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Why has the billion-dollar Brodie Oaks Shopping Center project moved so slowly?

The city council is still in discussions about approving a $1 billion mixed-use project to redevelop the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center in southwest Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — After months of back and forth, the Austin City Council is still looking at plans to build a $1 billion mixed-use project in southwest Austin.

The proposed redevelopment of the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center is still facing pushback from environmental groups, as some concerns have grown about potential runoff from the development going into the nearby Barton Springs Greenbelt. Groups are also concerned about the height of the buildings. 

Plans to revamp the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center have been in the works since 2020, but there hasn't been much movement due to the concern about how development could affect the greenbelt.

The development project would create over 1,000 residential units, including 200 affordable housing units, 200 hotel rooms, 140,000 square feet for retail and 1.2 million square feet of office space. Developers also plan to include more than 13 acres of both public and private parks.

"The central green is the core of the Brodie Oaks redevelopment, surrounded by restaurants and activated with recreational programming,” said Rebecca Leonard with the planning company Lionheart Places. “Central greenway is anticipated to be the center of Brodie's vitality."

“Skyscrapers are not affordable. They're not climate friendly, they're not required for public transit. They need to be reduced,” said Bill Bunch, executive director of the Save Our Springs Alliance.

On Thursday, councilmembers approved a move to allow the area to have surfaces that don't absorb rainfall like sidewalks and parking lots. However, the council is waiting until July 20 to talk more about a larger move that's related to zoning rules for the property.

Leonard also gave the council a potential timeline for the project. Phase I permitting could start by 2024, Phase I construction could be between 2025 to 2026 and Phase I operation could start by 2027.

Boomtown is KVUE's series covering the explosive growth in Central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, head to KVUE.com/Boomtown.

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