WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — Renovation of a former Candlewood Suites hotel into a facility for people experiencing homelessness in Austin could begin this month.
The City of Austin Homeless Strategy Division said the project is pending approval from the Department of Housing and Urban Development but is expected to begin in Q4 of 2022.
Completion of the project, called Pecan Gardens, is expected approximately six months after renovations begin and will include 78 units for permanent supportive housing.
Back in June, the Austin City Council approved a contract with a company for the renovation located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd. in Austin. The contract with Family Eldercare was for a one-year term with a total to not exceed about $3.9 million.
Located in a part of Austin that lies in Williamson County, the project led to a lawsuit by the County to halt the project. Williamson County commissioners previously said the project wasn't discussed with them.
County Judge Bill Gravell also shared photos sent to him by residents living near the hotel, who claim the development has brought crime to the neighborhood. Austin Mayor Steve Adler pushed back saying Austin isn't at fault for crime in the area.
Austin City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly in May reported that first responders were called to the vacant hotel after an alarm had been activated. Officials then found out people had been living inside the hotel, and that damage spanned "nearly every room."
One neighbor who owns a restaurant next to the hotel told KVUE back in June that she was concerned by the break-ins and worried about her business as the plan moved forward.
The City of Austin Homeless Strategy Division said new residents would be welcomed to Pecan Gardens after the renovations are completed.