With Proposition B's passage, this property could become Austin's next waterfront park

The Driveway Austin property is separated from the Colorado River by a strip of city parkland. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Driveway Austin property is separated from the Colorado River by a strip of city parkland. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Driveway Austin property is separated from the Colorado River by a strip of city parkland. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austinites overwhelmingly voted for Proposition B in the Nov. 2 election, an outcome that will allow the city to move ahead on plans to trade some of its land for a future park.

The swap could send Austin's Central Maintenance Complex property at 2525 Lakeshore Blvd. to the winner of a public bidding process in exchange for dozens of acres of land elsewhere in the city. The high bidder would also have to supply funding for a new replacement maintenance center and parkland restoration at Fiesta Gardens.

The proposition language outlining Austin's ask—"at least 48 acres of waterfront land contiguous to an existing city park"—makes one property the likely centerpiece of the trade. That site is the Driveway Austin training track at 8400 Delwau Lane, situated off the Colorado River just east of Hwy. 183. The property is adjacent to John Treviño Jr. Metropolitan Park and surrounded by a 31-acre ribbon of city-owned parkland. And Oracle, with its headquarters campus located directly west of the city's Lakeshore facility, is likely interested in acquiring that land in the trade.



The Driveway track


Driveway President and CEO Bill Dollahite said he has spoken with the city and Oracle about a potential three-way trade for his property throughout the year and said Proposition B's clear win on Election Day was "awesome" to see.

“The vote was pretty overwhelming, I guess it was close to 74%. That’s pretty decisive," Dollahite said Nov. 3. "That’s the first step, and there’s still a few more steps to go. But we’re happy with where things are."

Aspects of the front portion of the Driveway course were modeled after Ferrari's Fiorano Circuit in Italy, Dollahite said. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Driveway center operates as a criterium bicycle training course, which Dollahite said has endeared it to many in the cycling scene. The property's centerpiece is a training track bounded by grassy and wooded areas as well as the Colorado and Walnut Creek, making the land a good fit for what Austin is seeking, he said.

“It is a park already," Dollahite said. "Over 15 years I’ve spent an insane amount of passion developing this into one of the most utilized parks, by certainly the bicycle community, anywhere in the city."

The course features custom asphalt and track adjustments, Dollahite said, including portions modeled after European racing tracks. The course runs through turns, elevation changes and straightaways and is used both by individual cyclists and organizations such as local first responders.

If Oracle emerges as the highest bidder and a deal is reached for his property, Dollahite said he expects Driveway's track will remain in place amid the conversion into city parkland.

“It’s not like any other park you’re going to probably ever get in Austin," he said. "I designed every inch that’s out there. ... My understanding is they’re going to leave the infrastructure for the bicycles, for running."

Dollahite designed the Driveway track's surface, curves and elevation changes. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Finishing the deal


If the city eventually takes the land over, Dollahite said the property's condition should ease the transition process into parkland.

“The cool thing ... is it’s already developed. It’s not that you have to come in and spend millions of dollars to make a park; you already have a park," he said.

A city spokesperson said in early October that Austin will be seeking a third-party appraisal of its Riverside maintenance center ahead of any deal. The city also has yet to calculate the total cost of building a new maintenance center and completing the Fiesta Gardens restoration work to fill out its request for proposals for interested bidders.

With the proposition's passage, Dollahite said he plans to wind down Driveway operations over the coming weeks before the city's bidding process wraps up and a final deal is closed.

"Because of everything that we had done to make it what it is, this is a great resting place for what I consider a legacy project for me. And now everybody can enjoy it, including me," Dollahite said. "I don’t ever have to worry about this being desecrated. And that’s personal.”

The Driveway track features a wooded back straightaway and central 'park' space Dollahite said is occasionally used to host events. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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.



MOST RECENT

The Austin Trail of Lights will open nighly from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. (Courtesy Trail of Lights Foundation)
PHOTOS: Austin Trail of Lights returns to Zilker Park this week

The traditional holiday light show is open from Nov. 28 through New Year's Eve.

Commissioners on Nov. 22 voted to approve a density change to preliminary plans for The Preserve, a neighborhood that city documents said could include 565 single-family homes at the northeast corner of Teel and Panther Creek Parkways. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Neighborhood near PGA Frisco could see larger lots; ERCOT says Texas power grid ready for expected winter demand and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 24.

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. (Courtesy KXAN)
State, local officials react to Texas governor, Samsung joint announcement

Local and state officials have made statements welcoming Samsung to Taylor following the announcement that the city will be home to its new $17 billion semiconductor fabrication plant. 

Austin City Council will meet for a work session dedicated to housing affordability discussions Nov. 30. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council set for dive into housing, development after Thanksgiving break

A Nov. 30 work session could see city leaders work through a range of adjustments to city development code, rules and processes.

The new initiative will build the communities capacity to address homelessness along with collecting data from people who have increased access to those in need. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
ECHO, St. David's Foundation launch new program to build a community approach to homelessness

The program aims to address inequities in traditional homelessness response.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sits beside Samsung CEO Dr. Kinam Kim as he announces the company is brining a $17 billion facility to Taylor. (Screnshot via KXAN)
Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor

Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a megafacility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official.

Bill Curci is a chief operating partner for Shuck Me, a seafood restaurant in Fort Worth. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Fort Worth restaurant Shuck Me is fishing- and family-centric; a guide to Houston's 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 23.

Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, discusses Thanksgiving safety at a news conference. (Darcy Sprague/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin health authorities remind community of COVID-19 risk ahead of Thanksgiving

Austin health officials warned of a high rate of community transmission ahead of Thanksgiving.

Lizzy and Brandon Simon are running the North Austin location. (Courtesy Lizzy Simon)
Operation Turkey to provide thousands in need with Thanksgiving meals

One local couple is running a North Austin site with the goal of serving 2,500 meals to those in need this Thanksgiving.

Williamson County officials met with Samsung executives at Dell Diamond in January. (Courtesy Williamson County)
For the love of the game: How baseball may have been perfect start for Samsung in Williamson County

The first attempt to bring Samsung to Williamson County relied on a passion for what is considered America’s pastime.

Capital Metro is still deciding if it will put the MetroRail Red Line above or below the North Lamar and Airport boulevards intersection. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro moves forward with funding for one of Project Connect’s ‘most complex’ intersections

The North Lamar Boulevard and Airport Boulevard intersection will eventually have the Red, Blue and Orange lines running through it.