The work starts next month and, once it is complete in about two years, a revitalized 7.8-acre site at the edge of downtown Austin, Tex., will offer new office spaces, shops and a high-rise apartment complex along Lady Bird Lake.
Rising prominently from the center of the site will be the restored Seaholm Power Plant, a massive Art Deco-style structure built in the 1950s that once burned oil and gas to supply much of the city’s power. Retail and office tenants will occupy the former plant’s 117,000 square feet of interior space. Its cavernous four-story turbine room will be dotted with displays on the plant’s history and the new energy-efficient designs featured in its makeover.
The locations of old power plants make them attractive to developers and potential tenants, Mr. Staple said. Initially built away from population hubs, many are now close to city centers as urban boundaries have expanded and industrial areas have become gentrified. The plants were also typically built on riverfronts, for access to water to cool the generator units.
... The unusual size and shape of the buildings make them ideal for repurposing, said Rick Scadden, a principal engineer with Intera, an environmental engineering company that cleans up old power plant sites. “They were often constructed with large turbine-generator halls,” said Mr. Scadden, “so this presents opportunities for doing really unique things with the space on a grand scale.”
... Preserving older buildings has also become a standard component of urban renewal projects, he said. And while many of these old plants will close because they no longer meet environmental standards, they will come back to life in restoration as showcases of the latest green building designs and features.
For example, Seaholm, which was taken out of service in 1996, will use the pipes and tanks that once held water to cool its generators to capture rainwater and irrigate the grounds. A large solar panel array on the roof will generate part of the building’s power.
The trend, Mr. Whitman said, is a sign of things to come. “Repurposing these old power plants not only signals a shift in where people live and what they do,” he said, “but also how they think about the environment and how our energy mix is changing and evolving.”
John Rosato, principal for Southwest Strategies Group, which is one of the organizations chosen to lead the redevelopment, said many factors slowed down the intricate process of securing the site, creating the development team and finalizing design plans.
“This project is unlike any other in Austin’s history, and it took an extraordinary amount of cooperation from the governing bodies and private sector to reach this point,” Rosato said. “Right of way and environmental issues slowed things down, not to mention the collapse of the capital markets. Getting all the moving pieces of this puzzle in alignment was a challenge that took a great deal of ingenuity and time to solve.”
Though the total costs for the development have not been made public, figures of more than $100 million have been estimated, according to public relations officials for the project. The city’s $27.5 million contribution will go into rehabilitation of the plant, street infrastructure, underground parking and the creation of the new Bowie Underpass, city spokeswoman Melissa Alvarado said.
... “There have been some very high-end national retailers looking at it,” Tisdale said. “There’s currently a very large user looking at the whole power plant building. They want to be in Austin because of the way Austin is — the entrepreneurial spirit and the creative energy here.”
Rosato said the location of the power plant is a feature of the site that will make a positive addition to Austin’s skyline.
“Being right along Lady Bird Lake, [the plant] offers the eye a more gradual way to build up to the other, taller structures,” Rosato said. “It also preserves an iconic architectural gemstone that helps keep some history along with the new development.”
As ground breaks this month for excavation of the parking garage area, Rosato said the whole team is ready to finally get started on the development.
“We’ve reached a historic point, and we’re really looking forward to transforming our vision into a reality,” Rosato said.
It just may be the most prime piece of real estate in the City of Austin; the Seaholm Intake Facility.
Built on Lady Bird Lake in 1950 and expanded in 1955, the facility was used to tunnel water to the Seaholm Power Plant across the street to generate electricity until the plant closed in 1989.
... The power plant is being converted into an office space with apartments and shops. The intake facility, including the land from the railroad tracks all the way to Shoal Creek, was given to the parks department to be used by the people of Austin.
"And we really want to hear the residents ideas about what they see, not only the facility, but how the surrounding site can be used," Estabrook.
... Each of the building's two stories is 5,000 square feet with 22-foot high ceilings and amazing views of the lake. The building itself is historic and has to be left intact. But the smaller building in front can be torn down or used. The possibilities are endless.
"You could even add a loft space in here, you can add a boardwalk, a deck on the outside, you can redesign the trail, separate it from pedestrians and bicycles," Estabrook added.
The facility is the only property in the City of Austin that actually sits on the lake and because of current city code, no other buildings can be built on the water. So the chance to decide what will go here is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I'm thinking it could be like a refreshment center and restaurant," said Austin resident Bill Vandersteel.
... All the ideas will be complied into a list and given to the teams working on designs. Suggestions to give new life to a piece of Austin history.
More than eight years in the making, the landmark Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment is about ready to roll.
The $100 million public-private partnership deal between the City of Austin and lead developer Southwest Strategies Group is being signed, spelling out the terms of the renewal of the former power plant site.
The project calls for a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower as well as a two-story building with a Trader Joe's, retail, office and restaurant space. The city will invest $13.6 million in infrastructure improvements to the site, plus $9.9 million for 315 city-owned parking spaces.
Apartments and the Trader Joe's grocery store are slated to open in early 2015.
But now it's time for the Seaholm Power Plant to get a 21st century makeover. Construction to convert the plant into a social hub begins next week.
"I am glad to see it go and get used for a better, upgraded use than just seeing an empty, dead building," said Austin resident Phil Capron.
The two lots around the plant won't be empty anymore either. On the north side will sit a two-story retail building with a parking garage underneath. Right now there's only one confirmed store, Trader Joe's.
On the other side of the plant will be a 30-story apartment building with 300 units.
The plant itself will become office space that will be open to the public with a plaza and green space in the middle.
The design team said their intent is to preserve the industrial feel and historical value of the power plant, so everything from the concrete structure to the crane that's at the top of the building will remain.
"It's unique to Austin," said Austin resident Karley Maskavich.
A symbol of old Austin and the 1950s.
"For those of us who have lived here three decades or more and passed it virtually everyday, there's a special place in our hearts for the building itself," said Jim Susman.
... "The building is such a jewel and so iconic in Austin's fabric that to do anything to it really would have been violating the building itself," said Susman, the design architect of the Seaholm redevelopment.
"I think it makes the funky Austin just exactly what this town needs, more than brand new projects," Capron said.
The two-story retail building will be complete by next summer. The high-rise will take 30 months to construct. The contractor will also extend 2nd Street, West Street and Seaholm Drive into the development. The City will reimburse the company.
"Construction wise it's going to be a pain but I think in the end it will be more opportunities for more growth in the area," said Maskavich, who lives across the street.
