Transformation of Austin office park into mixed-use center moves closer to happening

The redevelopment of Austin Oaks into a mixed-use center northwest of downtown with about 1.2 million square feet of office, retail and residential space is taking on a slightly different shape.

Austin City Council early Friday morning approved the second reading of a zoning change that would lead to the transformation of the aging office park near the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac Expressway. The measure approved Friday would lead to more affordable housing — 10.8 percent of all units — and more spending on traffic mitigation, the Austin Monitor reports.

The rezoning still needs a third approval. That could come at the April 6 Council meeting.

Dallas-based developer Spire Realty Group has been pursuing the Austin Oaks project for more than two years. Some nearby homeowners fear the project would harm neighborhood character, which has led to drawn-out negotiations.

Even with the tweaks approved Friday, the plan remains largely the same as it was proposed in May 2015.

The Thursday night/Friday morning Council meeting featured more than two hours of public comment on the Austin Oaks project, including an unusual display from Northwest Austin resident Idee Kwak, who called the process “a game of green eggs and sham.” The Austin American-Statesman covered Kwak’s presentation and other drama from the Council meeting.

The final rezoning of Austin Oaks will require a nine-vote supermajority from Council because more than 20 percent of the surrounding property owners filed a petition protesting Spire’s application, the Statesman reports.

Source: Austin Business Journal
Will Anderson, Digital Editor

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