R OA D M A P

PLANS GUIDING AUSTIN’S FUTURE

55

IMAGINE AUSTIN CENTERS MAP

56

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN VISION

58

ADDITIONAL READING

60

POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIPS/ FUNDING TOOLS

61

POTENTIAL REVENUE FOR THE PROJECT

63

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING

67

53 | Policy Roadmap


GIULIO SCIORIO

Policy Roadmap | 54


PLANS GUIDING AUSTIN’S FUTURE IMAGINE AUSTIN In 2012, Austin adopted the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, which calls for creating a new Land Development Code (LDC) to accommodate Austin’s growth. The process to develop a new vision for Austin engaged thousands of residents. Through community conversations residents described their ideas for the city’s bicentennial in 2039: “As it approaches its 200th anniversary, Austin is a beacon of sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity; where diversity and creativity are celebrated; where community needs and values are recognized; where leadership comes from its citizens, and where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all.” Imagine Austin features a checklist that can be used by organizations seeking funding to guide the development of projects and programs to increase the likelihood of funding.

LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE The Land Development Code enables a compact and connected city, and helps to meet other city goals like sustainability and affordability. This new LDC replaces our 1984 code, which has been patched and amended so many times that it was difficult to interpret and use. The new LDC will align future development with the goals of the Imagine Austin, Downtown Austin Plan, Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, and other plans to guide future growth. The following are important goals and concepts related to the downtown and (re)development along I-35.

OUR PARKS OUR FUTURE The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) updated its long-range plan in 2019. As Austin’s population and economy continue to grow, the demand for park space and recreational facilities is increasing as well. The plan identifies priority needs from a statistically valid survey, voices from community members, and information from stakeholders.

OUR AUSTIN STORY In collaboration with the Parks Department and various preservation organizations, the Downtown Austin Alliance put together a comprehensive look at Austin’s most historic public spaces. Our Austin Story focuses on the heritage of Austin’s four historic squares (Brush, Republic, Wooldridge, and Hamilton) and Congress Avenue. It documents the stories of the people and places who shaped these important civic spaces and offers an important framework for celebrating Austin’s diverse heritage. Currently, partners are working together to make Austin’s heritage more visible throughout downtown – from installing interpretive signs, to digital tours, to putting together events and programs that celebrate Our Austin Story.

55 | Policy Roadmap


IMAGINE AUSTIN CENTERS

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Hancock

Hyde Park

Cherrywood

The University of Texas Central East Austin

East Cesar Chavez

Emerging Development Imagine Austin Centers Regional Center Town Center Neighborhood Center Activity Centers for Redevelopment Job Center 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin Development Services Department. Included projects on the map are 10 or more acres OR those that will contain 20 or more residential units.

Policy Roadmap | 56


DOWNTOWN AUSTIN PLAN

a maintenance plan for the physical improvements in the ROW;

a master license agreement that would allow individual property owners to make “pre-approved” improvements along their frontages within the public ROW; and

a master management structure that has a variety of responsibili�es that can augment the City’s efforts in improving and monitoring the street.

• The City should leverage future investments in rail along Congress Avenue The Downtown Austin Plan is a is a blueprint containing over 100 specific recommendations and to provide for other enhancements, consistent with the community vision expressed in “Envisioning the Avenue - A Strategic Report”.

supporting goals for distinct districts. Many City projects are outlined; but the Downtown Austin PR-3.7: Improve Sabine Street, from 3rd to 7th Street as a bicycle-friendly, pedestrian promenade, paralleling Waller Creek. • The City should give high priority to the improvement of Sabine Street as an urban promenade, as called for in the Waller Creek District Master Plan.58 This segment of the street provides a key link along the Waller Creek corridor, where the creek environment is too narrow to accommodate a creekside path.

Plan also recommends public-private partnerships and other innovative tools to develop major projects that benefit the whole community. The Plan was adopted as an amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Plan in 2011. Overall goals include ensuring that Downtown can evolve into a • The Sabine Street promenade will connect the creekside hike-and-bike pathways south of 3rd Street with those north of 7th Street. The street, with one lane in

each on,NG will also help provide calm, local to several proper� es compact and dense district, with new buildingsENV contributing positively toaccess sustainability, quality of I SIdirec� ONI TH E toAV ENU E….Six Elements for Success. and businesses, and provide more direct access to Palm Park from the north.