The Seaholm project will be changing the perimeter of downtown, by rejuvenating an Austin treasure.
The papers are signed and the work will soon begin at the iconic Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin. Crews are redeveloping the entire property.
Artist's renderings were released Tuesday when the City of Austin closed the deal with developers. The project includes the plant itself and the surrounding five acres. Developers are incorporating a mixed-use complex with shops and housing.
There are plans for a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower and another 60,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space. Developers estimate the build-out will take about two and a half years to complete.
According to the developer, crews will begin work immediately on the power plant and the parking garage. Afterward they will begin putting up the retail and residential towers. One of the most anticipated projects in the complex is the new Trader Joe's grocery store.
“I think it's exciting, I think there is a big need for that and I think it will be a big hot spot in Austin,” said Austin shopper Tracy Johnson.
"I think it's a very good match for a market like Austin. They focus on high quality products at good prices. It's been shown here with Central Market and Whole Foods that Austin has a strong group of consumers interested in those products," Dr. Wayne Hoyer with the UT McCombs School of Business said.
The plant has been sitting unused since the 1990s when the city shut down power operations. However, residents didn't want to see the iconic building disappear from Austin’s skyline. Developers are working to maintain the structure. They say there will be changes, but the building should still have that open, industrial feel. Developers also agreed to make sure that the public will still have access to the main hall.
As the Austin Business Journal reported last week, the developers of the Seaholm Power Plant finalized the necessary real estate transactions with the city of Austin and will begin construction immediately on the $100 million project.
The power plant will be retrofitted into office space and two towers are to be built nearby. One will contain apartments and the other will offer retail and office space.
Seaholm Power LLC released new renderings of the project, which will be fully built-out in about two-and-a-half years.
“This marks an historic milestone for the city, for the power plant and for future generations of Austinites,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “We’re glad this agreement has been reached, and that the redevelopment can begin.”
The City of Austin and Seaholm Power announced Tuesday the completion of a lease and purchase of the property.
The historic 1950 art deco plant and the surrounding five acres will be transformed into a mixed-use site with residential and retail spaces.
“This marks a historic milestone for the city, for the power plant and for future generations of Austinites,” Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell said. “We’re glad this agreement has been reached, and that the redevelopment can begin. This is a key piece of the future of downtown Austin and I look forward to the transformation."
In June 2012, the Austin City Council authorized an amendment allowing to Seaholm Power to lease the plant as office space. The building ceased power generation operations in the 1990s.
“We appreciate how this public-private partnership will help bolster the continued revitalization of this significant community of Austin,” said John Rosato, principal with Southwest Strategies Group and managing partner of Seaholm Powerr. “We’re excited to find an adaptive use to this iconic property that is so much a part of Austin’s history.”
Contractors will begin work immediately on the power plant and a parking garage. Then, construction will start on an office and retail building and a residential tower.
The project is slated for completion in late 2015.
The five-acre area is bounded to the west by the planned Seaholm Drive from Third Street south to Cesar Chavez Street; on the south by Cesar Chavez Street from the planned West Avenue east to Seaholm Drive; on the east by West Avenue from Cesar Chavez Street north to Third Street; and on the north by Third Street between Seaholm Drive and West Avenue.
City, developer sign Seaholm deal
posted by Staff
Apr 16, 2013
The city of Austin and Seaholm Power LLC have closed on the lease and purchase of the site that houses the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant, setting the stage for construction to immediately begin on an estimated $100 million mixed use project that will further the transformation of downtown’s southwestern edge.
The closing Tuesday turns over control of the prime waterfront block on West Cesar Chavez, including the 1950s power plant and surrounding 5 acres, to Seaholm Power LLC, the team the city selected in 2005 to redevelop the site. An agreement signed with the city details terms of the developer’s 99-year lease of the power plant building, as well as the purchase of surrounding land where a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower will be built, along with a 2-story building that will have office, restaurant and retail space, including a Trader Joe’s. The 117,000-square-foot power plant structure will also be renovated for tenants.
Work will begin immediately on the power plant and the parking garage, with other components to follow, said John Rosato, lead developer for the project. The development will take about 2 ½ years to complete.
The city is a partner in the public-private venture, and is making a multimillion investment in the project. In conjunction with a new apartment project rising just west of Seaholm, the projects are expected to generate $53.3 million in additional property and sales taxes for the city over 30 years.
It’s been several years coming, but redevelopment work is set to begin on Austin’s former Seaholm Power Plant, with plans calling for a $100 million mixed-use project that will reinvigorate the area and add millions to the city’s tax base over coming decades.
The project on downtown’s western edge will include a 30-story tower with 309 apartments, a two-story building with a Trader Joe’s store, plus other retail, office and restaurant space.
This week, the city of Austin and the development team it chose for the project eight years ago are expected to sign the document that outlines terms of the public-private venture — a move that will trigger the official launch of construction.
... John Rosato, a principal with Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group, the lead developer on the project, said the imminent groundbreaking is a momentous occasion.
“I do think that what was done here was historic, in terms of working with the city and working through the economic downturn to keep the vision alive, and we’re ready to move forward now,” Rosato said. “The significance of it is keeping the vision alive through all the twists and turns.”
... Rosato said that when construction commences, the general contractor will begin work on the power plant renovation and a parking garage. After that, the apartment tower will begin rising, and construction will start on the 66,000-square foot low-rise building that will have office space and a Trader Joe’s store slated to open in early 2015.
The first apartments should be ready for tenants by early 2015, Rosato said. The tower will include 8,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Evins said Seaholm is part of a larger area on the west end of downtown that over the past decade represents $2 billion in both new and planned development, with the future development to include a new central library and the redevelopment of the former Green Water Treatment Plant site east of Seaholm.
A tax increment financing district created for the Seaholm area, which includes the Seaholm site and a new apartment tower Gables Residential is building to the west, will generate $53.3 million in additional property and sales taxes for the city over 30 years, Evins said. The Green Water site redevelopment is expected to add $44.9 million in sales and property taxes over 30 years, he said.
“We’re quite excited about all the pieces that are coming together,” Evins said. “This is our first major milestone, in the context of everything else about to kick off, and we’re very excited about moving our vision forward.”
The long wait for the Seaholm Power Plant project to begin construction appears to be over. Developer Southwest Strategies Group Inc. — which formed Seaholm Power Development LLC to oversee the office-residential-retail project — confirmed Thursday afternoon that the associated real estate transactions with the city of Austin will close Friday or Monday at the latest.
