Austin: Central Health Brackenridge Campus Receives PUD Zoning
Feature Illustration: An artist rendering of the of the PUD full built-out, facing east by Gensler and McCann Adams Studio.
by Art Benavidez
Austin (Travis County) — The Planning Commission approved Central Health’s zoning request on the former University Medical Center Brackenridge campus during this week’s meeting.
VBX reported in March of 2017 that Central Health had issued a Request for Qualifications for architectural and engineering (A/E) services regarding a mixed use development.
The 14.343-acres property was converted from public (P) to public unit development (PUD) zoning. The site is located at 601 East 15th Street in downtown.
The purpose of the PUD is to establish consistent land use and site development regulations for this site to enable Central Health to provide a pedestrian-oriented development that promotes living, educational, and medical facilities and open space within a planned environment.
The Brackenridge Campus and neighboring downtown districts.
The Environmental Commission approved the project on May 5 with a request that the project achieve an Austin Energy Green Star Building Program rating of three stars or greater whenever possible, along with green space.
Jerry Rusthoven, a case manager with the Housing and Planning Department, said that the last vertical portion of the old hospital has already been demolished.
On December 10, 2019, the commission recommended a code amendment, with an additional condition that 100 residential units be affordable if multifamily residences are built on the property.
The code amendment was scheduled for City Council in 2020, however, the city determined PUD zoning was the best way to accomplish the intent of the code amendment.
The intent of Central Health’s master plan is that the old campus be intensively developed into a mixed-use community where citizens will live, work, learn and play in an environment that encourages innovation.
The site development also calls for the realignment of Red River Street.
Nikelle Meade with the Austin-office of Husch Blackwell, who represented Central Health, said they had agreed with the city to design and construct the realigned Red River Street from the southern boundary of 15th Street to the northern boundary of 12th Street in exchange for a portion of Red River Street’s current path.
Once realigned, the remaining asphalt of Red River Street will become an accessory to Waterloo Park, according to Meade.
The Austin architect offices of Gensler and McCann Adams Studio are on board the project.
City Council is expected to vote on the recommendation at their May 20 meeting.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.