Statesman redevelopment getting closer to transforming skyline at Lady Bird Lake

The south shore of Lady Bird Lake is closer to seeing a skyline with residential, commercial and hotel space.

Known as the Statesman planned unit development, the proposal for the South Central Waterfront includes more than 1,300 apartments or condominium units, a 275 room hotel and 1.65 million square feet of office and retail space.

The project plans involve demolishing the Austin American-Statesman’s property at 305 S. Congress Ave. and are inching near finalization after years of consideration.

The Austin Planning Commission unanimously approved a proposal for the 19-acre site Wednesday. The next steps involve having the plan reviewed by city staff again and it will likely appear before Austin City Council in the coming months.

The redevelopment is coming from Endeavor Real Estate Group. It has boasted enhancing connections to and along the waterfront and establishing a lively pedestrian environment. It’ll include dedicated space for a Project Connect Blue Line rail station.

For additional entitlements like additional stories of height, there have been talks of public benefits like parkland, a new bat observation area and an extension of Barton Springs Road. Affordable housing is another benefit that’s been discussed and the group has said 4% of all on-site residential units will be affordable or have a large fee-in-lieu component for ownership units.

It’s unclear how long the project will take, but the group has anticipated constructing it in three phases over a 12-15 year period.

“As the city continues to evolve, 305 South Congress will complement Austin’s waterfront and the vision for the South Central Waterfront District,” the group has said.

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