Sabine Street is envisioned as

April 2010, the Downtown AusƟn Alliance conducted a day-long, community-wide charreƩe to a vibrant promenade along life, and the downtown experience. The Plan alsoInexplore envisions aCongress lowered I-35 having newpotenƟ bridges ways of enhancing Avenue, block by block, to fulll the Avenue’s al as the Waller Creek, connecting 3rd “Main Street of Texas”. CharreƩe parƟcipants consistently idenƟed the following six elements as being the most important to achieving greatness: Downtown Austin Plan and places of Austin and connect Austin’s beloved fabric of historicand 7th streets. that celebrate the people

The City should work with Downtown property owners to eliminate dumpsters and above-grade grease traps from alleys. In older areas, such as 6th Street and Congress Avenue, more efficient systems for trash collec�on, recycling and compos�ng, should be established.

places, buildings, and landscapes. •

When at all possible, primary or secondary access and egress to and from onsite parking should be taken from the alley. This will be more possible once alleys become less clu�ered with dumpsters and other obstacles.

The City should con�nue opera�ng the Downtown Refuse Collec�on District, which effec�vely manages refuse in the bar and restaurant intensive central core of Downtown.

1. Outdoor Dining

2. Art, Culture & Theater

3. Shopping

TP-1.4: Reduce or remove the barrier of the IH 35 edge. The comple�on of IH 35 in the 1960s created a signicant social and physical divide through the en�re city, isola�ng East Aus�n from Downtown and the more affluent neighborhoods to the west. The freeway is now over 50 years old and is one of the most congested and dangerous sec�ons of the Interstate Highway system.

I-35 Adopted by the Austin City Council

T H E P L A N E L E M E N T S : T R A N S P O R TAT I O N A N D PA R K I N G

ELIZABETH DAY

New uses in the historic Seaholm Power Plant building will anchor adjacent hotel, office, civic and residential development.

57 | Policy Roadmap The sites shown in brown represent approximately 3.0 million square feet of future

ELIZABETH DAY

Give the highest priority to streetscape improvements that can change the character of the street, handle pedestrian volumes with wider sidewalks, provide space for outdoor cafes and reduce the need for weekend street closures that impact businesses and encourage nega�ve social behavior.

Control the prolifera�on of poorly-managed cocktail lounge uses by ins�tu�ng specic condi�ons to their approval and con�nued opera�on (see AU-1.4).

Work with Aus�n Police Department (APD) and 6ixth Street AusƟn to

On the basis of• windshield surveys the City’s 1984 Build on the live music brand ofand East 6th Street and reposi� on it through a coordinated promo�onal program through the Aus�n Conven�on and Cultural Resources Survey, one possible Local Historic Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and 6ixth Street AusƟn. Congress Avenue District has been idenƟ ed,explore subject to more detailed • The City should the feasibility of construc� ng an “experience-based” study and property owner interest. It is located along the segment of West 6th Street between San Antonio Street and West Avenue. Shoal Creek includes some historic arƟfacts including the wooden rail trestle bridge at West 3rd Street. Mirabeau B. Lamar’s rst cabin was located at the mouth of Shoal Creek, which warrants an interpreƟve treatment, since Lamar was one of AusƟn’s founding fathers and a leading proponent for AusƟn as the seat of Texas government.

“6ixth Street Austin” is promoting a vision for the street that includes wider 1 3 sidewalks, 8 DOW T Oof W day N Aand USTIN a Nmix nighttime uses, cultural activities and public art.

Seaholm Power Plant

6. Pedestrian Experience

establish the design and management criteria necessary to allow the street Historic Resources IdenƟ caƟ to remain open to on: car traffic on typical weekend nights.

147

December 8, 2011

5. Streetcar/Urban Rail

Implement the recommenda�ons of the Responsible Hospitality Ins�tute’s T HStreet: E P L A N“Ac� E L Eon M EPlan: N T S : Managing T H E P U B L the I C RNigh� E A L Mme 139 2009 report on 6th Economy”.39 Sabine Street Enhance the retail recruitment efforts of the DAA as recommended in the “6th Street - Urban Entertainment and Retail Strategy” and “Congress Avenue - Retail Strategy” reports by ERA/Downtown Works (2007).