General contractor FlintCo LLC is on site — the power plant is in the southwest portion of downtown near Cesar Chavez Street and North Lamar Boulevard — and prepared to start work immediately, said John Rosato, managing partner of Seaholm Power Development.
“It’s more gratifying than you know,” Rosato said of finally closing the deal. “It took much longer than anybody expected.”
For more than half a century the Seaholm Power Plant has been an unmistakable part of downtown Austin's urban fabric — an iconic structure just beyond the north shore of Lady Bird Lake seen by millions of passersby annually.
Though it stopped generating power in 1996, the graceful Art Deco structure remains a significant part of Austin's architectural heritage, and an ongoing transformation is establishing Seaholm as the city's new cultural hub.
... When completed, the 7.8-acre site will include a vibrant mix of outdoor gathering and event spaces, more than 100,000 square feet of office space, nearly 300 contemporary apartments, local retail shops and restaurants, and Austin's first Trader Joe's, which will serve as the development's neighborhood grocery store.
Providing for convenient public accessibility and a variety of multifaceted gathering spaces — while retaining the site's rich and beloved historical character — were key objectives for the transformation. Accordingly, the design creates a large, sloped lawn south of the main generator building, adjacent to Cesar Chavez Street, which preserves views to the historic façade and creates a multipurpose, amphitheatre-like event space ideally suited for concerts, festivals and farmers markets. The space will be capable of hosting 1,500 to 2,000 patrons and will include locations for two large event tents.
The design of this space pays homage to the power plant's historic character and organizes walks and pedestrian areas in alignment with the axes of the existing infrastructure. Additionally, the design of the space provides a connection to the Lance Armstrong Bikeway and creates an additional pedestrian lane along Cesar Chavez. Also of note, two streets running north and south, West Street and Walter Seaholm Drive, will be extended from Cesar Chavez Street to Third Street, and the design accommodates a future commuter rail planned along the site's western edge.
In addition, a large interior plaza will provide a variety of gathering areas for patrons, employees and residents of the development, with distinct areas affording intimate space for informal meetings. These areas, or zones, will be situated under the existing power plant framework, with the plant's machinery offering shade and a nod to the site's former industrial use. Three levels of underground parking beneath the plaza will accommodate parking in a convenient and efficient manner.
Next to the power plant's towering stacks, a separate area known as the grove will include a wood deck and informal seating situated under a bosque of shade trees, and a lawn in the plaza will provide additional space for events of approximately 350 to 500 people. A mews through the plaza will facilitate pedestrian movement and allow short-term parking for the retail and office uses. Like the front yard, the plaza design pays homage to the plant's industrial character, including details such as a fountain with misters that recall the steam that powered the plant's generators as well as shade structures reflecting the plant's industrial aesthetic. Café tables and chairs will be provided at several locations as outdoor seating for café and restaurant patrons.
At the project's western entrance, a grand staircase and entry plaza along Seaholm Drive will serve as a ceremonial entry, and pedestrian-oriented streetscapes with seating opportunities, shade and various site furnishings will provide a pleasurable walking experience along West Street, Third Street and Seaholm Drive. A multipurpose pool and terrace area will be provided above the parking structure for use by the residential tower's tenants. This space will include pool decking and gathering spaces, site furnishings, shade structures, seating, and a welcoming landscape.
In addition to being preserved, the plant's five smoke stacks will be complemented with lighting, seating and foliage, and parts of the plant's mechanical substructure that surrounded the boilers will be kept and exposed, providing a dynamic context for the plaza with opportunities for public art and shade structures. The emphasis on preservation and reuse also resulted in repurposing the existing underground intake pipes that supplied water from the adjacent Lady Bird Lake to the plant for cooling. The new design employs that infrastructure for rainwaterharvesting purposes with a capacity exceeding 300,000 gallons. Additional sustainable approaches include recycling plant materials to build trellises and other project elements, along with a landscape comprised of native and adaptive plants.
The overall transformation of the historic Seaholm Power Plant breathes new life into an iconic piece of downtown Austin's built environment by preserving the extraordinary Art Deco structure and its associated components. More exciting, however, is the potential for the site to be a true urban hub of activity, with vibrant live, work and play components that help meet the needs of Austin's rapidly growing population — in an urban design that looks boldly to the future without compromising the site's rich history and character.
The company that is redeveloping the Seaholm Power Plant into a mixed-use project has tapped Stream Realty Partners to handle retail and office leasing.
Stream Realty brokers Matt Frizzell, Brad Philp, Kevin Granger, Bryan Dabbs and Edvin Beasely will join forces with John Rosato and Danny Roth. Rosato and Roth are executives with Southwest Strategies Group, the managing partner of Seaholm Power LLC.
The Stream Realty team was selected in part because of its successful leasing experience at Penn Field, a mixed-use project in South Austin. That development was repurposed from a military facility.
... With large blocks of available office space becoming the rarity in downtown Austin, the repurposed space at Seaholm may be attractive to the growing numbers of technology and media companies landing in the city. The power plant structure alone could provide about 150,000-square-feet of contiguous space for a tenant.
Formal groundbreaking on the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013.
... The organization will present its 10th installment of the Samuel Benton Cantey III Lecture & Preservation Awards Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St., in the Cultural District.
The speaker will be John C. Rosato, managing partner of the historic Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment project in downtown Austin.
As a principal of Southwest Strategies Group Inc., Rosato has provided brokerage and development services to Austin for 30 years. He served as general partner and planning consultant for the 230,000-square-foot Penn Field, which was named the Best Mixed-Use Development of 2004 by the Austin Business Journal. Rosato is president of the Heritage Society of Austin and co-chairman of Austin’s Landmark Commission.
Austin City Council members will allow the main Seaholm Power Plant building to be used as office space.
The revision to the original master development agreement – which allowed only retail uses – was requested by developer Seaholm Power LLC.
The developer is in final negotiations with a potential tenant for the 115,000-square-foot space, said John Rosato with Southwest Strategies Group Inc., which is part of the Seaholm redevelopment partnership.
... The amendment still allows for retail and restaurant uses, and Rosato said they are working to allow public use of the building.
The City Council also approved several other changes to the 2008 agreement at its Thursday meeting.
John Rosato, a partner with Southwest Strategies Group, the company redeveloping the decommissioned plant, said that though putting on events in the building would be a possibility, the proposed amendments are currently needed to move what has been an eight-year project into its final stages.
