Traffic congestion on Burnet a top concern for North Austin residents over proposed MLS stadium site

McKalla Place off Burnet Road near The Domain is one location Precourt Sports Ventures is considering for a new stadium for a Major League Soccer club.

McKalla Place off Burnet Road near The Domain is one location Precourt Sports Ventures is considering for a new stadium for a Major League Soccer club.

How the proposed Major League Soccer stadium would affect North Austin neighborhoods and roads is a top issue for area residents.

Precourt Sports Ventures approached Austin in 2017 about relocating the Columbus Crew team to Austin and building a stadium on city-owned land.

City staffers are in the midst of preparing a report for City Council due June 1 that analyzes the McKalla site for a potential soccer stadium, whether it is the best use for the site—affordable housing had been considered—and whether MLS is a good fit for Austin.

Representatives from the city of Austin hosted a meeting Tuesday evening for residents in the North Austin Civic Association, which includes homes east of the proposed stadium site at 10414 McKalla Place off Burnet Road, Austin.

“It has viable use but the question is it the highest and best use given the context surrounding it?” said Greg Kiloh, redevelopment project manager for the city’s economic development department.

The 24-acre site is city-owned and previously was a chemical plant. The city acquired the land in 1995 to build a service center for the public works department. The site has been remediated and is suitable for residential development, Kiloh said.

Several residents had questions regarding the city’s transportation plans, especially given the proposed redevelopment of the IBM Broadmoor Campus north on Burnet and two apartment complexes under construction adjacent to the site and a third mixed-use development proposed by Capella Commercial.

When Precourt officially submits a proposal to the city for a stadium, it would likely trigger a traffic impact analysis that would outline what Precourt would need to do to mitigate traffic, Kiloh said.

Precourt attorney Richard Suttle said Precourt would do “elaborate” traffic studies to ensure people would not have to park in neighborhoods. One idea that has been floated is potentially using the parking garages at The Domain and shuttling attendees to the McKalla site, he said.

“[The stadium] would be a complement to the area because it would [generate] off-peak traffic,” Suttle said.

But that raised concerns for NACA resident Martha Dyess.

“If they have interest in using the Domain’s parking, we do not want people crossing Burnet,” she said.

North Austin resident Zenen Jaimes Perez, who grew up in the area and played with the North Austin Soccer Alliance, said he wants to ensure that the city gathers input from the diverse communities surrounding North Lamar Boulevard.

“This is very exciting. I know that a lot of my friends and family and community members very much see this as an asset, but when I speak to them they are not necessarily aware of what’s going on,” he said.

The city is hosting two more events for residents to learn more about the project May 8 at 6 and 7 p.m. at the Northwest Recreation Center, 2913 Northland Drive, Austin. More information will be posted online.

By Amy Denney
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and then senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition and covering transportation. She is now managing editor for the nine publications in the Central Texas area.


MOST RECENT

The Office of Police Oversight released its first comprehensive report detailing its operations though 2019 and 2020 this June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Office of Police Oversight report finds complaints against Austin police officers went up, but discipline fell in 2020

The new report centers on the office's three main functions, including tracking APD officer discipline, reviewing the city's police policies, and engaging with Austin residents.

Volunteers of Austin Vaccine Angels gathered after becoming fully vaccinated. (Courtesy Jodi Holzband)
Grassroots groups aimed at vaccine outreach look toward the future

For the past five months, grassroots volunteer groups have been working to connect thousands of Central Texans to COVID-19 vaccines.

Round Rock ISD plans to spend about $9,265 per student for the 2021-22 fiscal year. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Round Rock ISD adopts FY 2021-22 budget with $17.2M deficit, says gap will be covered by staff turnover

District staff anticipate the deficit being covered with savings from staff turnover and unfilled positions.

Domain Northside
Westlake Dermatology to open Domain Northside clinic later this year

The local dermatology clinic chain will offer skin care treatments and more at this North Austin location.

Washington Prime Group Inc. owns six area shopping centers, including The Arboretum. (Courtesy The Arboretum)
Owner of Austin-area shopping centers files for bankruptcy; entertainment complex coming to Cedar Park and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

The Pflugerville ISD board received an update regarding reducing utility costs during a June 17 meeting. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pflugerville ISD moves to drastically reduce its utility costs

The district currently spends about $3.8 million in utility costs each year.

Photo of a woman and girl walking the trail with the Austin skyline behind them
Travis County commits to electrify fleet, doubles down on climate goals

Commissioners directed staff this week to develop a plan to fully electrify Travis County's fleet of vehicles, a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions for the county.

The Bloomhouse—an 1,100-square-foot home in the hills of West Austin—was built in the 1970s by University of Texas architecture students for fellow student Dalton Bloom. It was featured in the Austin Weird Homes Tour of 2020. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Weird Homes Tour ends; Z’Tejas to close Arboretum restaurant and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Project Connect's proposed Orange Line will run from Tech Ridge, through downtown Austin and to Slaughter Lane. (Rendering courtesy Project Connect)
Project Connect Orange Line design reveals proposed locations for rail stations in North, South Austin

The latest Orange Line design shows potential elevated rail line over I-35, as well as options for the Drag.

Photo of a weird home
Austin's Weird Homes Tour says goodbye—for now

The tour's founders say they are open to a new local operator taking over the event.

The former hotel off I-35 had most recently been used as a COVID-19 homeless Protection Lodge. (Courtesy City of Austin)
East Cesar Chavez encampment residents move into former South Austin hotel

Through Austin's HEAL initiative, residents of an encampment near East Austin's Terrazas Branch Libarary were relocated to a South Austin shelter before that camp is cleared away.