Monday, February 13, 2017

Plaza Saltillo Moving Forward


The Plaza Saltillo development in East Austin is set to move forward, but with dramatically lowered allowed heights for the office building portion, the Austin Monitor reports.

Endeavor Real Estate Group, the developer of the site owned by Capital Metro, requested a variance to have a 125 foot high office tower.  However, city council only granted a 70 foot high limit.

Councilmember Pio Renteria, who represents the district that the project is located in, said he wants more time for Endeavor and the East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood Planning team to come to an agreement that would bring a minimum of 141 affordable housing apartments to the project that comprises about half a mile of land from IH-35 to Comal Street between East 4th and 5th streets.  The project will be a Transit-oriented development because the MetroRail’s Red Line is in the middle of the development.

The planning team maintains that Endeavor isn’t complying with its original promise to designate 25 percent of the 800 apartments as affordable and that the project wouldn’t exceed 60 feet in height.  The current plan is for 15 percent of the apartments to be rented as affordable.  They also would have the office portion be 125 feet and then the rest of the project would be a little bit more than 60 feet tall.

Capital Metro asked the developer to make a bigger office building so the area would have a lot of people during the day to frequent the retail on the first floor.  The agency said that only allowing the building to be built to 70 feet would cost CapMetro $36 million in rent income and the city $22 million in property taxes over the 99-year lease that Endeavor is subject to.

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