It’s been nearly two years since Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority selected Endeavor Real Estate Group and Dallas-based Columbus Realty Partners Ltd. to develop the 10-acre Plaza Saltillo site. On March 21, Capital Metro’s board made it formal, approving in a 7-0 vote a master development agreement with Endeavor.
The master development plan includes 110,000 square feet of retail space, 120,000 square feet of office space, a 1.8-acre public park, and 800 residential units – 15 percent of which will be reserved for renters earning 50 percent of Austin’s area median family income and for seniors over age 55.
The Lance Armstrong Bikeway will also be extended from I-35 and 4th Street to Plaza Saltillo.
Capital Metro, which owns the Plaza Saltillo land, issued a request for proposals from developers in 2014.
Endeavor has said construction will begin in early 2017, and will take about two years.
“This transit-oriented development in the heart of East Austin will provide important revenue and ridership to our overall operations while meeting important social goals for the surrounding community,” said Capital Metro President and CEO Linda Watson in a statement. “I want to thank everyone from Capital Metro, the development team and especially the community who so passionately and thoughtfully gave their time and expertise to get us to this moment when we can begin transferring ideas and sketches from paper onto the site itself.”
Capital Metro and Endeavor also agreed on March 21 to an amendment to pay construction workers on the project $13.03 per hour. Endeavor had originally proposed paying workers $11 an hour, and later agreed to increase that to $11.39 per hour, but the Workers Defense Project advocated bringing the pay up to the $13.03 figure in order to be in step with the $13 per hour living wage that City Council approved in October.
A second amendment to the approved agreement will give Capital Metro a role in selecting a third party to monitor the project.