On Thursday afternoon, Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt said his company was “impressed with the potential at McKalla Place” as a potential Major League Soccer stadium.
Now, the city could also turn its focus to the North Austin site.
Located near the intersection of Burnet Road and West Braker Lane—just south of The Domain, the city-owned McKalla Place location would satisfy Precourt’s desire to place the stadium “in the vibrant urban core where people live, work and play.”
Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said on the council message board she is sponsoring a resolution directing the city manager to conduct a deeper analysis of the site for an MLS stadium. The resolution notes that the McKalla Lane property “could be well-poised for a soccer stadium” because of its location in an urban area close to several nearby businesses, as well as its size, accessibility and “potential for employment opportunities.”
The resolution is posted on the council’s agenda for its March 22 meeting, but discussion of the matter could be delayed. The location is in Council Member Leslie Pool’s district, and Pool will not be present at the March 22 meeting.
In a City Council message board post announcing the resolution, Tovo noted the city-owned property “has required environmental remediation and is currently used as a storage site by Austin Water, Austin Resource Recovery and Public Works.”
The city bought the property in 1995 from Reichhold Chemicals and originally planned to construct the Austin Water Utility North Service Center there. However, according to a 2014 memo from Lauraine Rizer, the city’s officer of real estate services, construction stopped in 2003 “due to an explosion during excavation.”
In December, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department presented a list of eight properties to council for consideration possible stadium sites, including McKalla Place. Recently, some city residents have spoken out against the inclusion of parkland as possible stadium sites, causing Precourt to pull Butler Shores from his list of potential locations.
In a statement released Thursday, Precourt said “we’ve heard the concerns about a possible site for a stadium. Soccer is inclusive and celebratory, so we want to shift the focus onto the long-term benefits of a location that works for everybody.”