"The two amendments to the MDA are driven by the market, not by us," Rosato told Tovo. "And the amendments don't fundamentally change any of the economics of the MDA. At this point in time, we have a site plan that's close to being released, we've hired a construction company, documents are being completed, we've signed a lease with a major retailer — Trader Joe's — and these actions that we're asking for are essential for moving the project forward and to not losing the momentum and to not losing the tenants we have processed."
When Tovo asked about the possibility of delaying the Council vote on the amendment by a week and holding a briefing and a public hearing on the amendments on Thursday, Rosato expressed in the strongest terms that any delay could "seriously compromise the future of the site."
"We are at a point where we really are in final negotiations, and if we lose this tenant a lot of things will occur," Rosato said. 'I think people understand that the purpose of this is to save this building. ... The future is bright if we get it going, and we can get it going now."
The Austin City Council is slated to approve a new vision for the Seaholm project brought about by current market conditions at its Thursday meeting.
Retail will no longer be the only approved use for the 115,000-square-foot main power plant building if council members approve proposed changes to the 2008 Master Development Agreement with Seaholm Power LLC.
Detailed market studies and potential tenant interviews have led to the conclusion that the main power plant building is not an optimal location for retail due to the lack of visibility and parking, according to the MDA amendment.
The Seaholm project will still include retail tenants — including Trader Joe’s Co. — in other buildings on the site and two outdoor public spaces, but city officials said Tuesday in a work session on the topic that they would also like to keep the main building available to the public.
John Rosato with Southwest Strategies Group Inc., which is part of the Seaholm redevelopment partnership, said they are in final negotiations with a potential tenant for the building and are working on ways to let the public use the building.
Additional changes to the MDA would allow the developer to build apartments instead of condominiums and to make the extension of Third Street through the property a public street instead of private, as originally anticipated.
The city will also decide whether to relocate 315 planned parking spaces from an adjacent property to be included in a garage under the Seaholm project.
An expansive sloping lawn conducive to live performances and a large plaza will flank the former Seaholm Power Plant on its north and south, creating two public spaces that will host activities ranging from concerts to weddings to art shows, according to landscaping plans completed this month for the downtown redevelopment project.
The prominent smoke stacks of the defunct plant will be preserved and accented by seating, foliage and lighting. Portions of the power plant’s mechanical substructure that surrounded the boilers will be preserved and exposed, creating a dramatic backdrop for the plaza that may include public art and shade structures.
The landscaping plans, which were completed this month by Austin-based landscape architecture company TBG, Inc., brings out the developer's wish for public accessibility.
"I've really stressed to TBG that landscaping is what knits the project together. I want people to experience this as a unified development," said John Rosato, partner with Southwest Strategies Group, which is redeveloping the decommissioned power plant and the 7.8 acres beneath it.
... "The plaza is a large rooftop garden in a lot of respects," said Ott, whose company garnered accalim for its work at the state Capitol and Laguna Gloria, a restored 1916 villa on Lake Austin that is listed ont he National Registry of Historic Places.
... "It's a very comlex site with a need to pay homage to the past and to bring a new appeal to an iconic building," Ott said.
The landscaping gives a nod to sustainability with the use of native plants. Underground intake pipes that supplied water from Lady Bird Lake to the plant for cooling will be repurposed for rainwater harvesting with a capacity of more than 300,000 gallons. Materials will be recycled to build trellises and other design features.
"Sophisticated urban bohemians" – shoppers and diners who are "independent thinkers, global nomads and cultural trend-setters" – are the target market for the developers seeking to fill apartments and lease retail and restaurant space int he re-constituted iconic former Seaholm Power Plant development. This is what the developer told CultureMap Austin.
"The demographics are geared toward urban-oriented 25-to-50-year-olds with an appreciation for authentic culture," John Rosato, managing partner of developer Seaholm Power LLC, told CultureMap Austin. "We're looking for strong, local, regional or even distinct national tenants that will add to the unique ambience Seaholm inherently possesses."
And the lead pump-priming tenant has already been signed. California-based grocer Trader Joe's will be the biggest retail tenant. It competes with Whole Foods Market whose flagship store is just a few blocks away.
"Seaholm has a distinct sense of history, architecture and ambience," Rosato continued. "There's a unique vibe that made it an instant cultural hit with everyone from fine arts performers to hip-hop artists that clamored to hold events there. In our minds, that confirmed the need to gear our efforts toward tenants with a deep appreciation for timeless urban culture."
Seaholm Power LLC, the company behind theSeaholm Power Plant project, is looking for tenants that cater to "sophisticated urban bohemian" to help fill up to 50,000-square-feet of retail space, Culture Map Austin reports.
John Rosato, managing partner of Seaholm Power, said retail and restaurant tenants will fill 1,000 square feet to 9,000 square feet each — significantly less than Trader Joe's Co., which will occupy 11,000 square feet — at the 8-acre development at Cesar Chavez and San Antonio streets.
Rosato said the Seaholm project is seeking retail and restaurant tenants that cater to “sophisticated urban bohemians” — shoppers and diners who are “independent thinkers, global nomads and cultural trend-setters.”
... “We’re looking for other strong, local, regional or even distinct national tenants that will add to the unique ambiance Seaholm inherently possesses,” Rosato tells CultureMap Austin. “The demographics are geared toward urban-oriented 25- to 50-year-olds with an appreciation for authentic culture.”
... “That said, Seaholm has a distinct sense of history, architecture and ambiance. There’s a unique vibe that made it an instant cultural hit with everyone from fine arts performers to hip-hop artists that clamored to hold events there. In our minds, that confirmed the need to gear our efforts toward tenants with a deep appreciation for timeless urban culture,” Rosato says.
California-based specialty grocer Trader Joe's is coming to Austin next year with a new store at the Seaholm development downtown, company officials said.
The Austin store's planned site is just blocks from some stiff competition — Whole Foods' flagship store and headquarters at Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard.
"We are thrilled to be coming to Austin and look forward to being part of this wonderful neighborhood," said Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki. She declined to give a more specific opening date for the store.
The Austin Trader Joe's store will be part of the proposed mixed-use project at the former Seaholm Power Plant on a 7.8-acre site downtown. Plans for the project, which is scheduled to break ground in July, call for 298 apartments, 130,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space and an acre of outdoor event space.
"Of all the nationally known retailers to land in Austin over the past decade, it's safe to say Trader Joe's is right up there in terms of the degree of enthusiasm in which they're welcomed," said John Rosato, managing partner for Seaholm Power LLC, the company overseeing the redevelopment project.
