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Austin City Council expected to approve renovations to shelters that total over $500,000

In 2022, the properties experienced forms of vandalism that have resulted in the need for renovations.

AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin is expected to move forward with a vote to spend more than $500,000 on renovations for two City-owned shelters. 

One of the properties expected to receive renovations is Pecan Gardens, formally known as Candlewood Suites, in northwest Austin. The other is the North Bridge shelter off of Interstate 35.

According to Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly (District 6), the city council voted to purchase the Pecan Gardens for $9.55 million in 2021. City leaders say the property will eventually house those who are 55 years old and over, who are chronically homeless and who have a disability.

Next week, the council will take up a resolution that will set aside about $510,000 to revamp the two spaces.

Kelly said she voted against this originally due to the fact that these types of discussions do not take the public's thoughts and concerns into consideration.

"As far as the future of that property, I will continue to explore any and all options available to me as a councilmember to make sure that the residents in the area feel safe and they feel that their voices are heard," Kelly said.

In 2022, the properties experienced forms of vandalism that have resulted in the need for renovations. Kelly explained that these renovations are necessary but also noted that there are still some improvements she hopes to see.

"A high percentage of [the residents] don't have vehicles. So the Gardens will be providing a bus. But I also think it's important to provide transportation to individuals in other ways. If they don't want to utilize that vehicle on the property," Kelly said.

Kelly also announced Thursday that she is urging Interim City Manager Jesús Garza to set up a police substation at Pecan Gardens.

At this time, there is no set timeline as to when Pecan Gardens will be open and running to house and support residents. As far as the services offered at the Pecan Gardens property, Family Eldercare will provide housing and community services, health and wellness, and advocacy and outreach for all those that will live in the development through a contract awarded by the City.

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