ELIZABETH DAY

Downtown Overall

4. History & Architecture

PLAN

Development Opportunity Sites:

94

• • •

ELIZABETH DAY

Ultimately, the freeway could be depressed below grade with new bridges reconnecting Downtown with East Austin.

broader demographic (including residents, workers, tourists and conven�oneers) and that would include a mix of day and night-�me uses, including cultural ac�vi�es, restaurants, retail, etc. To help bring about this vision, the City should:

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN PLAN

6th Street

The area is largely built out or planned. There are 12 assembled “opportunity sites”, totaling about 13 acres. These “opportunity sites” are relaƟvely unconstrained and could develop over the next ve to 15 years, represenƟng approximately 3.0 million square feet of development.

ELIZABETH DAY

As part of any future upgrade, the City should work with TxDOT to develop a long-term improvement plan that puts the through-traffic of the freeway below street level, so that the street network of Downtown can pass over it in an unobstructed manner, and so that the nega�ve visual and environmental effects of the facility are reduced (see image below).

ELIZABETH DAY


DOWNTOWN AUSTIN VISION In 2017, the Downtown Alliance engaged in robust community outreach to create the Downtown Austin Vision. This report represents strategic priorities distilled from the opinions, interests, hopes and concerns of over 3,000 Austinites. People who lent their voices to the process include business leaders, urban farmers, restaurant owners, animal lovers, bike riders, sports fanatics, condo dwellers, young professionals, community activists, people experiencing homelessness, and more. From their contributions, four guiding principles were identified that act as a compass,

PRIORITIES

influencing and informing all work in the downtown for the next two decades. The Downtown Austin Alliance and many partners are committed to bringing this vision—the collective vision—to fruition through leadership, advocacy, investment, and collaboration.

THRIVING CENTER

WELCOMING PLACES

Downtown is the thriving center of business and community life, creating economic prosperity for the entire region.

Downtown is beloved for diverse and engaging parks, places and experiences that attract and welcome everyone.

1. Maintain and promote downtown as the region’s primary business and cultural center.

1. Deliver a consistently clean and safe downtown experience.

2. Continue to attract and grow new businesses, residents and visitors to foster downtown’s economy. 3. Foster a range of attainable creative office and start-up spaces. 4. Preserve and grow existing retail businesses, historic and cultural assets. Attract new ones. 5. Position downtown for a successful retail future. 6. Invest in and grow the local workforce downtown.

2. Broadly address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, and the associated impacts. 3. Transform public spaces into an integrated, walkable, vibrant experience of arts, greenspace, music, culture and creativity- for everyone. 4. Create new parks, places and connections where possible. 5. Maximize the green infrastructure benefits of the public realm. 6. Tell the varied stories of Austin and its people in downtown’s public places. 7. Leverage the waterfront as an integral part of the downtown experience.

GROWING NEIGHBORHOODS

LEADING MOBILITY

Downtown is a growing and ever-evolving tapestry of complete, vibrant and walkable neighborhoods and districts that express Austin’s authentic character.

Downtown is the leader and champion of innovative urban transportation alternatives.

1. Grow downtown’s unique and vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods and districts. Preserve and leverage what is authentically Austin as we grow—history, nature, music, art, and culture.

2. Provide a variety of options for people to get to and from downtown, including a robust transit network in central Austin.

2. Foster the growth of a more diverse downtown residential population. 3. Make downtown a familyfriendly place to live and visit. 4. Create extremely vibrant and walkable streets. 5. Plan collaboratively for downtown’s evolving edges, connections and urban density.

1. Create compact centers and corridors in Austin’s central core.

3. Provide a variety of options for people to get around downtown. 4. Position downtown as the leader and hub of smart mobility technology. 5. Improve the experience and availability of parking in downtown while planning smartly for the future. 6. Maximize effective transportation options for downtown commuters, visitors and residents.

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN VISION: SHAPING OUR FUTURE

M AY 2 0 1 8

Policy Roadmap | 58


STATE OF TEXAS CAPITOL COMPLEX MASTER PLAN The 2016 Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan re-imagines the Capitol Complex as a destination that celebrates the Capitol and centralizes all state agencies. This tree-lined promenade will be located on Congress Avenue between 16th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and will serve as the northern gateway to the Capitol Complex with public green space for tourism, events, and festivals.

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN MEDICAL DISTRICT MASTER PLAN This master plan is the community’s vision is an inclusive community where Austinites collaborate to create new models of health and economic growth for all. Anchored by the University of Texas at Austin’s new Dell Medical School, Dell Seton Medical Center, and Central Health Downtown, this downtown district is at the center of regional ecosystem that will create, refine and validate ideas for improving health locally with the potential for national impact.

