Mar 20, 2007, 8:17 PM
Let's gather any info regarding this project in this thread.
URS Corporation has been selected to create a proposal to decommission and demolish the facility.
The new Austin Central Public Library looks likely to be in the Northeast sector of the development.
Anyone have any research or speculation regarding development of this site?
Apr 5, 2007, 9:51 PM
See article below regarding Austin Energy's facility at 3rd & West a few blocks NW of the Green Water Treatment site and directly across Shoal Creek from 360 condos. This area's really going to be quite dense in a few years if this keeps up.
Question: What's going to become of that mess of electrical transformers just to the east of Seaholm? I had always assumed they'd disappear with the redevelopment of Seaholm, but the project's visuals don't really address the issue. Like Green and 301 West, seems like a perfect place for something grand.
Austin Energy to put downtown site on the market
Austin Business Journal - 2:21 PM CDT Thursday, April 5, 2007
by A.J. Mistretta Staff writer
The Austin City Council today approved Austin Energy's purchase of two tracts near the corner of Grove Boulevard and Riverside Drive that may eventually be home to a relocated energy control center, freeing up valuable downtown land for redevelopment.
Austin Energy is reviewing the acquisition of 24 acres in Southeast Austin in three separate transactions. The company is already in a due diligence period on the $16.5 million purchase of 12 acres from Tokyo Electron America Inc. at 2510 Grove Blvd.; that site, which includes a roughly 100,000-square-foot building, is the most likely place to move the control center, says Cheryl Mele, senior vice president of electric service delivery for Austin Energy. The center currently sits on 1.8 acres at 301 West Avenue downtown.
The additional two vacant tracts approved for purchase today will be a backup for the center if the Tokyo Electron site doesn't work out. Those sites could also eventually be used for offices or associated facilities in the future. The purchase price on the two tracts, being sold by RPC Investments Inc. and The Nature Conservancy, is not to exceed $2.2 million collectively.
Austin City Council Member Brewster McCracken first announced the potential relocation of the control center in October 2005 in order to open up more space for the revival of the southeast section of downtown. Mele says while the requests from council helped steer Austin Energy in this direction, it also makes sound business sense for the utility.
"We really have outgrown the space that we're in and this simply is not an ideal location for us anymore," Mele says. At one time, the site of the center was relatively secluded in an underutilized part of downtown. Now, with redevelopment of the nearby Seaholm plant and other high-rise residential projects surrounding the center, it's no longer a convenient or secure place for the utility, she says.
The three-story control center is essentially the hub of Austin Energy's operations. From that facility, the utility manages its communications and the transportation and distribution network.
Mele says Austin Energy plans to make a decision on where it will relocate the control center by June 1. If the Tokyo Electron building is chosen, the relocation would likely take 24 to 30 months to complete. But if the utility opts for the vacant field, it would need to construct an entirely new facility from scratch, and that could take up to 40 months.
Once a decision is made, Austin Energy will put the downtown site up for competitive bids, Mele says.
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