'Lusterless' Austin neighborhood to get spark back with new developments

Development planned near ACC Highland

AUSTIN - A neighborhood that many say has lost its luster is now beginning to see a revitalization.

After Highland Mall closed down, many who live in Highland said the atmosphere wasn't the same.

"When I first moved here, there was a lot of good company and what not," said Monica Sanchez, who has lived in the neighborhood for 21 years. "[A] very good neighborhood."

"A lot of things have moved away," Highland resident Anthony Kirby said.

In 2005, Highland Mall closed down. In an attempt to breathe life into the area, Austin Community College purchased the property and started converting it into ACC Highland.

"I think that's great that more students and more people can get more resources," Sanchez said.

So far, the campus serves close to 6,000 students, but it will expanding soon.

In the past month, they've opened up a state of the art bioscience incubator. And in the next three years a workforce innovation center, STEM simulator lab, digital media center and culinary and hospitality center will be built.

On top of that, RedLeaf Properties has purchased 4.5 acres right next to campus.

"This will add places to live, work, [and] shop. That was a destination and a gathering place for this region of the city," RedLeaf Senior Vice-President Bryan Kaminski said.

It will sit right next to ACC Highland and include a 300 unit apartment complex and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Kaminski said the apartment complex should be ready for move in by late summer. Construction on the shops and restaurants will start this fall. 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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