AUSTIN STRATEGIC MOBILITY PLAN & PROJECT CONNECT The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP), unanimously adopted by City Council last year, is Austin’s new city-wide, comprehensive transportation plan. The plan defines a framework for achieving city-wide transportation goals, including a mode share target that aims to reduce drive-alone commuting from 74% to 50% city wide by the year 2039. The ASMP has been coordinated in parallel with Project Connect, Capital Metro’s high-capacity transit plan. These policies emphasize the importance of regional, city-wide and district-level mobility planning and coordination, especially in relation to parking and transportation demand management. Austin voters also approved a $720 million Mobility Bond in 2016 to make Austin safer, more walkable, more bikeable, and more transit friendly.

CAPITAL METRO STATION TYPOLOGY FRAMEWORK Capital Metro’s Station Typology Framework establishes a consistent vision for station areas along its high-capacity MetroRapid and MetroRail systems as it relates to design, physical form, connectivity, and economic activity. Central Core transit station areas are envisioned as having the greatest diversity of land uses and the highest level of built density—that is, the combination of population and employment. These stations feature the highest segment ridership in the Capital Metro system, and over time are expected to generate even greater ridership. The high transit usage reflects not only the numbers of people coming and going, but bi-directional demands—trips heading into and out of the core—connecting both north and south, during daily commute periods, and on the weekends.

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ADDITIONAL READING HEALTHY AUSTIN Age-Friendly Austin Plan UT Athletics Master Plan Texas Trail Foundation plans Vision Zero Action Plan CREATIVE ECONOMY & EDUCATION Art in Public Spaces Create Austin Cultural Master Plan Downtown Vision UT Campus Master Plan UT Medical District Plan COMPACT & CONNECTED 2045 Regional Transportation Plan apital Metro Project Connect Capital Metro Remap Complete Streets Policy Core Transportation Plan Downtown Parking Strategy Downtown Wayfinding Plan Great Streets Masterplan Greenstreets Program Metropolitan Area Transportation Plan Plaza Saltillo TOD Station Area Plan Project Connect Technical Documents Sidewalk Program and Master Plan Strategic Mobility Plan Urban Mobility Report (TTI) Urban Trails Program

REGULATIONS Building Criteria Manual Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan Land Development Code Neighborhood Criteria Manual Transportation Criteria Manual WATER Drainage Criteria Manual Barton Springs Pool Master Plan

ENVIRONMENT Brush Square Master Plan Community Climate Plan Parks Long-Range Master Plan Resource Recovery (Zero Waste) Plan Urban Forest Plan UT Waller Creek Plan Watershed Protection Master Plan Waller Creek District Master Plan AFFORDABILITY Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint City of Austin Action Plan UT East Campus Master Plan WORKFORCE Austin Area Community Workforce Plan Capitol Complex Master Plan Convention Center Plan (UT)

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POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIPS/ FUNDING TOOLS CITY Austin operates under a Council-Manager form of government. Ten Council members elected by district, plus one mayor elected at-large, are supported by a hired city manager. Council and mayoral elections are non-partisan, with a runoff in case there is no majority winner. The City of Austin Strategic Direction features an organizational chart that illustrates how the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, Austin Water, Austin Energy, and staff departments all work together. The City’s Annual Budget has two primary components: an Operating Budget, which funds daily operations and programs, and the Capital Budget, which funds major infrastructure and facility improvement projects. Importantly, the Texas Legislature passed a bill during the last session providing that cities may only collect up to 3.5% more in property tax than they did the previous year.

OPERATING BUDGET City Council makes choices about what and how to finance a full range of city services and programs through the annual Operating Budget approval process. This is when decisions are made to reduce, maintain or increase funding for a range of City services. City services that fall within the Operating Budget, including preventative maintenance of infrastructure, are funded through: •

Taxes (property, sales, hotel/motel occupancy taxes, vehicle rental)

Fees, fines, permits, licenses and inspections

Charges for services and goods

Utility charges (electric, water, wastewater, drainage, reclaimed water sales)

Interest and Other (parking meters, airport parking, rental income)

Net transfers in and billings to departments or agencies

Enterprise departments, such as Austin Energy and Austin Water, generate revenue from the sale of services (e.g. utility rates and user fees) to pay for their operations and capital expenditures. Departments funded by the General Fund, such as Parks and Recreation and public safety departments, are those that do not generally generate revenue in amounts sufficient to pay for their operations and capital needs and therefore rely more on property taxes, sales taxes and other funding sources. 

