While not as controversial as the once and probably future Zilker Vision Plan, the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center redevelopment in South Austin has seen its share of pushback.
First unveiled four years ago, the $1 billion plan to replace the underused 1980s complex at South Lamar Boulevard and South Capital of Texas Highway with a 38-acre planned unit development initially moved through the requisite city committee and commission process fairly smoothly. It eventually encountered opposition, however, from neighborhood and other groups concerned about building height and environmental impact on the site, which is adjacent to the Barton Creek Greenbelt and the Barton Creek Watershed, a recharge area for the Edwards Aquifer.
Nevertheless, project developers Barshop & Oles and Lionstone Investments persisted and ultimately prevailed, with the Austin City Council granting its final approval for the PUD rezoning Thursday. Plans for the redeveloped shopping center include replacing the current buildings and surface parking with nine buildings up to 25 stories high.
While plans are far from finalized, the mixed-use center could include 1.26 million square feet of office space, 140,000 square feet of ground-floor restaurant and retail space, 1,700 residential units, and a 200-room hotel. Developers said there would be about 200 units of onsite affordable housing, many of them in a development by Austin housing nonprofit Foundation Communities with 100 to 130 units.
The design also includes 12 acres of green space in three linked but distinct areas, restoration of more than 20 percent of the site to open space next to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and a reduction of impervious cover from its current 84 percent to 56 percent – still more than the amount required by the Save Our Springs Ordinance, which the council amended for the PUD. The development will required to meet water-quality standards laid out in the ordinance.
The council's go-ahead means work on final designs and the first phase of permitting could start by 2024, with construction on the project's first phase beginning in 2025 and finished by 2027. Completion of the entire PUD could take up to 10 years.
In addition to Barshop & Oles and Lionstone Investments, members of the redevelopment team include Overland Partners architecture and urban planning firm DPZ Codesign, transportation planners Nelsen/Nygaard, transportation consultants BOE, Speck and Associates design firm, legal firm Armbrust and Brown, and LJA Engineering.