Austinites woke up this morning to the news, first reported by the Statesman, that Trader Joe's plans to open a location at the soon-to-be-constructed Seaholm Development downtown.
The Monrovia, California-based specialty grocery retailer first revealed its Texas expansion almost a year ago, but announced stores in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, the Woodlands and Plano before saying it would open a store in the city that spawned Whole Foods.
Here are some details on the planned Austin location:
Trader Joe's Co, a natural and organic food grocery chain, plans to open its first store in downtown Austin next year in the Seaholm power plant redevelopment, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Speculation was circulating in January that the California-based grocer may open a store in Austin. The new 11,500-square-foot downtown store will be located at 211 Seaholm Drive. Officials did not disclose a specific opening date.
Trader Joe’s, the California-based grocery store, will find a home in Austin soon.
The store will be part of a series of renovations and developments set for the Seaholm Power Plant, the historic industrial zone on the edge of Austin’s downtown area, and just blocks away from the Whole Foods flagship store. From Austin-American Statesman:
In Central Texas, Trader Joe's will compete against Whole Foods, which is adding two local stores this summer;
H-E-B's Central Market; and smaller organic grocers such as Sprouts Farmers Market.
The target demographic for Trader Joe's is an "urban high-income resident" who enjoys the company's house brands and specials like $2 bottles of wine, said David Livingston, an analyst at DJL Research, a grocery consulting firm based in Waukesha, Wis.
The stores, which typically have a Hawaiian motif and are "very competitive" on cost, typically have strong followings, he said. But Austin might be a different case because of entrenched chains like Whole Foods and H-E-B. "(Austin) is exactly the kind of market they like, but they're not going to impact the competition too much here," Livingston said. "I don't see anybody at Whole Foods or H-E-B losing any sleep over this."
Trader Joe's had six other Texas locations confirmed to open this year, including Fort Worth, Houston, Plano, Dallas, The Woodlands and San Antonio.
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Trader Joe's, the quirky California-based chain of specialty stores, is planning to open a location as part of the redevelopment of the Seaholm Power Plant site just south of Downtown Austin.
"Of all the nationally-known retailers to land in Austin over the past decade, it's safe to say Trader Joe's is right up there in terms of the degree of enthusiasm in which they're welcomed," said John Rosato, managing partner for Seaholm Power , which is overseeing the redevelopment project.
"Trader Joe's fits right in with our plan to draw tenants that will help create a sense of community and purpose for the southwest segment of downtown," he added.
The Austin location marks the eighth Texas store the company has announced. The others are in the Dallas and Houston areas.
The company said the Austin store, which is expected to open next year, will mix "traditional Trader Joe’s elements such as cedar covered walls and Hawaiian motifs, combined with a local flair that includes art celebrating the neighborhood."
Seaholm is on an 8-acre site bounded by Third Street on the north, the planned central library on the east and Lady Bird Lake on the south. A commuter rail line is planned for the west side of the property.
The redevelopment plan calls for an acre of outdoor event space, nearly 300 apartments, 130,000 square feet of office space and about 40,000 square feet of retail space.
Construction on the site could begin in July. According to Rosato the first part of the development will be a three story underground garage that will service Trader Joe's and the nearby buildings.
Power Moves Savvy Designers Reboot an Iconic Industrial Plant
More than two decades later, the hulking structure near Lady Bird Lake is poised to become one of the busiest hubs in downtown. This July, Seaholm Power Development will begin renovating the historic plant and, by the end of 2013, will have transformed the stark building, adding offices, retail shops and restaurants.
"It's an incredibly good location," says John Rosato with Southwest Strategies Group, which is part of the Seaholm Power Development partnership, adding that the building will be LEED certified and will harvest rainwater in the plant's existing infrastructure components to completely irrigate 75,000 square feet of landscaping.
Austin residents got a chance to see the proposed renderings for the redesign of the Seaholm District on Tuesday night.
The Seaholm District is a former industrial section of southwest downtown Austin that the City wants to transform into a vibrant urban neighborhood
At the core of the district is the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant, which will be redeveloped into a landmark residential and retail destination.
Downtown projects set to start in '!2?
By Shonda Novak
October 19, 2011
Seaholm's lead developer, Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group, plans about 450,000 square feet of development at the 7.8 acre site. The landmark power plant will be renovated to house a special-events center, office, shops and restaurants.
... Condos had been envisioned for the Seaholm site, but the high-rise will now feature "ground-floor retial with approximately 300 apartment units above," said John Rosato, principal with Southwest Strategies. A hotel is no longer planned as part of the Seaholm site, Rosato said.
Construction on the redesign of the Seaholm District in downtown Austin could begin next year.
Plans for the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant include redeveloping the area into an urban neighborhood and retail space.
After years of delays, construction in sight for areas in Seaholm District, official says
By Shonda Novak
October 18, 2011
Two long-awaited projects that developers say will help transform downtown Austin are poised to break ground next year, a city official said Tuesday.
After several years of delays due in part to a recession that dried up financing for development, construction is expected to start on redevelopment projects at the former Seaholm Power Plant and the site of the former Green Water Treatment Plant east of Seaholm, said Fred Evins, the city's project manager overseeing the public-private projects.
"The stars are aligning," Evins said.
The projects will transform the decommissioned plants on downtown's southwestern edge into lively hubs with shops, hotels, condominiums, apartments and other development.
The city hosted an open house for the public on the Seaholm District projects at Austin City Hall on Tuesday.
"I'm thrilled to see it move forward, because this will be a very exciting extension of our downtown into the southwest quadrant," Evins said.
City officials said the projects will put 13 acres of underutilized land back on the tax rolls. The land, along Cesar Chavez Street and stretching from Lamar Boulevard to San Antonio street, is the largest assemblage of city-owned acreage downtown remaining for potential redevelopment.
... Seaholm lead developer, Austin-based Southwest Strategies Group plans about 450,000 square feet of development at the 7.8-acre site. The landmark power plant will be renovated to house a special-events center, offices, shops and restaurants.
... Condos had been envisioned for the Seaholm site, but the high-rise will now feature "ground-floor retail with approximately 300 apartment units above," said John Rosato, principal with Southwest Strategies . A hotel is no longer planned as part of the Seaholm site, Rosato said.
Off The Grid: Recharging Public Art + Design, a full-day symposium hosted by the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places Program, will feature an intimate look at existing and future public art and design in the Seaholm District, a former industrial section of southwest downtown Austin that is undergoing a transformation into a vibrant urban neighborhood.
