Austin brings permitting, development support under one roof with launch of new Highland service center

Austin's new permitting center opened for in-person appointments July 6. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's new permitting center opened for in-person appointments July 6. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin's new permitting center opened for in-person appointments July 6. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin's Permitting and Development Center, a new facility the city says is designed to streamline its commercial and residential development experience, opened for the first time to in-person customer visits July 6.

Work on the four-story, 251,000-square-foot building, located in Highland at 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive, Austin, was completed last year at a cost of $120.7 million. The building sits at a staff of around 780 working across staggered shifts to limit on-site attendance; once fully staffed, the city expects the building to house as many as 950 employees across several city departments.

Robbie G. Searcy, spokesperson for the Austin Development Services Department, said the presence of several department representatives at the Permitting and Development Center will provide developers an easier route through the city's permitting system.

"This facility brings all the city departments involved in providing development services together, under one roof, for the first time ever. We expect this will help simplify the experience for customers and improve communication as customers move through different stages of the development process," Searcy said.

In addition to its development offerings, the center is also home to the Sterling Bistro Coffee Shop as well as an event center and meeting spaces for the public. Several stories of parking, including electrical vehicle charging stations, are also available. A cafe adjacent to the coffee shop is expected to launch in the future, Searcy said.


The city also said the Permitting and Development Center is its first structure designed to meet the WELL Building Standard, international guidelines aimed at healthy building spaces. Searcy said aspects of the permitting center's design reflecting WELL benchmarks include: ergonomic workstations, natural daylight harvesting and lighting sensors, employee wellness spaces, thermal temperature control, an air filtration system, and the building's construction using non-hazardous and sustainable materials. The facility is also Austin Energy Green Building-certified.

Permitting and Development Center appointments for services ranging from construction permits and site plan reviews to inspections and other development assistance may now be scheduled either online or by phone. Appointments are required for most services at the facility. 512-978-4504. www.austintexas.gov/pdc
By Ben Thompson

Austin City Hall Reporter

Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. After spending more than two years covering in The Woodlands area, he moved to Austin in 2021 to cover City Hall and other news throughout the city.



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