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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 5:49 AM
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Arrow South Shore Central Vision

It looks like there's some momentum to have the American-Statesman move from its South Congress digs. Apparently they're accepting offers for their property. This would open up 19 acres for redevelopment.

PDF plan
http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/ai...aiab095036.pdf

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/pr...available.html
Quote:
Statesman’s prime site available

Austin Business Journal by Jan Buchholz, Staff Writer
Date: Friday, May 11, 2012, 5:00am CDT

Speculation about what will happen to the newspaper’s prime real estate at 305 S. Congress Ave. revved up after the Statesman’s owner, Cox Media Group, confirmed early this month that it is entertaining unsolicited offers to buy the 18.9 lakefront acres it owns. The Travis Central Appraisal District fixes the property’s value at $39.8 million.

The land holds a 330,000-square-foot office and printing facility and ...
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 5:50 AM
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http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/ne...long-lady.html
Quote:
Austin seeks ideas for land along Lady Bird Lake

Austin Business Journal by Vicky Garza, Staff Writer
Date: Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:49pm CDT

The city of Austin is seeking property owners, urban designers and businesses to provide input on the waterfront project along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake.

They will meet with a visiting panel of national experts in riverfront planning, landscape architecture and green infrastructure selected to provide Austin with technical and planning assistance as part of the American Institute of Architect’s Sustainable Design Assessment Team program.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 5:54 AM
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http://www.thesquarefoot.com/austin/...ront-location/
Quote:
OWNERS OF AUSTIN NEWSPAPER ACCEPTING OFFERS FOR LAKEFRONT LOCATION

May 14, 2012 by ARON SUSMAN

The lakefront property in downtown Austin near the Congress Avenue Bridge, which has housed a major local newspaper, is on the market, but although many publications have been closing their doors recently, a sale of this property would not spell the end of the newspaper.

The location currently houses the area’s major newspaper – The Austin American-Statesman. Should Cox Media Group sell the property, the newspaper would presumably relocate to a location somewhere else in the city. The current property sits on 18.9 acres adjacent to Lady Bird Lake, just south of downtown. The 330,000 square-foot property is valued $39.8 million and would offer its new owners quite a bit of flexibility.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 6:01 AM
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And now the American-Statesman's take on it. They even included a map of the area including their own property.

http://www.statesman.com/business/ci...h-2391224.html
Quote:
City explores options for Lady Bird Lake's south shore

By Gary Dinges

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Updated: 10:25 p.m. Monday, June 4, 2012
Published: 8:51 p.m. Monday, June 4, 2012

New condos and office buildings are pretty much a given, but could a reimagined chunk of Lady Bird Lake's south shore one day be home to an aquarium, a carousel, food vendors, a museum or even a mini-golf course?

That's the kind of waterfront development happening in other cities across the nation. Austin could be next, according to a team of urban planners in town this week to examine a stretch of the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail — and adjacent properties — from South First Street to just east of the American-Statesman building at South Congress Avenue and Barton Springs Road.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 6:03 AM
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The type of development I would expect there would be something that would benefit the whole community, maybe an aquarium as the article suggests. That would be an interesting and compatible use for the site, and it should interact with the bat viewing area near the bridge and have some connection to the hike & bike trail. They're even saying it'll connect some how to the future nearby urban rail stop at Riverside. Remember there's a plan to build a rail bridge across the river from either Brazos or San Jacinto Street to near the American-Statesman property. There could be the possibility of having a pedestrian walkway included with that bridge.

I would tend to be against much vertical development there. The property feels like something that should be used as a community type project. I do remember 427MM from the forum telling me once that the American-Statesman had air rights to build to 110 feet on their property.

Whatever happens, this is the east side of downtown's chance to get a shot in the arm for growth that most of the west side has already seen. It could also help to redevelop the rest of the empty lots south of the river. I remember someone posted recently that there's a planned 353,000 square foot project of some sort planned for the Runtex site at Riverside & South First.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 7:02 AM
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It is amazing to think that about ten years ago the Stateman was just finishing up a major expansion of their facilty at Congress and Riverside. The newspaper business has changed so much since that time. Printing and distributing a major daily in Austin is no longer very profitable. They really are not going to need that operation in a few more years since whatever is left of the Statesman will mostly be an online presence.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 7:23 AM
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^Yes, that's why it's important to only post excerpts of their articles here. Besides the legal issues, I'm not aware of any other local publication that focuses so heavily on urban developments.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 4:11 PM
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Didn't they just finish another expansion too??
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
^Yes, that's why it's important to only post excerpts of their articles here. Besides the legal issues, I'm not aware of any other local publication that focuses so heavily on urban developments.
The Austin Business Journal does but its of course part of a larger national conglomerate but then again so is AAS being owned by Cox.