The symposium will take place from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant located at the terminus of West Street at 3rd Street. Check-in and breakfast begin at 8:30 am.
A uniquely Austin adaptive reuse project, theSeaholmDistrict serves as a model for sustainable urban revitalization nationwide. Panel speakers include Jana McCann, McCann Adams Studio; Greg Kiloh, Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office, City of Austin; and John Rosato, Southwest Strategies Group.
The Seaholm power plant redevelopment can proceed now that a major obstacle was removed, said John Rosato, a principal at Southwest Strategies Group and the spinoff it established for the project, Seaholm Power LLC. Now that Union Pacific Corp. agreed to release an easement of less than 1 acre to the city, Rosato's team hopes to complete its site plan with the city of Austin by year's end. The new target date for the 7.8-acre project's construction is mid-2012, he said.
The developers are "in due diligence mode" and "updating our plan," Rosato said, adding that Seaholm's height and scale will not change markedly. The Seaholm project was originally planned to have 80 condominiums, 160 hotel rooms, up to 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 100,000 square feet of office space.
Last March, vanguard musician Ellen Fullman and Austin’s New Music Co-op awed with a captivating concert featuring Fullman’s 100-foot Long String Instrument set up in the decommissioned Art Deco Seaholm Power Plant.
It was a singular event — an unlikely but perfect union between unusual venue and progressive music.
Recorded at Seaholm, “Flowers,” a meditative and rather plaintive piece, opens with the sound of birds chirping thanks to a flock of sparrows that nest inside Seaholm’s cathedral-like cast-concrete space. The chirping continues to filter in and out of the nearly 10 minute composition.
Gliding out over the waters of Town Lake Sunday at dusk, a passenger on one of two Capital Cruises boats making its way west toward the old Power Plant Intake Building on the shore, I had more time than I’d had in a while to simply bask in my surroundings: Austin’s skyline all lit up, the Frost Tower its signature edifice; the sight of a lone swan floating between the boats; the sounds of a freight train rumbling on the bridge tracks over the lake; the feel of gliding over water.
I was here to experience Blue Lapis Light’s “Devotion,” a 45-minute site-specific aerial dance piece being performed by 15 artists under the direction of artistic and executive director Sally Jacques, with the help of an intricate system of harnesses, trapeze equipment and ropes, on the facade of the Power Plant Building.
The Black Angels proved that their Austin Psych Fest could be the All Tomorrow's Parties of the South, a three-day, artist-curated rock & roll drone that proved as singular of mindset as the towering, historic confines of the Seaholm Power Plant where it took place two weeks ago.
Constructed of cast concrete in two phases in 1950 and 1955 and retired four decades later, the art deco-style former municipality was deemed ready for public reuse in January 2006, after a nine-year, $13 million remediation process. Since then, the city-owned facility has become a popular event destination for everything from last November's Hot Rod Revolution to the recent Fusebox Festival.
"It may not be the greatest sound in the world for most music," says prolific local composer and Fusebox performer Graham Reynolds, "but the environment trumps and every event is memorable."
"The inside of it is like an old European cathedral or a Roman Baths," furthers choreographer Sally Jacques, whose site-specific dance company, Blue Lapis Light, hosted Illumination there in October 2007, the first and by far the most legally challenging event in the space. "The sunlight that comes in there and the way that it radiates across the space is just magnificent."
... According to Gloria Aguilera of the Contract and Land Management Department, Seaholm will close at the end of the month for a series of site-intensive infrastructure projects, including the installation of wastewater lines on Cesar Chavez, which will take 18-24 months.
Those improvements will coincide with the redevelopment efforts of Seaholm Power LLC, a development consortium led by Southwest Strategies Group of Austin, whose Master Development Agreement with the city was approved by council in April 2008. The 7.8-acre site overhaul will include a 160-room boutique hotel, condos, an abundance of mixed-use space for retail and restaurants, plus two spaces on the south lawn and in the plaza for outdoor events. The renovation is scheduled to break ground next year and will last an estimated 24-28 months.
"One of the things that struck me about the building is that it's versatile and has a very broad appeal that can encompass even very formal events, " says John C. Rosato, a managing partner at Southwest Strategies Group. "We hope to continue that in the future."
Saturday May 28th 2011
Doors and art show 6pm
Show at 7pm
214 West Avenue Austin, TX 78701
What classic rock music fan hasn't looked up at the smokestacks at Seaholm Power Plant and envisioned a pink pig flying above? The Electric Company could not let the small window of opportunity left for shows at Seaholm go by without bringing that vision to life. This epic Pink Floyd tribute for the ages will recreate the live Pink Floyd experience, completed by an amazing light show from Ilios Lighting, top-flight sound, and special effects.
Over the next decade, the southwest corner of downtown will undergo dramatic change, as a 13-acre area that once was largely city-owned land is reshaped into a dynamic urban neighborhood with residences, shops, restaurants, and entertainment and cultural attractions.
The land is within the larger Seaholm District, bounded by Lamar Boulevard, San Antonio and West Fifth streets and Lady Bird Lake that is named after the landmark former power plant. The 13 acres includes the largest assemblage of city-owned land downtown that remains for potential redevelopment.
Five major projects, including redevelopment of the former Seaholm Power Plant and Green Water Treatment Plant sites, along with recent private projects nearby, will represent about $2 billion in new investment for the district, said Fred Evins, the city's project manager for the Green and Seaholm redevelopment.
N.A.S.A. (an acronym for North America/South America) brings its Brazilian funk sound to Seaholm Power Plant New Year’s Eve for a party that also includes a DJ set from Reuben Wu of Ladytron and other techno acts. Promoters the Electric Company are keeping capacity to 1,200. Tickets start at $75, but can go as high as $250 for entrance to the VIP Skybox Lounge.
The city of Austin has designated the area from Lady Bird Lake to 5th Street and from Lamar to San Antonio as the Seaholm District. Over the next 20 years this former industrial village will complete it’s transformation from a utility zone to Austin’s most revered residential, cultural, and entertainment centers.
In accordance, Seaholm District Music and Arts Fair was put together to create a new festival that is a reflection of this up and coming and vibrant city center. For one night in September we will come together at 3rd and Nueces and celebrate all that makes Austin great. This event was conceived by a group of neighborhood business owners, community leaders, and residents, along with event producers, The Electric Company.
If we didn't get this place, we wouldn't be involved," said Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League.
