Central Health narrows list of Brackenridge redevelopment partners


Central Health announced Friday it will invite four developers to participate in a request for proposals process for its plan to redevelop the University Medical Center Brackenridge campus in downtown Austin.

The list includes:

  • Brandywine Realty Trust, a Radnor, Pennsylvania-based company with an office in Austin;
  • Catellus Development Corp., based in Oakland, California, with a regional office in Austin;
  • Wexford Science + Technology, of Baltimore, Maryland; and
  • a partnership of The Howard Hughes Corp. and Cambridge Holdings Inc., both of Dallas. The arrangement between Howard Hughes and Cambridge was not immediately clear.

An initial list of 12 developers showed interest in Central Health’s redevelopment plan this past October.

Some firms in that initial list had been involved in major Austin developments, including Endeavor Real Estate Group, which developed The Domain in North Austin. Endeavor also has been selected to lead Capitol Metro’s Plaza Saltillo redevelopment project in East Austin and the redevelopment of an 18.9-acre site on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake belonging to the Cox family, owners of the Austin American-Statesman.

According to Central Health, the request for proposals, or RFP, process will happen in late February or early March.

Several of the four firms on the RFP invite list have worked on projects in Austin.

Brandywine is developing 405 Colorado, a 25-story building planned in Central Austin at the intersection of West Fourth and Colorado streets, and Catellus is behind the Mueller mixed-use development in East Austin at the former site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport.

UMCB will close once the new Dell Seton Medical Center at The University in Texas opens in May.

Central Health wants to turn UMCB’s 14.3-acre campus into a mixed-use district that would include commercial and residential development with a focus on health care service and research. A master plan calls for about 3.7 million square feet of new construction space with the potential for buildings between 35 and 40 stories tall.

Central Health is in the process of securing a zoning variance from Austin City Council that would allow for no cap on density within the redevelopment area.

According to Central Health’s plan, the agency will lease the Brackenridge campus to a master developer but will keep ownership of the property.

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