AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin has released a memo explaining the costs and timeline of turning the former HealthSouth physical rehabilitation facility at 1215 Red River St. into an emergency homeless shelter.

Staff estimate that to convert the building to residential use it would cost between $2.5 million and $6.6 million and take 24 to 30 months. Those estimates do not include staffing costs or costs for furniture, equipment, utilities or insurance.

A breakdown of the costs shows the most expensive item is a new HVAC system, estimated to cost between $750,000 and $2 million.

Since no property condition assessment has been done, the full extent of repairs is still unknown.

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Current estimates are based on typical public project costs for older buildings with lead-based paint, asbestos and other issues.

Occupancy could happen in mid to late 2022, according to an updated timeline provided in the memo.

RELATED: After months of controversy, city leaders nix South Austin homeless shelter

The City has also discussed using the facility’s parking garage as storage space for the homeless community. Ken Snipes, the director of Austin Resource Recovery, said it would hold about 300 storage containers.


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