The Planning Fee Tuesday really helpful Deliberate Unit Improvement (PUD) zoning for the tract that was previously dwelling to Brackenridge Hospital, bringing one of many greatest downtown redevelopment initiatives one step nearer to design and building.

Proprietor Central Well being is planning to lease its 14-acre web site at 601 E. fifteenth St. to a developer, giving the well being care supplier a long-term earnings supply. “This property is fairly essential to Central Well being and its future earnings to have the ability to carry out its mission,” stated Nikelle Meade, agent for Central Well being. The town, with the help of Central Well being, initiated the PUD zoning request. The location is presently zoned Public Use (P). 

The entire northeast quadrant of downtown, dubbed the Innovation District, is booming with new growth. Two towers are deliberate on the HealthSouth web site, which is adjoining to the Central Well being PUD, and three different towers are already below building close by. On prime of that, Waterloo Park is scheduled to reopen in August after $150 million in renovations. 

Central Well being is looking for PUD zoning that’s practically an identical to Central Enterprise District (CBD) zoning, which means no peak or impervious cowl limits. However as a result of it’s nonetheless early within the course of, Meade stated, “We don’t have any thought but how the event will lay out on the location.”

No matter finally ends up there may be more likely to be dense and tall. “The entire thought behind redeveloping this tract is to have the ability to maximize density,” Meade stated, which can “maximize the income that Central Well being will generate.” 

The principle distinction between CBD zoning and the requested PUD zoning includes loosening flooring space ratio maximums to permit taller and denser buildings. CBD zoning caps FAR at 8:1 and affords further FAR by way of the Downtown Density Bonus program. The zoning for the PUD, nonetheless, would enable as much as 25:1 FAR and not using a density bonus and limitless FAR with a bonus. 

The challenge to this point has taken a winding route by way of town’s approval course of. Metropolis Council outlined its targets for redevelopment of the location in 2014. 5 years later, in 2019, the Planning Fee really helpful Central Well being’s and town’s request so as to add an overlay atop the prevailing zoning as a way to define the location’s growth requirements. Council then modified its thoughts on the overlay, voting as a substitute to provoke a PUD rezoning course of with the very same web site growth requirements as outlined within the overlay request. Solely now has the case returned to the Planning Fee. 

Commissioners supported the challenge, however wished to make it possible for the redevelopment created probably the most walkable, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes potential. 

The applicant has requested that sure pedestrian enchancment requirements connected to CBD zoning be waived, defined Jerry Rusthoven with the Housing and Planning Division, as a result of complete compliance with such necessities will not be potential.

“I absolutely anticipate that they might be doing pedestrian-oriented makes use of for a lot of the property,” Rusthoven assured the fee. “I imply, it simply makes financial sense downtown.” He additionally stated that the event “shall be doing Great Streets, simply not 100%.”

Central Well being can be paying to realign Pink River Road between twelfth and fifteenth streets – an necessary metropolis mobility purpose that may add pedestrian house alongside the previous proper of method alongside Waller Creek.

Regardless of Rustoven’s assurances, Commissioner James Shieh motioned so as to add sure pedestrian and streetscape requirements to the PUD. He additionally moved to second the Environmental Commission’s recommendation that every one buildings adjust to 3-star Austin Vitality Inexperienced Constructing Requirements. 

The fee voted 10-0-2 in favor of Shieh’s movement. Commissioners Awais Azhar and Joao Paulo Connolly abstained, contemplating the extra pedestrian necessities pointless. 

Council is scheduled to vote on the case on Could 20. 

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