The place League's talking about is the Seaholm Power Plant, which has become the hot spot for all sorts of events.
Yet, the Alamo may have found one of the most perfect uses for the space.
"We're opening the first Southwest screening of the newly restored print of 'Metropolis,' which many people consider to be the most important film of all time," said League. "The movie centers around an art deco power plant, and here we are at an art deco power plant."
It’s supposed to be a dormant, quiet, old electric plant waiting to be redeveloped in the coming years, but the Seaholm Power Plant has unexpectedly become an in-demand setting for exclusive parties, concerts and black-tie fundraisers.
Despite being stripped of the typical niceties found in hotels or traditional event venues — it doesn’t have electricity, running water or bathrooms — Seaholm has attracted some impressive bookings.
The historic nature of the building has lured MTV, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Rare magazine. Paramount Pictures leased the iconic building for about six weeks this spring to film the remake of “True Grit.”
... Adding to the building’s novelty is that the opportunity to see Seaholm in its raw condition may end this year. According to Southwest Strategies Group, the company chosen by the city to redevelop Seaholm and its surrounding land, the long-awaited project may be turning dirt as early as next year.
Under the agreement with the city, the power plant will stay intact, but Southwest Strategies will turn it into a retail, restaurant and event center. Plans also call for a hotel and residential component, a two-story retail and office building, and an outdoor plaza.
John Rosato of Southwest Strategies said the city is meeting its obligations for environmental cleanup at the site. With the progress the city is making, Rosato believes his company could begin developing the site in 2011.
Rosato said Southwest Strategiess plans to maintain Seaholm's integrity while giving it modern conveniences that would enable it to accommodate events.
The Electric Company is pleased to announce its inaugural event: A 4th of July Celebration that is free to the public and will benefit local nonprofit Anthropos Arts. Set downtown at the Historic Seaholm Power Plant, this will be the most ideal location to view the fireworks while taking in a lineup of some of Austin's most exciting up and coming musicians all while enjoying ice cold beer, libations, BBQ from The Shed, Tex Mex, and more from some of Austin's favorites. Onsite valet parking is available & the show is all ages and family friendly.
Ballet Austin event chairwoman Andrea McWilliams, co-founder of McWilliams & Associates lobbying firm, is planning the 'party of the decade' for Sept. 10.
Dubbed 'Fete to the Power of 10,' the gala will include pricey cocktails, dinner and performances staged by Stephen Mills at the Butler Dance Education Center (tables go for $10,000; individual tickets for $1,000). Tickets for the performance -celebrating Mills - 10 years as artistic director - cost $250.
The party will migrate to the Seaholm Power Plant for an evening-long event (tickets: $95-$125).
Such a deal: MTV gets Seaholm for $500 a day during SXSW
by Michael Corcoran
February 24, 2010
With downtown party space at a premium during South by Southwest, MTV has managed to work out an agreement with the City of Austin to rent the former Seaholm Power Plant for $500 a day over six days. You read that right: no zeroes are missing.
“Wow,” publicist Elaine Garza said, incredulously, at the bargain rate. “Some people are paying $10,000 to rent a club during the day. Seaholm is the hot space. Everybody’s been trying to get it.”
Gloria Aguilera of the City’s Real Estate Services Division said MTV reserved Seaholm, which has 117,000 square feet of space, after doing a few tapings at last year’s SXSW. Aguilera said the price is only $500 a day because there is no electricity or bathrooms in the warehouse-like shell.
Also, the low rental fee adhere’s to city ordinance #20080306-038, an economic growth initiative signed by then-mayor Will Wynn at SXSW 2008, which encourages filming of movies and television programs in Austin.
Several party planners were fighting over Seaholm, Aguilera said, including Rare magazine, which had been contracted by SXSW to put on a couple events, and Perez Hilton, who wanted MTV out at 5 p.m. Saturday so he could host his now-annual SXSW-closing bash. But MTV had already secured the hot spot.
MTV to take over Seaholm during SXSW
by Michael Corcoran
February 23, 2010
The vacant Seaholm Power Plant, which is managed for temporary use by Austin’s Real Estate Services Division, will be occupied during South by Southwest by MTV, the city’s Gloria Aguilera said Monday. “They’ll be filming there all four days,” Aguilera said.
Spelman and Riley competing to cut carbon; plans for artwork at Seaholm
February 17, 2010
Seaholm wall to be public art TheSeaholm Power Plant, which sits on the north side of Lady Bird Lake, is prime real estate, but, its Art Deco lettering aside, not exactly the prettiest thing along the shoreline. On Feb. 25, the City Council is scheduled to vote on a small step toward spiffing up the area.
The city is already planning to redevelop Seaholm and the neighboring Thomas C. Green Water Treatment Plant as a mix of shops, condos and amenities. Part of that plan is shrinking an existing substation to make room for a new library and then turning a wall that will enclose the substation into a work of art.
Exactly what sort of art hasn't been decided. The city has budgeted $750,000 for the wall and would spend an additional $181,200 that is already budgeted for public art. The city's Art in Public Places program would commission the design, engineering and construction.
That's the word for the Live at Seaholm After-Party.
The decommissioned smokestacks lit up like inter-planetary transportation devices.
The concrete ribs of the generating room outlined in blue, recalling urban clubs set up in old industrial sites.
Hundreds — perhaps thousands — gathered around the stage for the three musical acts, culminating in Broken Social Scene.
... Rare Magazine's Taylor Perkins, his partner in production, Jason Hicks, and Voodoo Cowboy's Mark Mueller beamed with pride. (Also expressing pride was Taylor's father, an oilman down from Houston.)
Not everybody can make it out to Zilker Park for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. In fact, a fair number of people don't want to brave the elements for the massive, three-day fest, no matter the weather. That's why promoters invented after-parties, before-parties and during-parties. Ask those folks who have been doing the same during South by Southwest, almost since its inception.
The biggest is a Rare/WOXY production at the defunct Seaholm Power Plant downtown. An outdoor stage will accommodate 4,000 who have gone through the RSVP/ticket process (free at www.liveatseaholm.com)
Big post-ACL Seaholm bash is a dream for producer
by Michael Barnes
Out & About
September 29, 2009
Hicks, teaming up with WOXY Internet Radio and Voodoo Cowboy Entertainment, has secured the iconic Seaholm Power Plant for a two-night bash. Friday, after ACL breaks up across Lady Bird Lake at Zilker Park, Broken Social Scene will headline a free, outdoor concert for up to 4,000 revelers on the Seaholm grounds.