Would love to see an Aquarium there, that would help tie in a north/south line of visitor destinations from SoCo to the University area. I really wanted to attend the community imput session today but there is one more chance tomarrow.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2012, 11:34 PM
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An Aquarium is a WONDERFUL idea. OMG. There are no major aquariums in the United States focused specifically on Cichlids. These are a very large group of extremely colorful and interactive freshwater fish located generally in the African Rift Lakes, large African Rivers, the Amazon, and central America.

Ofcourse any aquarium is going to have to include a saltwater section, but having a freshwater aquarium devoted to Cichlidine biotopes would be an AMAZING tourist opportunity in this county. It would also draw multiple national conventions that are related to the Cichlid trade as well as wealthy investors from China, Japan, and southeast Asia. This is the PERFECT site for such a project.

I've left a more detailed comment here:

https://austintexas.granicusideas.co...8e59000100007b

You all should go add your own opinions.

Last edited by wwmiv; Jun 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2012, 12:59 AM
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We had a 55 gallon aquarium when I was a kid, and we had Cichlids in it. My parents had even bought some crawdads at the grocery store to eat, and we put a few in the tank. My parents actually caught and raised fish and sold them 30+ years ago.

I would love an aquarium there. I was at Cabellas a few weeks ago and was just totally entranced by their aquarium.

And I took up playing that Fishville game that Facebook has. It's the only game I play. I'm just a nerd for fish and biology. The fish in the game area real species. It's neat to look up the fish online and read about them in the wild.
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Old Posted Jun 6, 2012, 6:27 PM
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Love Cichlids too and don't forget We have native Cichlid species here in our rivers as well, I caught a couple a few years ago in Barton Springs and had them in my pond. They grew fairly big and had that classic Cichlid shape. Also grew up with fish tanks and over the years have had everything from African Cichlids to Tropical to Salt Water fish. Dont have the time these days for a tank but I miss it.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 3:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
Love Cichlids too and don't forget We have native Cichlid species here in our rivers as well, I caught a couple a few years ago in Barton Springs and had them in my pond. They grew fairly big and had that classic Cichlid shape. Also grew up with fish tanks and over the years have had everything from African Cichlids to Tropical to Salt Water fish. Dont have the time these days for a tank but I miss it.
You probably had sunfish. They're very similar to Cichlids in appearance, but aren't the same group.

As for the northernmost species, that would be Herichthys cyanoguttatus. It's range extends from central Mexico until the Rio Grande watershed. They can rarely, and I mean very rarely, be found north of that. These findings, however, are due to human (oftentimes pet) release. The conditions are actually not correct in these areas for reproduction or long-term survival, so they quickly die off.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 6:38 AM
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http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/187...ntral-district
Quote:
Architects work to design plans for South Shore Central District

Posted: Jun 06, 2012 6:23 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 06, 2012 6:35 PM CDT

For three days eight architects, designers and other experts from around the country are working to come up with how the future of the South Shore Central District should look.

"To really create a great place that is not Downtown but it's not a neighborhood, has it's own identity and is a special place that people could really be proud of," said Joel Mills with the Center for Communities by design.

The district includes about 100 acres. It's from South 1st Street to Newning Avenue and the Shoreline to just south of Riverside Ave. It's prime real estate that the city says is 80 percent private and closed off to the public. Instead city staff says the future of Austin includes a more accessible Lady Bird Lake.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 6:41 AM
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http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...e-2395272.html
Quote:
Options offered for Lady Bird Lake's south shore range from parks to dense development

By Gary Dinges

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Published: 10:37 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Change is coming to Lady Bird Lake's south shore.

In the next 10 to 20 years, it could evolve into a verdant, sparsely developed community gathering place — or become home to a dense mix of midrise apartments, hotels and office buildings, according to a team of urban planners.

The choice, the team said, is largely up to Austinites.

The consultants, from across the nation, were assembled and paid for by the American Institute of Architects after the city applied for a grant. They arrived in Austin on Monday and presented three initial scenarios for review at a meeting Wednesday night.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2012, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
You probably had sunfish. They're very similar to Cichlids in appearance, but aren't the same group.

