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Mixed-use development along Lady Bird Lake now a step closer to reality

The council approved a zoning change for the site of the Austin American-Statesman where developers plan to build several high rises.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council took a step forward with a massive mixed-use development near Downtown Austin on Thursday.

Developers for the current, now vacant, site of KVUE's news partners, the Austin American-Statesman, proposed changing the location's land use designation from industrial to mixed-use. The council approved the change to the 19-acre site.

Located off of South Congress Avenue and Riverside Drive, the Statesman's site sits just south of Lady Bird Lake. According to city documents, the site's developers are planning to use the site to build several highrises for office, retail, hotel and residential space. 

Documents show that more than 1,300 residential units could be constructed on the land, 55 of which would be for affordable housing. Plans also include a 275-key hotel, more than a million square feet of office space and 150,000 square feet dedicated to retail. 

RELATED: Massive mixed-use development planned for Austin American-Statesman site

The proposed development calls for water quality ponds and reconstruction of 1,700 feet of hike and bike trail in addition to more than six acres of public parkland along Lady Bird Lake. A 2019 report also describes plans to include a bat-viewing area near the Congress Avenue bridge. 

According to the Statesman, the site has housed the newspaper since 1980. While the newspaper was no longer printed onsite, editorial offices and other functions still happened in the 330,000 square foot building on the property. The building would be torn down to make way for the new highrises.

The newspaper moved from the South Congress location in 2021 and into MetCenter, a business park near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, per the Statesman. 

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