Austin City Council could begin negotiations with PSV for soccer stadium, solicit proposals for McKalla Place site

The proposal for a soccer stadium in North Austin includes parkland and a music venue.

The proposal for a soccer stadium in North Austin includes parkland and a music venue.

Austin City Council appears be indicating interest to explore its options to develop the city-owned site at 10414 McKalla Place.

The North Austin site is being eyed by area developers for new mixed-use projects as well as by Precourt Sports Ventures, operator of the Columbus Crew soccer team, to build a new Major League Soccer stadium and relocate the Crew to Austin.

Council members had their first opportunity June 12 to discuss in public PSV’s official proposal for the stadium as well as city staffers’ June 1 report on the viability of the McKalla site for a stadium.

Council’s June 28 agenda includes two resolutions related to the McKalla site.

Item 60 on the June 28 agenda—sponsored by council members Leslie Pool, Alison Alter, Ora Houston and Ellen Troxclair—would direct City Manager Spencer Cronk to solicit plans to develop the McKalla Place site, including plans for professional sports stadiums as well as ones that would accomplish the following goals:

  • mixed-use development, as envisioned in the North Burnet/Gateway Neighborhood Plan;

  • affordable housing;

  • quality parks and open space;

  • affordable creative space; and

  • public transit, including a train station.

Pool and several area residents have indicated interest in issuing a formal request for proposals.

Item 64 on the June 28 agenda—sponsored by Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and council members Sabino “Pio” Renteria and Delia Garza—proposes to have the city manager begin negotiations with PSV and analyze the group's official proposal and return to council Aug. 9 “for a status update on negotiations or for contract approval.”

A draft resolution includes a list of outcomes council would like to see in a deal, including:

  • minimize the use of city funds and obtain the best possible financial return and community benefits to the city for the project;

  • require PSV to pay for construction and development of the stadium and site;

  • establish high-quality design standards for the stadium;

  • achieve the high environmental standards and Austin Energy Green Building and/or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ratings expected of city buildings;

  • aim for a zero-waste, net-positive energy and net-zero water facility;

  • require PSV to adhere to the city’s standard contracting requirements, including living wages and compliance with the city’s Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Procurement Programs;

  • use local goods, vendors and labor;

  • obtain significant community benefits, including the support of youth soccer in Austin and distribution of  significant numbers of free and low-cost tickets;

  • dedicate a portion of the site as accessible open space to the public for leisure activities and special events;

  • retain the greatest possible city and nonprofit use of the stadium and site for civic-oriented events at no cost, allowing the city to retain revenues from such events;

  • maximize on-site affordable housing opportunities;

  • provide the city with approval rights over architectural documents that will represent the standard to be maintained throughout construction;

  • develop a comprehensive transportation and parking plan for stadium events;

  • through financial penalties, restrict PSV and Major League Soccer, or their successors, from relocating

  • examine revenue-sharing opportunities; and

  • provide protections for wetlands or other critical environmental features on the tract.

For more information, view the agenda online.
By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.