As for the northernmost species, that would be Herichthys cyanoguttatus. It's range extends from central Mexico until the Rio Grande watershed. They can rarely, and I mean very rarely, be found north of that. These findings, however, are due to human (oftentimes pet) release. The conditions are actually not correct in these areas for reproduction or long-term survival, so they quickly die off.
At first thats what we thought that they were Sunfish but my aunt who has a degree in Zoology at UT took a look at them and said they were a type of Cichlid. They didnt have the spot on the sides like Sunfish do either but did have a greyish striped body. Ive heard of Texas Cichlids and there was an aquarium not far from here that sold them though I never did buy any. Either they just have been named that and are not true Cichlids or they are a branch of that family. Its quite possible what I cought was a release of someones pet fish who knows, they were cute and survived the winter in my pond.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 12:45 AM
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They said at the presentation that up to 6 million square feet of space could be built.

http://austin.ynn.com/content/top_st...-shore-central
Quote:
9:22 AM
Planners showcase new vision for South Shore Central
By: Jeff Stensland

Eight urban planners were asked to define the future of Austin’s South Shore Central.
Wednesday night, after three days of meetings with stakeholders and residents, the team unveiled how it sees the area in the next 10 to 20 years.

Planners introduced three concepts which keep the pedestrian, bicyclist and nature in mind:

1. "Verde" focuses on integrating development with the waterfront of Lady Bird Lake (pages 36-38)
2. "North SoCo" blends the iconic "weirdness" of South Congress (pages 39-41)
3. "SoDo" uses the area to transition from a bustling downtown to laid back South Austin (pages 42-44)

Planners recommend replacing parking lots with underground garages. Above ground, they envision 3,500 apartments and condos, 2,000 hotel rooms and at least two million square feet of office and retail space.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 4:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
At first thats what we thought that they were Sunfish but my aunt who has a degree in Zoology at UT took a look at them and said they were a type of Cichlid. They didnt have the spot on the sides like Sunfish do either but did have a greyish striped body. Ive heard of Texas Cichlids and there was an aquarium not far from here that sold them though I never did buy any. Either they just have been named that and are not true Cichlids or they are a branch of that family. Its quite possible what I cought was a release of someones pet fish who knows, they were cute and survived the winter in my pond.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus are Texas Cichlids. It was most likely a release if it was truly a Texas Cichlid.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 5:57 AM
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Ok, big thanks to Jdawgboy and nixcity for the invite. The three of us met up and went to the public presentation. I planned to take photos, and they turned out mostly ok, but then I saw their PDF file of the same images, so I just did screen caps of them to post.

By the way, Chris Riley was there with his bicycle water bottle in hand of course. We didn't meet him, but he was about 8 feet away from us.


What they're planning is to completely redo the street grid south of the river around Barton Springs and Riverside. They'll even add new streets. This will break up the blocks to make them smaller. It'll allow them to widen the sidewalks and have more street facing retail.

They also said the area could support up to 6 million square feet of new space with building heights up to 16 floors. I wouldn't think any of them would be over 200 feet tall. And in their conceptual images, none looked to be taller than the Hyatt, which is the tallest building in South Austin at 185 feet.

There are three different plans that might end up having different street grids.

PDF Plan - The images came from this link.
http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/ai...aiab095036.pdf

This is what the grid looks like today. Large blocks that limit access to the waterfront bordered by fast moving traffic and narrow sidewalks with vacant gravel parking lots.


This is what the street grid could look like. Smaller blocks that are tree lined with stores facing the street with other uses above.


This shows what the impact would be to the area with respect to the number of jobs that would be created. These numbers do not include construction jobs. It also shows how much property tax money would be generated for the city.


This shows what kind of building heights to expect.




Comparing the heights of the new buildings south of the river to those in downtown.


Streetscape along Congress.




They also said that there would be plans to redo South First and South Congress. They would be tree lined with wider sidewalks. The streets would turn into Austin's grand central avenues, similar to Michigan Avenue in Chicago with them being more pedestrian friendly and safe.

I do wonder though, with them planning to have a median down both streets that if they do that for Congress how it might interfere with the Capitol view corridor straight down Congress.

More renderings and details

South First Street and Congress Avenue layout


Highrise Apartment


Hotel


Shared Parking Structure


Affordable Housing


Parking Recommendations


South Shore Central Good Planning Practices


Walkability and Austin (compared to other cities).


Austin Trends
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2012, 7:01 AM
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OMG, that's so good. This could be one of the best things to ever happen to Austin. Making South Congress beautiful, walkable, and safe may be the most exciting part; other than the idea of creating smaller blocks and whole new streets, of course. Shit like this just gives me chills. There's so much potential. So many cool new hangouts to create. This would be the biggest and most potent extension of urbanism beyond the bounds of traditional downtown. And that's got to be our goal; the urbanization of Austin.
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