Thanks to the Federal stimulus package, a controversial Federal courthouse will be constructed on the west side of Republic Square Park in the heart of downtown.
The $116 million project will be constructed on the former Intel site. Earlier in the decade, the city pushed the feds hard to locate the courthouse on the abandoned Intel site, only to reverse course later. Once downtown started to flourish with development, the City decided that the prime block would be better used with a multi-use project that would engage the neighborhood. Due to security concerns, the mammoth brutalist courthouse will result in the permanent closure of San Antonio Street between 4th and 5th, assuming that the original plans will be followed. In addition, the single-use building will not include any retail or restaurant space, it will simply be a highly secure federal courthouse.
Here is a summary from the Austin Business Journal:
The long-delayed federal courthouse planned for downtown Austin has been approved for construction with money from the federal stimulus package, according to a congressman’s office.
The White House today approved $116 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the U.S. federal courthouse in Austin, said Wyeth Ruthven, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett.
“This $116 million means local construction jobs now when we need them most, a significant addition to downtown Austin, and a long overdue improvement benefiting all who rely upon our federal justice system,” said Doggett, DÂ-Austin. Doggett voted for the stimulus package.
The planned seven-story Austin courthouse has been delayed for years because of financial reasons. It will be built at the corner of Fifth and Nueces streets, across from Republic Square Park. The design is mostly done.