Waco: City Accepting Proposals to Redevelop Former Stadium Site
Featured Photo (above): This 2013 photo shows the now-vacant Floyd Casey Stadium site, former home of the Baylor Bears. The city of Waco wants ideas for mixed-use development of the former stadium footprint and surrounding acreage. Image: Google Streets
by Edmond Ortiz
Waco (McLennan County)–The city of Waco is fielding ideas for the redevelopment of the former Floyd Casey Stadium site at 3088 Burnett Ave. on the city’s south side.
Upon its opening in 1950 west of Interstate 35 and north of Texas 396, the stadium was primarily home field of the Baylor Bears football team. The team relocated in 2014 when the university opened McLane Stadium much closer to campus.
Baylor demolished Floyd Casey Stadium in 2016 before the city acquired the property. City Council now has 105 acres at the former stadium site and would like to see it redeveloped by the private sector.
The city issued a Request For Proposals on Aug. 1. Developers have until 2 p.m. Nov. 22 to submit their proposal.
According to the RFP, the site consists of multiple parcels that include one parcel of 56.97 acres, one parcel of 28.68 acres, one parcel of 5.18 acres, and 38 small parcels of less than one acre.
The properties are designated for mixed use flex, office industrial flex, and open space, with the 56.97-acre parcel zoned as single-family residence district.
The 28.68- and 5.18-acre parcels are zoned general industrial district, with the remaining smaller parcels zoned single-family residence district, office residence district, and office district.
The stadium grounds are surrounded by older single family housing stock that was mostly constructed in the post-World War II era (1945-1970). The only existing commercial retail zone that it touches is a narrow section of SH 396 (South Valley Mills Drive). Other than that, there is a three-to-four block segment of Dutton Avenue that has some industrial and institutional uses just north of where Dutton intersects SH 396. It might possibly serve as a beachhead for new commercial development.
The city anticipates a zone change to Planned Unit Development (PUD) will be needed in order to accomplish the desired development of the site, the RFP states.
City leaders have said redeveloping the Floyd Casey site will be a prime opportunity at better connecting the area and Mary Avenue to nearby neighborhoods, adjacent public spaces, and with central Waco. They also want the potential redevelopment to be compatible with Waco Comprehensive Plan 2040.
Waco’s prospective mixed-use redevelopment site around the former Floyd Casey Stadium site includes four acres in the suburb of Beverly Hills. Image: City of Waco
The city offered several suggestions to prospective developers, including:
Creation of a “unique living environment not generally available in other neighborhoods in the greater Waco area such as neighborhood centers that combine commercial and mixed density residential development that provide mixed income housing opportunities;
Any multifamily and single-family residential development here, the city states, should serve a range of incomes and architectural styles, including town homes and garden homes, in new walkable, connected neighborhoods.
Development of shared open space, cooperative housing and mixed-use communities, linked by new sidewalks, bike paths, parks/community gardens and transportation hubs is encouraged;
Redevelopment should be designed to serve mainly “local needs, encouraging the grouping of local-serving business uses with safe convenient vehicular and pedestrian access, so that traffic congestion will be alleviated. Options include but are not limited to retail sales, personal service shops, studios, custom trades and sales offices.”
Redevelopment should be respectful of nearby existing, older single-family neighborhoods in terms of architectural character, construction materials, scale, massing and the manner in which the new buildings engage streets and sidewalks;
Redevelopment should capitalize on the property’s proximity to nearby houses of worship, university neighborhood, Austin Avenue neighborhood, downtown business district, as well as parks, recreational amenities and open spaces such as the South Waco Community Center, the Hart-Patterson Track Complex and open space along Clay Avenue.
The deadline for prospective developers to submit questions to the city is 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Submitted proposals will be evaluated between Nov. 25, 2019 and Feb. 21, 2020.
Tentatively, a final selection will be made and submitting developers will be notified of an award by Feb. 28, 2020.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.