01_Adaptive Reuse Four preservation projects -- a barn, a grain elevator, a nurses' dormitory, and a power plant -- show that repurposing old buildings for new uses needn't sacrifice soul.
The ArchitectsNewspaper http://www.archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=3395
April 15, 2009
Ayers Saint Gross
On a prominent site separating a booming downtown residential district from Town Lake, the Seaholm Power Plant, built in the 1950s, is one of Austin’s most distinctive midcentury structures. Its red neon sign, towering stacks, and stark concrete mass are immediately recognizable landmarks. So when it was decommissioned in 1996, and following a nine-year remediation of hazardous materials, the city drafted a redevelopment masterplan and issued an RFQ to develop the site.
... The project, which is seeking a LEED Silver rating, will also take the reinvention of Seaholm’s narrative below grade. In generating electricity, the plant drew water from the lake for cooling purposes. Once the water was used, it was returned to its source, but before that happened its temperature had to be brought back down. This was accomplished via a network of underground pipes, which the architects plan to incorporate into a stormwater retention and irrigation system. “We wanted to identify a way of tying old and new together,” said Powell, “to take the 1950s version of how things worked and make it part of today.”
Travis County commissioners, lured by the prospect of gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, voted Tuesday to advise the City of Austin that they're willing to join a taxing district to help redevelop the former Seaholm Power Plant.
Seaholm currently generates no tax money because the property is owned by the city, but officials hope the site on West Cesar Chavez Street will become a $117 million mix of shops, offices and condominiums and will include a boutique hotel and special-events space.
... The city hopes that by sacrificing some tax revenue to aid development, it can turn a dead zone into a vibrant part of downtown.
For nearly 40 years the Seaholm Power Plant on Cesar Chavez provided energy for residents. Now on the verge of a major transformation, the power plant will serve Austin in a completely different capacity.
“It is one of the most interesting spaces I’ve ever been in, and I’m a 69-year-old architect that has traveled the world and seen a lot of spaces,” Black said. “I’ve never seen a space more interesting than the inside of that building; it really is a magnificent thing inside.”
... “We were very intrigued by the power plant and spent a tremendous amount of time there,” lead developer John Rosato said. “That has been the main purpose of our design team — figuring out how we take an industrial site and convert the building into retail and offices while maintaining its character.”
Seaholm renovation may start in late '09
by Shonda Novak
December 16, 2008
The taxing zone will capture new property and sales tax revenue gernerated within the 7.8-acre project over 30 years.
... The focal point of Seaholm will be the preservation of the landmark power plant, a 136,000-square-foot building with more than 110,000 square feet of usable floor space. Once renovated, the building will house an events center, offices, shops and restaurants.
Los Angeles company takes $40M stake in Seaholm CIM Group to foot large part of project's $117M price tag by A.J. Mistretta
Austin Business Journal
April 18, 2008
CIM has entered as an equity partner in the $117 million Seaholm Power Plant project, contributing about $40 million to the redevelopment that will bring a mix of residential, office, retaila nd other uses to the site.
The Austin City Council approved Seaholm's master development agreement earlier this month, pushing the complex public-private initiative that's been in the works for years far closer to reality.
Seaholm redevelopment plan approved Austin Business Journal
April 10, 2008
The Austin City Council approved the master development agreement for the $117.2 million Seaholm mixed-use redevelopment project today.
The agreement says the development group Seaholm Power LLP, led by Southwest Strategies Inc. , will pay $98.6 million or 84 percent of the cost of the project, while the city will pay $18.6 million. The redevelopment plan calls for a 22-story hotel, 60 condo units, 130,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. The 150,000-square-foot decommissioned power plant will be the centerpiece of the 7.8-acre property across Cesar Chavez Street from Lady Bird Lake
... City leaders have said the Seaholm redevelopment, along with the Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment--for which the city is accepting development proposals due later this month--will reinvigorate southwest portions of downtown, provide links from Cesar Chavez to the city's traffic grid, and extend the New Urbanist vision of the city-financed 2nd Street Retail District.
The stage is set to start turning an old downtown power plant into an upscale hub where people can live, work and play.
The City Council Thursday sealed the deal on a multi-million dollar plan to redevelop the Seaholm Power Plant.
This power plant, located right on Lady Bird Lake, has been out of operation for more than a decade. Seaholm started pumping power into the city back in 1954, but the turbines couldn't keep up with technology, and it shut down in 1997.
Today, the concrete-based building is ready for redevelopment. The plan approved Thursday calls for spending $117 million to turn the original plant into an upscale shopping mall of sorts with restaurants and cafes. Next door would sit a 20-story high-rise complex with a world class hotel on the ground floors, and 200 luxury condos above that.
Some hope the plan will add new life to Downtown Austin, while preserving a part of its past.
“It originally provided all of the electrical energy for the city, and it's just a great building that has a great deal of potential to be part of a whole development that will really bring it back to life, and we're very excited about that,” John Rosato with the Southwest Strategies Group said.
The other council approval assures that the Seaholm Power Plant will remain a fixture downtown.
The historic building will receive a makeover, thanks to the council's approval on a $117 million redevelopment plan.
The deal has been in the works for more than two decades and includes plans for a hotel, 60 condo units, restaurants and shops.
The plant's makeover will also preserve more than an acre of open space for visitors.
... Once completed, the development will create about 200 jobs and raise an estimated $2 million a year in tax revenue.
The power plant was built in 1950 and powered Austin for years. The preservation project was sparked in 1984, when the city's historic resources survey targeted Seaholm.
City, developer are near Seaholm deal Proposal calls for Austin to pay 16 percent of $117.2 million mixed-use project downtown by Kate Miller Morton
March 28, 2008
The City of Austin and the local group it chose to redevelop the Seaholm Power Plant and surrounding property three years ago are close to reaching an agreement that would allow the $117.2 million project to move forward.
... Rosato hopes the group will be able to start construction by this time next year. If that happens, construction could be completed in 2011.
Book of Power
Austin Business Journal
January 4-10, 2008
Q: In the last year, someof the pieces of the Seaholm redevelopment began to come together and the partnership is in the process of securing the master development agreement. What do you see ahead for Seaholm in 2008?
A: The coming year will be an exciting one for the Seaholm site. First, a finalized vision for the site will take shape. We will execute our master development agreement with the city of Austin in January, enabling us to move forward in finalizing construction documents marketing condo units and negotiating leases. Construction could begin as early as December 2008.