AUSTIN -- The papers are signed and the work will soon begin at the iconic Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin. Crews are redeveloping the entire property.
Artist's renderings were released Tuesday when the City of Austin closed the deal with developers. The project includes the plant itself and the surrounding five acres. Developers are incorporating a mixed-use complex with shops and housing.
There are plans for a 30-story, 309-unit apartment tower and another 60,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space. Developers estimate the build-out will take about two and a half years to complete.
According to the developer, crews will begin work immediately on the power plant and the parking garage. Afterward they will begin putting up the retail and residential towers. One of the most anticipated projects in the complex is the new Trader Joe's grocery store.
“I think it's exciting, I think there is a big need for that and I think it will be a big hot spot in Austin,” said Austin shopper Tracy Johnson.
"I think it's a very good match for a market like Austin. They focus on high quality products at good prices. It's been shown here with Central Market and Whole Foods that Austin has a strong group of consumers interested in those products," Dr. Wayne Hoyer with the UT McCombs School of Business said.
The plant has been sitting unused since the 1990s when the city shut down power operations. However, residents didn't want to see the iconic building disappear from Austin’s skyline. Developers are working to maintain the structure. They say there will be changes, but the building should still have that open, industrial feel. Developers also agreed to make sure that the public will still have access to the main hall.