Austin development news: The latest on the Moody Center, Austin State Hospital and more

Work continues on the Austin State Hospital project in North Central Austin. The first $180.5 million was provided in 2019, and the project is awaiting another round of funding from the Texas Legislature this session. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Work continues on the Austin State Hospital project in North Central Austin. The first $180.5 million was provided in 2019, and the project is awaiting another round of funding from the Texas Legislature this session. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Work continues on the Austin State Hospital project in North Central Austin. The first $180.5 million was provided in 2019, and the project is awaiting another round of funding from the Texas Legislature this session. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Find the latest on four major development projects in Austin.

Austin State Hospital on track to complete construction in 2023

A project that broke ground in fall 2019 to rebuild the more than 100-year-old Austin State Hospital completed demolition in December and began construction on the facilities. In the three months since, crews have been working on the foundation of the building and are close to finishing a warehouse on-site. According to Texas Health and Human Services, construction is about 20% complete.

The Texas Legislature provided $180.5 million in 2019. The final $124 million to fully fund the new 240-bed hospital providing mental health care is waiting for approval. Pending funding, THHS officials say construction is expected to be completed on time.

Space: built on existing 80-acre campus


Timeline: October 2019-June 2023

Cost: $305 million

Joint apartment and office project set to finish in spring

A complex at the corner of Airport Boulevard and 53rd 1/2 Street that will include apartments as well as space for Travis County office workers is scheduled to finish this spring. According to the county, the Health and Human Services, Veterans Services, and District Clerk’s Jury-Passport offices will move into the new space by May.

Behind the offices is a complex called Travis Flats with 146 apartments. A majority of those units will be reserved for those making 30-60% of Austin’s median family income, or $20,550-$41,050 for an individual. Travis Flats expects to be ready for residents to move in on June 1.

Space: 80,000 square feet office space, 146 apartments

Timeline: 2019-21

Cost: $30 million for apartments

Moody Center to open early next year

The University of Texas men’s and women’s basketball teams are set to have a new home next season after the completion of the Moody Center, a new basketball arena that will be located on a former parking lot just south of the Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field.

As construction continues both on the facility itself and a project to realign Red River Street in the area around the new stadium. Ongoing traffic closures in the area include parts of Robert Dedman Drive as crews continue their work. The Moody Center has already announced The Weeknd will perform at the new venue April 18, 2022. The Frank Erwin Center will be demolished to make room for the expansion of Dell Medical School.

Space: 10,000-15,000 seats

Timeline: December 2019-early 2022

Cost: $338 million

Apartments coming to East Austin

Urban East, a new apartment building on East Riverside Drive, broke ground in early March. The project is starting construction with 381 units in the first phase, estimated to open in 2023. A second phase will build another 137 units for a total of 518, with construction expected to begin early in 2022.

Half of the units will be designated for families making up to 80% of Austin’s median family income, or MFI, according to River City Capital Partners LLC, the developer leading the project. Austin’s MFI is $68,300 for a one-person household or $97,600 for a four-person household. The majority of Urban East’s apartments—more than 400—will be one-bedroom units ranging from 750-800 square feet.

Space: 518 units

Timeline: first phase 2021-23
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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