Central Health reveals plans for Brackenridge

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Central Health reveals plans for Brackenridge

Central Health plans to include retail, residential and medical space as well as parking garages in the Brackenridge campus redevelopment. (via Kara Nuzback/Community Impact Newspaper)

Sandwiched between the Medical District and the Innovation Zone, Central Health plans to redevelop the University Medical Center Brackenridge campus into a hub of healthy activity.

Preliminary plans for the Brackenridge redevelopment include realigning Red River Street and creating an open-air public market.

Central Health held two open houses Oct. 26, showcasing plans for the Brackenridge campus.

Project manager Chi Lee, of the Gensler architecture firm, said realigning Red River would have the street cut straight through the campus, instead of curing around it, to help traffic run more smoothly in the area.

The city, which owns Red River, has been very supportive of the idea, Lee said.

Plans are also in the works to create a pedestrian market in the center of the campus with food vendors and retail space.

“There was such a desire [from the public]to have community space,” Lee said.

He said the market would complement event space at Waterloo Park, promote health and wellness, and support local businesses and entrepreneurs by providing a place to sell their products in an area without many retail options.

“This is a great opportunity to kind of give back,” Lee said.

Central Health used community input to establish general ideas for the Brackenridge redevelopment. Residents asked for a mixed-use facility and urged Central Health not to wall off East Austin. In response, Central Health’s plan includes residential and retail use as well as space for a hotel. Buildings on the campus were reoriented to be open to East Austin. The redevelopment will also include bike lanes, green buildings and water conservation efforts.

Central Health’s board of managers must approve a master plan for Brackenridge before any of the plans can be finalized and the entity can send out the project for bids, he said. Construction would not begin until after Seton has vacated the Brackenridge campus and moved into the new teaching hospital—Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas—in 2017.

The board of managers will likely begin discussing the master plan in early 2016, according to Central Health staff.

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Kara covers Northwest Austin, Round Rock ISD and health care in the greater Austin area.

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