Nearly four years ago, the City picked Trammell Crow to redevelop the 4.4 acre Green Water Treatment site on the Southwest end of downtown. Now, with the site finally cleared and ready fro construction, the $500 million project remains stalled as the City Council further deliberates on the planned land and development deal.
According to the Austin Business Journal, “Some residents are complaining that Trammell Crow’s plan doesn’t offer enough affordable housing and there are concerns being expressed about safety issues for construction workers. The downtown block of land at Cesar Chavez and San Antonio streets was appraised at $41 million. Under the agreement, Trammell Crow would purchase the land for $42.4 million over the course of a few years.”
Renderings of the Proposed $500M Green Water Treatment Site Redevelopment
One of the major issues driving reconsideration of the project is Tramell Crow’s reversal of its 2008 commitment to provide 320 units of affordable housing as part of the development. According to YNN, ” Trammell Crow plans to lease 127 apartments below market rate for seven years so more families can afford to live downtown, which is fewer than the 320 units pitched to planners in 2008. “We want to go back over this project and make sure that we are getting the maximum return on our investment, that we are getting the levels of affordability and that they are staying affordable for more than just five years,” Martinez said. Martinez says 40 percent of property taxes gained from Project Green will go to the city’s affordable housing trust fund.
The City Council is now scheduled to vote on the project on April 26.