UPDATED: Great Hills Market redevelopment proposal heads to Austin City Council on Nov. 9

A developer is proposing to redevelop the Great Hills Market, including the Regal Arbor 8 at Great Hills cinema. The proposed plan calls for tearing down the theater to build a 372-unit apartment building with retail and restaurants.

A developer is proposing to redevelop the Great Hills Market, including the Regal Arbor 8 at Great Hills cinema. The proposed plan calls for tearing down the theater to build a 372-unit apartment building with retail and restaurants.

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Great Hills Market
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Great Hills Market redevelopment
UPDATED OCT. 25

The zoning change case for Great Hills Market is slated to be heard at Austin City Council on Nov. 9 after a postponement request, said Amanda Swor from the Drenner Group, which is representing the developer.

POSTED OCT. 17

A proposal to redevelop the Great Hills Market retail center and Regal Arbor 8 movie theater with apartments, retail and restaurant space is moving on to Austin City Council.

The city’s zoning and platting commission gave unanimous approval Tuesday to recommend rezoning the center, located at 9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin, for mixed-use development. The current use is general retail and limited office zoning, and the developer is requesting general commercial services-mixed use with a vertical mixed-use overlay that would allow for a vertical building.

“I think it’s a wonderful project,” said Commissioner Jim Duncan, who lives near the site. “It’s a great location and the heart of the Arboretum area. Redevelopment is long overdue.”

Redevelopment of the center, which includes a total of 154,886 square feet of space, would happen in phases, said Amanda Swor, director of entitlements and policy with Austin-based real estate law firm Drenner Group.

The first phase would include redevelopment of 6 acres of the entire 17-acre tract, including the movie theater. Plans call for a 60-foot, or five-story, mixed-use building with 372 apartments, 10,200 square feet of specialty retail, 11,200 square feet of restaurant space and 5,000 square feet of fast-food restaurant space with a drive-thru. Phase 1 would not occur until the lease on Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant expires, Swor said.

Plans also call for adding a pocket park and removing one store from the existing retail building to allow for pedestrian access between the two phases. All 12 heritage trees, including the one in front of the theater, would be preserved, as well as 11 of the 13 protected trees.

Construction could still be at least 36 months out because the project still needs to go through the site plan and permitting process, Swor said.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to revitalize the area,” she said.

Details on Phase 2 have not yet been fleshed out, but Swor said it would likely include apartments as well. Phase 2 would not be redeveloped until market demand surfaces and because of existing leases that range from five to 10 years, she said.

Some commissioners also expressed interest in having affordable housing incorporated in the redevelopment—a decision the developer would have to make when going through site plan and permitting processes.

“I think that would be very important to have subsidized housing affordable housing,” Commissioner David King said.

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later 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.



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