Development Plans For Downtown Austin “Block 87” Lot

October 5, 2015 by Kate Harrington

As downtown Austin grows, once-sprawling parking lots are becoming a thing of the past. The latest example is a parking lot in downtown Austin owned by The New York-based Episcopal Church, which the church organization wants to turn into a mixed-use development.

The lot at the corner of Trinity and Seventh Streets, known as Block 87, currently holds 281 parking spaces that generate revenue for the church. The church announced earlier this month that it is looking for a development partner to help turn the space into a dense development.

Block 87 Austin Site Aerial
image via block87.com

The Episcopal Church has hired Sayers & Associates as a broker, and has tapped Studio 8 Architects to develop a possible vision of the development that could take shape. Initial proposals would keep parts of the new project at 75 feet to avoid obstruction Capitol views. The development could hold retail, office, and residential space. The church has also asked that at least 60,000 square feet be dedicated for its archives. The lot’s developable space spans about 600,000 square feet.

“We are particularly excited to be part of Austin’s development for the common good of this community,” said Bishop Stacy Sauls, COO of the Episcopal Church. “We are committed to this development being a benefit to all segments of the community and something of which Austin will be proud.”

Studio 8 Architects / block87.com

The Church hopes to select a development team by 2016 and complete the new development by 2018.

“We welcome proposals from those in the development community who appreciate that the path to The Episcopal Church’s Archives must come out of this transaction,” Rev. Canon Lang Lowrey III said in a news release. “This property sits at the crux of three distinct districts: Austin’s creative scene with the Red River District and East Austin, its burgeoning medical district to the north and the tech and hospitality anchors downtown already provides.”

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.