$121 million city of Austin office building finishes construction as development continues at former Highland Mall

The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)
The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)

The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)

Image description
The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)
Image description
The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)
Image description
The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)
Image description
The City of Austin Permitting and Development Center finished construction Dec. 4. The $121 million building will house more than 900 city employees in the permitting and development services departments. (Courtesy city of Austin)
More than 900 employees in the city of Austin's permitting and development review departments will soon be consolidated into one office building at the new City of Austin Permitting and Development Center, located at 6310 Wilhelmine Delco Drive, Austin, at the former site of Highland Mall.

The $121 million building finished construction Dec. 4. There is no timeline for employees to move into the 251,000-square-foot building, and the city said it will be monitoring COVID-19 statistics as it works to make the call on when to move employees over. The majority of the employees will be coming from One Texas Center in South Austin, according to the city, but some others will be coming from leased office spaces.

The Permitting and Development Center, which was helmed by development companies RedLeaf Properties, LLC and Ryan Companies, is the first office building on the mixed-use Highland development, which also includes residential apartments and the revamped Austin Community College Highland Campus.

ACC is in the midst of a $150 million project to renovate 400,000 square feet of space, the second phase of its redevelopment of the former mall. The project includes new spaces for culinary arts, manufacturing, health sciences and digital media as well as the studio for public radio station KLRU.

Beginning in January, when the spring 2021 semester starts, ACC said some departments will offer limited courses in their new spaces in various subjects, including radio, television, film, culinary arts, geospatial engineering, dance, drama and music. ACC said the renovated campus will house more than a dozen programs once it is fully completed.


ACC's health protocols include health screenings before entering classroom buildings, mandatory facial coverings, and ACC ID or student ID badges required for entry into all buildings. Furthermore, ACC Chancellor Richard Rhodes announced that beginning Dec. 17, all nonessential ACC employees will work remotely at least through Jan. 10.

As of Dec. 22, a total of 23 ACC students and 12 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the community college, there have been no cases of campus transmission.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of RedLeaf Properties, LLC.


MOST RECENT

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

City and Austin EMS Association representatives discussed a pay increase on the third day of negotiations (Darcy Sprague, Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin EMS Association lays out argument for $27 per hour starting pay

The increase would represent almost a 42% increase in starting salary for EMS medics.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

The new H-E-B at South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Street will be three stories. (Courtesy H-E-B)
Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt

The South Austin H-E-B was originally built in 1957. The new store will be almost six times the size of the original footprint.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor

The city, along with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, won a state award for a Bergstrom Spur Trail study.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
State could take over AISD school board if poorly rated campus does not improve next year

If the school does receive an improved rating, the state's commissioner of education could replace every member of Austin ISD's school board.

Austin ISD trustee Noelita Lugo argues for breaking down student achievement measures by race in the district's 2021-2026 scorecard, rather than examining only economically disadvantaged students without racial groups. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD considers how to measure equity gaps in academic achievement

Austin ISD trustees are continuing to work out details of the 2021-2026 district scorecard, which measures progress on equity goals.

Austin City Council made changes to arts and library funding among other decisions Dec. 2. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Arts community, homeless health care program get funding, plus other actions

City Council approved more than 50 items Dec. 2, changing the Office of Civil Rights, doling out funding and more.

Council Member Greg Casar speaks at a press conference outside City Hall ahead of a vote to approve an ordinance granting the Austin Office of Civil Rights enforcement power. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Office of Civil Rights granted new powers

An ordinance passed by Austin City Council on Dec. 2 creates additional civil and criminal penalties for discrimination.