Expert panel may weigh in on Seaholm Intake plans
Nov 5, 2013
Austin Business Journal
The city of Austin may look to flesh out the details behind the ambitious Seaholm Intake redesign project through a partnership with the Urban Land Institute.
Austin City Council is considering a resolution that would work with the ULI to form a technical assistance panel to provide expert assistance throughout the redevelopment. The panel would play an important role in the remaking of one of the last city-owned plots of free land along the Northwestern shore of Lady Bird Lake.
In August, the city held a design competition to help show off what a redesigned space could look like. The three finalists selected by the city all offered exciting visions of what the space could become. But the architects weren't asked to get into the financial and infrastructure details of the project, and their plans didn't offer any details about what a future public-private partnership might look like.
By bringing in the ULI, the city could benefit from local experts who have worked on similar projects in the past, according to the resolution. While the exact makeup of the board is unclear, city officials said they were working with Greg Weaver of Catellus Development Corp. Weaver and Catellus are behind the development of Austin's Mueller neighborhood.
Councilman Chris Riley is spearheading the resolution with Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole as a cosponsor. Council will hear the resolution on its Nov. 7 agenda, according to city documents.
“The Seaholm Intake Facility has the potential to be a wonderful amenity for our waterfront, but there will be some challenges in getting there," Riley said in a statement. "This resolution will enable us to get some expert guidance to make sure we’re on track toward giving this old facility a great new life.”
The Seaholm intake facility sits dormant across Cesar Chavez Street from several planned city-sponsored and private developments, including the new public library and the Seaholm power plant redevelopment.