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CAPITAL BUDGET Unlike the Operating Budget, items funded by the Capital Budget are generally decided many years in advance rather than yearly. The City funds its Capital Improvement Program through bonds (debt), grants, cash, transfers from department operating budgets, and other miscellaneous sources. General fund departments typically support capital projects and programs through voter-approved bonds or other types of debt that are repaid through property tax revenues and cash/transfers. Enterprise departments use revenue generated from utility rates and user fees as well as bonds repaid with these revenue streams to fund capital improvement projects. Debt is repaid and spreads the cost out for the life of the project.

MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS In general, the Operating Budget funds regular street maintenance, but when a street is rated as poor or failing, the City its rehabilitation a capital improvement project funded with monies from the Capital Budget. Without regular and preventative maintenance, infrastructure assets tend to fall into disrepair more quickly and require more frequent investment of capital funds for rehabilitation. Addressing capital renewal needs helps ensure that the City’s infrastructure continues to operate and serve the public in the future. Regardless of who put it there, the City and other public entities maintain, repair, and renew a majority of Austin’s infrastructure. When development occurs within the City’s limits, new infrastructure is built to serve these areas, which means more maintenance and renewal costs in the future. A variety of fees and maintenance programs are in place to ensure all citizens receive an acceptable level of service, but the longterm obligations are rapidly increasing as Austin continues to expand with new residential and commercial centers. The failure to invest in transportation capacity can... •

Undermine quality of life: the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates that congestion has cost the average commuter in Austin an average of $1,155 annually from 2001-2011.

Result in enormous costs to shippers, carriers, and the economy. The 2,110 freight bottlenecks on highways throughout the United States cause more than 243 million hours of delay to truckers annually. These bottlenecks cost truckers about $6.5 billion per year, according to FHWA.

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POTENTIAL REVENUE FOR THE PROJECT TAX INCREMENT FINANCING/REINVESTMENT Local governments in Texas may use tax increment financing (“TIF”) to encourage development where it would not happen otherwise. When a TIF district is created, the value of properties within the district at that time is the “base value.” Taxes paid on the base value continue to contribute to the city’s general fund. Any tax revenue above the base value (the “tax increment”) goes to a TIF fund. Money in the TIF fund is used to pay for improvements within the TIF district, either directly or to pay back bonds sold earlier. As with any other property, properties in the TIF pay taxes to the County Tax Assessor/Collector, and the County sends the money to the City. The City then transfers the funds internally before making bond payments. State law governs how cities may use tax increment financing and revenues can only be used to finance projects within the zone. Using a TIF to improve certain educational facilities is prohibited. When the zone’s term ends, all real property tax revenue (base value, plus increment) returns to local government for its general purposes. The City of Austin recognizes two types of TIFs. 1. “Pay as you use” – sets aside tax increment revenue to pay debt service or up-front to kick start capital projects or for development costs. The TIF authority issues bonds to finance public infrastructure. The developer finances the project, then the city reimburses the developer. This type of TIF shifts debt risk to developer. 2. “Pay as you go” – sets aside tax increment revenue for use when a sufficient balance accumulates, or until a time-driven target is met. This type of TIF can be a slow process depending upon zone development. The City of Austin’s Financial Policy also contains further restrictions, for example: no more than 5% of City’s tax base will be in TIF zones; TIF zones should be established where revenues will cover the public cost of debt with an adequate safety margin; and certain criteria for PID or TIF debt issuances must be met, including coverage tests and reserve fund requirements.

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TIF AS AN AFFORDABLE HOUSING TOOL Limited funds for affordable housing are a barrier to protecting homes and families in gentrifying neighborhoods. Many Texas cities have increasingly relied on local revenue sources to improve housing stabilities; however, such sources are limited under state law. Tax increment financing has the potential to reduce the displacement of low-income residents if city tax dollars are put toward affordable housing for many years.

OTHER TOOLS •

Homestead preservation districts (HPDs), are a special TIF model that earmarks funds to construct and preserve affordable housing with deep income targeting. This tool may no longer be used in Austin without a change in State law. Governor Abbott vetoed a law that would have allowed Austin to continue to qualify for the creation of new HPDs in 2017.

Homestead land banks provide for homeownership that is permanently affordable. A fixed rate of appreciation ensures that land trust homes can be resold at affordable prices, while allowing owners to recoup their investment and build additional equity.

Type B sales tax generates a dedicated source of revenue for certain types of affordable housing expenses, such as land acquisition, construction and infrastructure.

