A proposal to redevelop Brodie Oaks Shopping Center in South Austin is so far sailing through the city planning process, with no discernible opposition so far at the public or governmental levels. That's likely, in part, because the proposed 37-acre Planned Unit Development, located at South Lamar Boulevard and South Capital of Texas Highway, aims to replace a Toys 'R U and a whole bunch of surface parking with significant amounts of green space—an important component for a project sited next to the Barton Creek Watershed, a recharge area for the Edwards Aquifer.

The $1 billion plan, recently presented to the city Environmental Commission for the development assessment phase of the process, would create a walkable, mixed-use community that includes restaurants, residential buildings, hotels, offices, and retail in an area convenient to public transportation as well as to highways and major thoroughfares.

A rendering of proposed mixed-use Brodie Oaks developmentWP Visions via City of Austin

PUD zoning requires that a development meet higher environmental standards than it would if built under existing zoning. The Brodie Oaks plan, according to CEO Rebecca Leonard of local urban design and planning firm Lionheart, will reduce impervious cover from its current 84 percent to 54 percent, concentrating development in the corner adjacent to the intersection of the two highways.

Proposed Brodie Oaks developmentWP Visions via City of Austin

Current plans show 13.6 acres of parkland and open space, separated by from highways by the planned buildings and connected to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Buildings have proposed heights of up to 275 feet, and trails and sidewalks will increase access to green and open spaces. If increased heights are approved, 10 percent of the resulting space would be desginated afforable housing.

Property owners on the project are listed as real estate development firm Barshop & Oles and Houston-based Lionstone Investments. Other members of the redevelopment are Overland Partners architecture and urban planning firm, DPZ Codesign, transportation planners Nelsen/Nygaard, transportation consultants BOESpeck and Associates design firm, legal firm Armbrust and Brown, and LJA Engineering. Takes a village to build a village, apparently.