City will delay issuing proposals for redevelopment of Ryan Drive property in North Central Austin

Austin Energy is currently using the city-owned property at the intersection of Ryan Drive and Justin Lane as a warehouse facility.

Austin Energy is currently using the city-owned property at the intersection of Ryan Drive and Justin Lane as a warehouse facility.

Austin City Council passed a resolution in November 2018 directing staff to start the process of exploring the redevelopment of a property in North Central Austin currently serving as a warehouse for Austin Energy.

The resolution called for staff to issue a request for proposals by Aug. 31 on the site located at 6909 Ryan Drive, near the intersection of Justin Lane and North Lamar Boulevard—meaning staff would solicit plans from companies to redevelop the warehouse property.

The directive from council asked staff to prioritize a number of community goals in issuing those requests, including providing mixed-use development on the site; making a space for the creative community; maximizing parkland and affordable housing; and including amenities for pedestrians and bikers.

That Aug. 31 deadline set by council in November 2018 has come and gone, and city staff say they need more time to issue the request for proposals.

In an Aug. 29 memo, Economic Development Director Veronica Briseño said that since the nearby Austin Fire station at Reese Lane and Cullen Avenue is set to undergo renovations, meaning the fire department will have to temporarily make use of the city-owned property on Ryan Drive until those renovations are finished.

In addition, Austin Energy is still working on finding a new warehouse facility in North Central Austin to allow the department to move its warehouse away from the site, and the Economic Development department will soon start working with a consultant to gather more data on the site—including community feedback and financial analysis.

Because of those mitigating circumstances, Briseño said in the memo, staff will need to push back the date toissue the request for proposals to spring or early summer of 2020.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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