AUSTIN — Next week, we could find out if Major League Soccer comes to Austin.
On Thursday, the council decided to postpone the vote on what they are going to do with the plot of land at McKalla Place to Wednesday, Aug. 15.
In early June, the city council received a stadium plan from Precourt Sports Ventures, the owner of the Columbus Crew MLS team.
PSV released the following statement on the council's decision to delay their vote.
"We respect the City’s desire to take more time to consider this important project, and we will continue to work with them over the coming days. We wish to extend our sincere thanks to City Council and City staff for their efforts as we collectively work toward a decision on August 15.
This step would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Austin soccer supporters, Central Texas soccer clubs and their families, local businesses and chambers of commerce, and the countless volunteers who have worked to bring MLS to the Austin community.”
Since then, the City has received five submissions from developers with alternative plans, many, that don't include a stadium. The council heard presentations on those five submissions at a special called meeting Tuesday.
WATCH TUESDAY'S MEETING HERE:
KVUE talked to one of the five organizations that submitted a plan to city council about what makes their site different.
"This is going to be focused on Austinites for Austinites," said Marcus Whitfield with the Whitfield/Chen Development Team.
Their development is called "McKalla District."
"Our project is specifically oriented for affordable housing," Whitfield said. "As well as interfacing with the local community to include artists, multiple age generation groups, musicians, all-walks-of-life Austinites."
Their development will have seven mid-rise buildings and one high rise. It will have more than 800 affordable units and nearly 200 family-friendly ones, along with 250 senior units.
"The project cost is approximately $525 million," said Whitfield.
"As a team of Austinites, we believe that this project really is an opportunity to help ensure that what gets built there is an asset for the entire community," said John Chen with the Whitfield/Chen Development Team.
That is how much Whitfield and Chen's team will spend.
"Originally, I liked the idea. I thought it'd be cool. I just don't see how - I just think it's going to be more problematic and potentially even dangerous." said Ross Kriger, who lives in a house just behind the plot of land.
Kriger said safety is a big concern.
"You don't need people walking around – fans walking around here. That's definitely, this is not a walker-friendly necessarily area," said Kriger.
KVUE spoke with another firm called Land Design Studio and Forge Craft Architecture, who are also planning a mixed-use development.
"As this area of North Austin develops, it's important that we develop in such a way that allows for people to live here and allows for a wide range of Austinites to live here," said Scott Ginder, founder of Forge Craft. "So we think by providing this we can tend to many different facets of Austin life."
Whitfield and Chen said they are not against soccer but think there is a greater need for housing.
"This site is probably not ideal for soccer, but it is ideal for what we've put together," said Whitfield.
If Whitfield and Chen's proposal is eventually approved, they say it would take about four-and-a-half years for their development to be completed.