$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.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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