IBM Broadmoor campus redevelopment could make it an Amazon HQ2 front-runner in Austin, developer says


The IBM Corp. Broadmoor campus could be a front-runner among properties proposed in Austin’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2, said William Redd, executive vice president and senior managing director of Austin and Metro DC regions for Brandywine Realty Trust.

“We’re still waiting to hear back [from Amazon]. There’s not a lot of places that could accommodate it. The Domain area is one of them,” Redd said following a presentation to the Gracywoods Neighborhood Association on Tuesday.

The property occupies 1 million square feet on 66 acres along Burnet Road just east of The Domain. Brandywine Realty Trust, the Pennsylvania-based real estate firm that bought the campus, plans to redevelop it into a mixed-use property that would include office and residential space as well as two hotels, said Dave Anderson of the Drenner Group, the firm representing the developer.

With Amazon’s bid requests including a desire for close proximity to public transportation as well as up to 8 million square feet of space, the Broadmoor campus development site appears capable of supporting the online commerce company’s demands.

Developers plan to request a zoning change from Austin City Council to allow for taller structures to be built on the site, which would expand the property’s capacity, Anderson said.

Under current land development code, Anderson said the property could still fit up to 8 million square feet.

“Brandywine or anybody else could redevelop this site, under the existing North Burnet Gateway Plan to be 8 million square feet, so its not even being maximized from a pure numbers perspective,” Anderson said.

Developers are also working with Capital Metro to incorporate an additional rail station on the property beyond the Kramer lane station as well as bus stops within the campus. In collaboration with the Austin Urban Trails Project, which is planning a trail connecting Braker Lane to the Kramer Rail Station, developers hope to add connections along the trail to the new rail station and the rest of the campus.

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  1. No way Amazon is going to put 50K employees in a place where the surface roads are so bad, where there are no incentives, and where there is no respectable public transit. They’re not all going to fit on that excuse for a commuter rail.

  2. I agree with Bob! They are dorks if they think Amazon is coming here! Austin is no way suitable for Amazon!

  3. David B Smithson

    I don’t see the upside for Austin in having Amazon move here. Our unemployment rate is already low, so this would mean a net increase in population from elsewhere. Our housing costs are already high; such an influx of highly-paid people would only drive housing cost even higher. Great if you’re selling to leave, not so great if you’re trying to buy.

    Our transportation infrastructure is already at capacity. We can’t build enough roads to handle the demand. And we don’t seem to have the political will to spend the money it would take to build a comprehensive rail system.

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t see why this would be good for Austin.

  4. My guess is that Amazon coming to Austin would actually mean the metro area. I think it is more likely the campus to be in one of the surrounding cities that offer better incentives, roads that are not already overcrowded and room for people to enjoy what central Texas is outside of Austin.

Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.
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