General revenue, which is subject to the state’s annual 3.5% revenue cap of Texas cities.

Tools used in other states that are that illegal in Texas, include: •

Linkage fees to offset the cost or rent of residential housing;

Condominium conversion restrictions;

Inclusionary zoning (except for voluntary density bonus programs and rental housing);

Source-of-income protections from discrimination;

Real estate transfer tax; and

Circuit breaker taxes (cap the amount of property taxes that lower-income residents pay).

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TRANSIT-ORIENTED TIF TIF districts are not always transportation related, but a city can combine a TIF with a transitoriented development. In Texas, a TOD village is generally defined as a high-density, mixeduse development around which public transit is accessible within less than half of a mile. A requirement for mixed-income, affordable housing in all TIF financed projects ensures that it is an integral component of each development. This model benefits low- to medium-income families, which are often more dependent on public transportation and less likely to own a car. Because TIF funds are generated by future increases in property values, the funds are typically not available as a source of project financing; rather, they are used to back loans—such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 loans. This type of loan is guaranteed by the government and can fund a large portion of a TOD village. Additional financing is needed to fund the rest of the project, with sources including HUD Section 221(d)(4) loans, the New Markets Tax Credit Program and public–private partnerships. TIF funds are not backed by the full faith and credit of the city. They are contingent liabilities, backed solely by the TIF revenue stream, if and when it develops.

PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT A PID is a defined geographical area established to provide specific types of improvements or maintenance that is financed by assessments against the property owners within the area. Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code authorizes the creation of PIDs by cities or counties. The owners of the properties in the defined area can request the City to form a PID through a petition, which may include the establishment of an advisory board made up of the property owners within the PID that has control over the types of improvements, level of maintenance, and amount of assessments to be levied against property owners. The Downtown Austin Alliance operates the largest PID in the City of Austin, first authorized in May 1992, which assesses an additional $0.10 per $100 in assessed value in the downtown district, with certain exemptions.

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FEDERAL FINANCING/TIFIA FHWA provides various innovative financing tools that could fund not only this Project, but the reconstruction and lowering of I-35, including: Competitive grant programs Subordinate debt under the Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act (“TIFIA”).

OTHER VALUE CAPTURE MECHANISMS One such value capture mechanism is air rights development, which, if TxDOT agrees to it, might permit development on the caps through a lease of TxDOT’s air rights over the lowered highway. TxDOT has not done any such development to date but is considering it for the I-30 project in Dallas. Examples of such projects in other states include Copley Place in Boston and I-395 Capitol Crossing in DC.

COPLEY PLACE •

Air Rights Development Lease value capture

Mixed-use joint development

9.5-acre site over Massachusetts Turnpike

99-year lease

Provides capital for operations and maintenance, reconnects neighborhoods divided by the WEINER VENTURES

turnpike

I-395 CAPITOL CROSSING •

Above Grade – Air Rights

LERA CONSULTING STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS

Development value capture 7-acre decked development site above I-395 •

Creates 8,000 jobs and $40M in annual tax revenues

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TRANSPORTATION FUNDING OUR REGIONAL CHALLENGE The Central Texas region, comprising of six counties, is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was the third fastest growing MSA in the nation from 2010 to 2015 with a 3.1 percent annual growth rate. In comparison, the average growth rate of all MSAs in the nation during the same time was 0.7 percent. Central Texas contains two of the fastest growing cities with a population over 50,000 nationwide and I-35 cuts through both of them: Georgetown with the highest population growth rate (7.8 percent); and Pflugerville ranked 11th (4.5 percent). As of 2015, there are 22 cities with populations of 5,000 or more in the MSA. According to data from the Texas Demographic Center, the population in the MSA is expected to double by 2040. Among the challenges facing the region is fragmentation, particularly when it comes to planning and allocating federal and state funding for surface transportation modes. Numerous governmental jurisdictions and public agencies in Central Texas are involved in planning and funding transportation facilities and services. Agencies participate at different levels in the statewide and metropolitan planning processes that are required for programming federal, state and local funds for transportation projects. As the region’s population continues to grow, more governmental jurisdictions become involved in the process. Limited funding for transportation is an equally critical challenge facing the region. Local governments and regional agencies are looking for opportunities to improve planning and coordination to optimize limited resources.

