The proposed study that considers new Capitol View Corridors in East Austin will include the controversial Rosewood Corridor following unanimous approval Thursday from City Council.
Last month, District 1 Council Member Ora Houston asked the city to study the feasibility of bringing Capitol View Corridors–designated sightlines of the Texas State Capitol Building–into East Austin. Members of Central Health and the Downtown Austin Alliance objected the proposal as one proposed sightline–the Rosewood Corridor–would impact the development of Central Health’s Brackenridge site.
In order to ensure a clear view of the Capitol, view corridors require caps on building height. The proposed Rosewood Corridor, which cuts through the center of the proposed Brackenridge Campus, caps building height at 115 feet while the master plan for the campus includes several sky rise buildings that tower over 115 feet.
Dewitt Peart, CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, said the campus is valued is in the “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and a cap on the building height would bring that value down.
The original study proposal asked that results and recommendations be brought back to council by May 18. Central Health representatives expressed concern over the timeline, as it was preparing to release its request for proposal to begin receiving bids on the development. A potential height cap through the middle of the campus would drastically alter any proposed plans for the site.
Council last month removed the Rosewood Corridor from the original study proposal in order to analyze its potential effect, but on Thursday council members unanimously approved its inclusion—with the caveat that the study results for Rosewood be brought back to council by March 23 so Central Health could release its RFP.
The council also extended the deadline for staff’s recommendation’s on the remaining four corridors to August 17.