On May 23, the Austin City Council passed a comprehensive resolution that initiates bold yet thoughtful re-envisioning of the eastern portion of downtown, including among other things, the expansion of the Austin Convention Center that begins with Scenario 5 of the UT Center for Sustainable Development Convention Center Study.
The resolution also calls for a Waller Creek District Master Plan for the eastern portion of downtown. The Downtown Alliance has been a longstanding proponent of the need for an actionable blueprint for the eastern portion of downtown—to consider how to better connect projects like Dell Medical School, an emerging Innovation District, the Red River Cultural District, the Convention Center, a new Downtown Station, and the Rainey Street District, along with the north-south spines of I-35, the Project Connect Blue Line, and the Waller Creek chain of parks. The Downtown Austin Alliance and the Waller Creek Conservancy, through a joint task force of board members, are currently discussing how we can partner with the City of Austin to bring together the many visions and initiatives for this district into one cohesive strategy. Our next step is to continue our conversation with the City Manager and others to begin defining our desired partnership for this project.
The resolution also focuses on the City’s desire to preserve the Historic Palm School for public uses and calls for a Palm District Master Plan, as well as the designation of the Mexican American Heritage Corridor.
We applaud the Council action on this item, especially the leadership of Council Member Kathie Tovo and co-sponsors Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza, and Council Members Pio Renteria and Natasha Harper-Madison. We look forward to working with City staff to make this happen and ensure that all of our downtown stakeholders are at the table.
Renderings Courtesy of UT School of Architecture Center for Sustainable Development