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FEDERAL FUNDING The most recent federal transportation funding authorization, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), was signed into law in December 2015 and is set to expire in 2020, unless the federal government passes reauthorization legislation. Federal transportation funding is mainly from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF finances most federal government spending for highways and mass transit. Revenues for the trust fund come primarily from federal taxes on gasoline, the rate of which has not increased since 1993. Funds from the HTF are distributed to states, which then designate how the funds are allocated for transportation projects on the state highway system.

STATE FUNDING Funds available to TxDOT are from different revenue sources, including: •

State Highway Fund—primarily from vehicle registration fees, federal funds, and additional fuel tax that has not changed since 1991.

Texas Mobility Fund—allows TxDOT to issue bonds secured by future revenue to accelerate mobility projects, and may be used to provide state participate in the payment of a portion of costs of publicly-owned toll roads.

Other Sources—Until 2017, TxDOT had the authority to collect tolls to pay for large-scale highway projects; however, critical P3 authority expired at the State Legislature that year, and TxDOT staff, under pressure from Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Republican activists to cease building toll projects, stalled certain toll expansion projects. In the last year, however, the freeze on toll projects has appeared to thaw somewhat. It is possible that this “non-tolling [political] environment” could further thaw to permit tolling on the Central Segment, either with direction from the Governor or through legislation in the next Session, which commences in 2021.

REGIONAL AND LOCAL FUNDING Regional government agencies also generate transportation revenue. For example, voters in participating jurisdictions approved a 1 percent sales tax dedicated to Cap Metro’s transit operations and capital projects, which is the maximum allowed under current state law. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) generates revenue from tolls and issues bonds. At the local level, transportation funds are raised by counties and cities from local transportation user fees, sales taxes, property taxes and bond programs.

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APPENDIX

PROJECT INSPIRATION: FUNDING CASE STUDIES

71

GENTRIFICATION MAP

77

HOUSING MARKET CHANGE MAP

78

SPEED LIMITS MAP

79

HIGH INJURY NETWORKS MAP

80

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PROJECT INSPIRATION: FUNDING CASE STUDIES DENVER CENTRAL 70 This $1.2B reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of I-70 in Denver is a public-private partnership (“DBFOM”) slated for completion in 2022. The

Existing

COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

project adds one new tolled lane in each direction, removes a 55-year-old viaduct, partially lowers the interstate, and places a 4-acre park over the lowered portion. A cover park will be adjacent to an elementary school and bridge what are currently highwaydivided Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods with new soccer fields, an amphitheater, splash pad and playground. Because the cover park is part of NEPA mitigation requirements, CDOT will

Future

COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

construct and fund not only the infrastructure for the park, but most of the landscaping or “topping.” The City and County of Denver have plans for park enhancements and have signed an interagency agreement to fund such improvements if they elect to after construction (projected at an additional $2.7M). The cover costs, between the structure and fire/life safety cost an estimated $90-$110 million. Within the 1000-ft tunnel, CDOT will construct a fixed fire suppression system to be

Park Zoom

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COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

operated by the Denver Fire Department. CDOT’s P3 partner will maintain the infrastructure and the City, through an easement agreement with CDOT, will maintain the topping. The cover top is maintained by the City via an IGA. The cover structure is maintained by CDOT’s Developer during the Operating Period (30-yrs).


OJB LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

DALLAS’ SOUTHERN GATEWAY PARK The Southern Gateway Park will be a visual and virtual gateway into the city. The effort is part of a larger Dallas City Center Master Assessment Process (CityMAP) to identify neighborhood preservation and transportation scenarios for a comprehensive vision for the city’s future. This 5.8-acre Park, combined with the ongoing TxDOT project to reconstruct this stretch of highway, is the largest capital project of its kind in the history of Southern Dallas, $47 million of which is dedicated to building the infrastructure to support the park. The design and construction costs for the overlaying deck park are estimated at $28 million. Phasing is required for this project because once a deck park exceeds 300 feet in length, federal law requires fire safety analysis. Phase I includes a 700-ft tunnel (cost: $45M; $12M for tunnel lighting). Phase II lengthens the tunnel to approximately 1,200 ft and includes a fire suppression system (cost: $95M). The Dallas Fire Department will monitor the system for fire safety. The project is being made possible through an Advanced Funding Agreement and Air Rights Lease with TxDOT. TxDOT is building the structural portion for Phase I, as well as the foundation for Phase II (due to it being a hazardous materials corridor). Operations, maintenance, and programming will be supported with funding from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. A Maintenance Agreement between TxDOT and City of Dallas is in place to maintain the tunnel infrastructure.

