As reported today by Sarah Coppola of the Austin American-Statesman, the City of Austin is putting the finishing touches on a plan to improve Republic Square Park. The aim is to make the park more inviting for events such as the Saturday Farmers' Market and a summer movie series, as well as for everyday use by visitors and downtown’s 9,800 residents and 126,000 employees.
The parks department has $1.2 million set aside to write and carry out the plan. Most of that money comes from development fees paid by the federal government during construction of a new federal courthouse just west of the square.
The new federal courthouse, finished in December, has a plaza that opens onto Republic Square. Other big projects are planned for blocks nearby, including a new Travis County civil courthouse and a 24-story tower that will include luxury apartments and an upscale hotel.
The draft plan for Republic Square includes a large, open central space that is flexible enough to use for different events, a promenade and a plaza, concessions or an eatery, and restrooms.