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Statesman redevelopment project delayed from affordable housing debate

The Austin City Council postponed the item during its Thursday meeting.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council postponed plans that could bring affordable housing to South Congress Avenue. 

The Council wants more time to consider what will become of the old Austin-American Statesman headquarters off of Lady Bird Lake.

The redevelopment of the former headquarters has previously been delayed due to a debate regarding affordable housing. There are also concerns over what City subsidies the project will get. 

The Council will revisit the matter on Oct. 13.

In a report from the Austin Business Journal, they found that there has been a rezoning request debate between Endeavor Real Estate Group LLC and the Austin City Council over the Statesman's former headquarters. 

Endeavor is the company that is trying to renovate the building and turn it into six towers that would vary in height from 215 feet to 535 feet. These buildings, which would be called "305 South Congress," would create upwards of 1.5 million square feet for offices, 1.6 million square feet for residents, 220,000 square feet for hotels and 150,000 square feet for retail.

RELATED: Affordable housing units at center of dispute for new project at Statesman site

The project on the 18.9 acres has been postponed several times. The Statesman vacated this property in 2021 and moved to the MetCenter business park near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and the lot has been mostly empty since. 

The reason the property hasn't been developed on is because of the need for affordable housing in Austin. Endeavor has set aside only 4% of the residential units for affordable housing, which translates to only 55 units in the building. The City has been pushing back to have 10% of the units be set aside for affordable housing, which translates to 137 units out of the total of 1,378 units in the building.

The report states that there is an already existing ordinance for new projects under development to have a 10% requirement for affordable housing.

Read more from Endeavor's attorney and the project as a whole here.


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