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WOODALL RODGERS FREEWAY AND KLYDE WARREN PARK Klyde Warren is a 5-acre deck park built over the eight-lane Woodall Rogers Freeway in the heart of downtown Dallas that connects it to the up-and-coming uptown district. The concept of a deck park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway originated in the 1960s when the current Mayor proposed to recess the freeway. Many civic and philanthropic leaders contributed to making the park possible. The park cost $110M was funded through a range of sources, including $20M in bond funds from the City of Dallas, $20M in highway funds from the State and $16.7M in federal stimulus funds. The balance was funded by private, individual donors. John Zogg garnered a $1M Real Estate Council grant to fund the needed feasibility studies and support staff during the incubator stage. Texas Capital Bank Founder Jody Grant joined the cause with a $1M personal donation and a $1M business donation. In 2004, The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation formed to lead the project. Construction on the deck began in October 2009 and the park opened in October 2012. The Foundation continues to operate and maintain the project today. The City of Dallas owns the site and contracts with the Foundation to operate and maintain the park for a term of at least 40 years. The cost to maintain the structure alone, per TxDOT, costs approximately $1M annually. Since completion, the project has created $312.7M in added value. Adjacent commercial rents have increased by 32%. Assessed values in the Arts District Public Improvement District have grown from $2.5 billion (2013) to $5 billion (2018). Annual incremental tax revenue has increased by $2.5 billion, earning $25M for the School District and $13.5M for the City. An expansion will cost an estimated $76M project and add 1.2 acres to the park to be used for a pavilion and additional public park space.

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KLYDE WARREN FOUNDATION

THE OFFICE OF JAMES BURNETT (OJB) LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

THE OFFICE OF JAMES BURNETT (OJB) LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

THE OFFICE OF JAMES BURNETT (OJB) LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE


POND & COMPANY

POND & COMPANY

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FIFTH STREET BRIDGE AND “THE STITCH” Completed in 2008 and located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, the Fifth Street Bridge crosses I-75/I-85 downtown, reconnecting Midtown neighborhoods and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s main campus with the university’s east resembles a park with its wide sidewalks, grassy lawns, protected bikeways, trees and a trellis. ULI just released an Advisory Services Panel Report with a “Stitch” concept to reclaim 14 acres of new green space and integrate the MARTA transit system. 75 | Policy Roadmap

URBAN LAND INSTITUTE

campus at Technology Square. The bridge closely


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION

COLUMBUS’ CAP AT UNION STATION AND 70/71 CROSSROADS The Cap at Union Station is a $7.8 million retail development that reconnects downtown Columbus, Ohio, with the Short North arts and entertainment district. Opened in October 2004, the project heals a 40-year scar that was created by the construction of the city’s Interstate 670 (I-670) Inner-Belt Highway. Composed of three separate bridges—one for through-traffic across the highway, and one on either side for the retail structures—the Cap provides 25,496 square feet (2,369 square meters) of leasable space, transforming the void caused by I-670 into a seamless urban streetscape with nine retail shops and restaurants. While other cities like Seattle and Kansas City have convention centers over highways, the I-670 Cap is one of the first retail projects built over a highway in the United States. The Ohio Department of Transportation is undertaking a phased reconstruction of the interstate 70/71 downtown Columbus corridor that includes a series of new bridges with small parks, 10-foot sideways and decorative fencing.

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GENTRIFICATION

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Hancock

Hyde Park

Cherrywood

The University of Texas Central East Austin

East Cesar Chavez

Susceptible Early: Type 1 Dynamic Late Continued Loss 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Design, UpRooted Report.

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HOUSING MARKET CHANGE

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Hancock

Hyde Park

Cherrywood

The University of Texas Central East Austin

East Cesar Chavez

Adjacent Accelerating Appreciated 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Design, UpRooted Report.

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SPEED LIMITS

I-35 lowered through central Austin

0-20 20-35 35-55 55-70 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin.

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HIGH INJURY NETWORKS

I-35 lowered through central Austin

Motor Vehicle Bicycle 0.25 0.50

1 Mile

Data courtesy of the City of Austin.

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Profile for Downtown Austin Alliance

A New Future for I-35: ULI National Panel Briefing Book  

The Downtown Austin Alliance prepared this briefing book in preparation for an Urban Land Institute Nation Panel that took place February 23...

A New Future for I-35: ULI National Panel Briefing Book  

The Downtown Austin Alliance prepared this briefing book in preparation for an Urban Land Institute Nation Panel that took place February 23...