As the North Burnet/Gateway corridor continues to see accelerated development, local officials working to add two new rail stations by 2021

Brandywine Trust Realty is working with Capital Metro to relocate the Kramer Station as part of its master plan for the IBM Broadmoor Campus.

Brandywine Trust Realty is working with Capital Metro to relocate the Kramer Station as part of its master plan for the IBM Broadmoor Campus.

Image description
Relieving the roadway
Ahead of the construction of new headquarters for several of the country’s largest tech employers, the city of Austin and Capital Metro are in discussions with private developers to deliver transit solutions to the North Burnet and Gateway corridor.

Capital Metro, in particular, has aggressive plans to reimagine transit options in the corridor in time for the estimated opening day in 2021 for Austin FC at McKalla Place, generally located at the southeastern intersection of Braker Lane and Burnet Road.

“We have major initiatives underway to upgrade the Red Line frequency and capacity,” said Todd Hemingson, executive vice president of planning and development for Capital Metro. “There is a great opportunity to reduce auto use.”

Capital Metro is in discussions with private-sector partners to relocate the MetroRail Kramer Station, according to Hemingson. That station is located more than a half mile away from The Domain and the IBM Broadmoor Campus with limited pedestrian or cycling connectivity. That has led to limited usage of the stop, per Hemingson.

The transit agency is planning to scrap the Kramer station altogether and construct two new rail stations in its place. One station is already permitted by the city in the Broadmoor development, and Hemingson said Capital Metro is working with Precourt Sports Ventures to put a station at the McKalla Place stadium.

Preliminary plans for the stadium show a potential site for a Red Line station at the eastern edge of the stadium site, near Delta Drive.

“We would like to have the McKalla station in place on [Austin FC’s] opening day. That’s probably aggressive, but it is a goal. Broadmoor [station] is the same time frame,” Hemingson said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Capital Metro is additionally considering rerouting its 803 MetroRapid bus line away from the J.J. Pickle Research Campus. Instead, the line would continue on Burnet Road and run all the way to the Broadmoor campus, allowing for frequent bus service every 15 minutes.

That will be supported by infrastructure improvements to be delivered by the Austin’s Corridor Program Office. Mandy McClendon, media liaison for the Burnet Road corridor, said the city has plans in place for shared-use paths, pedestrian crosswalks, upgraded traffic signals and bus stop improvements.

“The goal is to connect facilities for the entire length of the roadway,” McClendon said.

Delivering transit ahead of traffic

The corridor program office expects to begin construction on the Burnet Road improvements by 2021 and continue through 2024. McClendon stated the entire project, stretching from Koenig Lane to MoPac, is expected to carry a $53 million price tag—paid by 2016 mobility bonds.

These plans follow guidance from the North Burnet/Gateway neighborhood master plan that was adopted by Austin City Council more than a decade ago. That plan designated the corridor as a space “that is more pedestrian and transit friendly and can accommodate a significant number of new residents,” according to city documents.

But the corridor is seeing more accelerated growth than perhaps it has ever seen.

Plans for the Broadmoor redevelopment include at least 2,000 housing units. Construction on the development is already underway.

By 2021, McKalla Place stadium could host up to 20,000 fans at least 17 times a season—the amount of home games scheduled for the current 2019 MLS season.

In the past six months, five new towers at The Domain have been announced, combining for more than 1.8 million square feet of office and residential space, and tech giant Amazon in March announced plans to add 800 employees to its Domain offices.

Although The Domain is not included in the North Burnet/Gateway zoning—The Domain has its own zoning and density codes—local transportation officials are planning for the area holistically.

“Given the tremendous growth in that area and the future of even more, we believe and our partners at the city and even the private-sector folks are beginning to recognize we need more options than driving alone. We cannot sustain it over time,” Hemingson said.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


Developers of The Backyard multiuse site said construction should begin in Q1 2022. (Rendering courtesy city of Bee Cave)
Bee Cave approves The Backyard property assessments

Bee Cave City Council also authorizes city's first Capital Improvement Plan.

Photo of Austin's skyline
Austin health authorities outline COVID-19 surge risks while eyeing possible shift to Stage 2

While Austin and Travis County remain under Stage 3 guidelines, hospitalizations have moved into possible Stage 2 territory.

Giselle Copa, an Austin Community College pharmacy student, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for administration. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
At least 81% of Austin ISD staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per district data

After the district had staff sign up for bonuses only available to fully vaccinated employees, the district can count its vaccinated employees at over 8,000.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

More than 35,000 passengers traveled through the airport on Oct. 25, the Monday following the 2021 F1 U.S. Grand Prix. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees busiest day ever following 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix

The new record topped the previous busiest day by more than 3,000 passengers.

City, county and community leaders gathered Oct. 21 to share an update on funding of the $515 million Summit Plan aimed at housing thousands of residents. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin leaders outline $515M homelessness spending plan with more than 75% of funding in place

Officials provided an update on a $515 million plan to house thousands of people experiencing homelessness and provide related social services Oct. 21.

The plan calls for traffic control methods to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. (Courtesy Living Streets)
Austin City Council paves way for more play, exercise on neighborhood streets

The program aims to make it safer to use neighborhood streets for community events.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

The committee will provide input on Capital Metro's expanded public safety department to the transit agency's board of directors.  (Courtesy Capital Metro)
Capital Metro board approves charter for public safety advisory committee

The approval comes after the establishment of a transit police force met resistance during the August meeting.

Through Project Connect, Capital Metro will add three new MetroRapid bus lines and an extension to the existing 803 route. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro moves forward with $50 million in funding for MetroRapid bus infrastructure projects

The vote to approve the funding raised questions around how authority is divided between the city of Austin, Capital Metro and the Austin Transit Partnership.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.