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Seaholm Power Plant Proposals

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The Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin closed in 1989, and in February four finalist were announced for it's redevelopment. All proposals include the preservation of its art deco exterior and its five smokestacks. They also include plans to incorporate the neighboring Union Pacific rail line (which is planned to become a commuter rail line) and all also have underground parking structures.

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The plans and some highlights:

Simmons Vedder & Co

-Turn the power plant into the new home of "Austin City Limits" with performance space, restaurants, and the Texas Music Hall of Fame.

- New buildings on north side of site could house local headquarters for radio stations owned by Emmis Communications and other media outlets with ground floor retail.

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Stratus Properties Inc

-New home for "Austin City Limits" and Texas Music Hall of Fame with retail and restaurant space.

-New outdoor music venue with up to 7,000 seat capasity.

-New building on north & east sides of site for offices and shops.

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Southwest Strategies Group

-Mixed-use project with cultural, retail, restaurant, and gallery space.

-New 9 story 90 unit residential tower.

-New 2 story building to possibly house another cultural institution.

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Faulkner USA

-Turn power plant into new home for Texas Music Hall of Fame with theater and retail space.

-A new building to house "Austin City Limits"

-New 12 story music themed boutique hotel with space for office, retail and restaurants.

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The winning proposal is expected to be announced in late April.

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Southwest Statagies Group has been chosen for the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment. The residential tower has been expanded from 9 to 11 stories. The development team has also been in talks with producers of "Austin City Limits" and the Texas Music Hall of Fame about including them in this project.

From The Austin American-Statesman: NUOaN]UbTTUWUXUTUZT[uUUWU]UVUZU\U]UcTYWYWZV]Full Story

The council also chose a team led by Southwest Strategies Group Inc. to redevelop the closed Seaholm Power Plant.

The company's concept includes putting a Texas Music Hall of Fame in the old power plant, along with stores and performance spaces. The company envisioned using the site as the hub for a commuter rail and other transit.

City leaders see both projects as pivotal in turning the west side of downtown into a vibrant shopping, entertainment, residential and cultural district.

Council members said they were especially excited about the possibilities for Seaholm, with its Art Deco-style facade and waterfront location.

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Site Plan

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Cut away to east

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Power Plant cross-section

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The City of Austin is looking into reducing the size of an Austin Energy substation next to the Seaholm Power Plant that would free up 1.4 acres on the waterfront to be sold and redeveloped. The plan also calls for extending West Ave. a few blocks south, allowing for better connectivity through the area. The substation could not be scaled down until 2008, when a substation in South Austin will have added capacity.

The city is also looking at tearing down the Austin Energy control center in downtown, northwest of City Hall. It is expected to cost $27M to relocated the control center to a new location, but the cost could be offset by the 1.8 acres that could be sold for redevelopment.

Austin American-Statesman: City could sell and redevelop two prime downtown plots

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued the country's first Toxic Substances Control Act "ready for reuse" distinction to the former power plant along Cesar Chavez Street near Town Lake.

With the go ahead to move on the redevelopment, Southwest Stratagies is expected to begin decommissioning the old power plant this summer.

Austin Business Journal: Seaholm gets OK for redevelopment

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The developers hope to have a master development agreement with the city in place within three months and begin work on the project in June. They plan on having a grand opening for at least part of the project on July 4, 2008.

Although still being tweaked, plans for the site include a tower with as many as 20 stories on the northeastern portion holding about 150 residential units atop ground-floor retail; a two-story office building on the site's northwestern corner; and 30,000 to 40,000 square feet of retail space in the cavernous main building that once housed the plant's turbines.

About 1.5 acres of public plazas would serve as a neighborhood park.

The development also will include 60,000 square feet of space for a cultural entity, such as a new home for public TV station KLRU and its "Austin City Limits" music program or a proposed Texas Music Hall of Fame. Rosato said talks are continuing.

Seems like the plans for this project keep getting bigger, the condo tower could now reach 20-stories. :D

Austin American-Statesman: Seaholm's rebirth set for 2008

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The renovated Seaholm Power Plant will meet LEED standards for "green" design by useing sustainable building materials and clean energy elements.

"What's interesting is coming from out of town, I don't necessarily think Austin recognizes what kind of national precedent this project will be. That this is really one of the most unique projects in the country," urban designer Tom Liebel said.

The development team hopes to make the Seaholm project a LEED design, a standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design." The distinction builds in incentives to go green. In return, the development timeline speeds up.

News 8 Austin: Seaholm taking the LEED

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I guess it takes someone from out of town (Tom Liebel) to observe the obvious. While Seaholm will indeed be a unique LEED project, Austin has other noteable 'adaptive re-use' projects that would be 'green' by today's LEED standards. Brown Building Lofts, Avenue Lofts, and Brazos Lofts all could qualify today as 'green' given their respective origins (as office buildings) and thoughtful considerations in the design process to re-invent the structures into the efficient, adaptive re-use projects they are today. What can we say? Austin, as usual, was, and is, ahead of its time....

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A 22-story hotel/condo tower is now planned for the Seaholm redevelopment.

Jeff Trigger, former managing director of the historic Driskill Hotel, will run the 163-room hotel, tentatively called the Seaholm Plaza Hotel.

Trigger, who recently formed a hotel management and consulting company, also will oversee the construction, management and operations of the hotel, which will be built just north of the former power plant.

He emphasized that the hotel "won't be part of a branded chain, or managed by an out-of-state corporation."

Construction could begin next summer and be complete by spring 2009. The Seaholm Plaza Hotel will have 62 condominium units. More info on the Seaholm redevelopment should be released in the next 2-3 months.

Austin American-Statesman: Hotel/condo tower set for Seaholm makeover

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Another article about the Seaholm Plaza Hotel:

The hotel, slated to open in 2009, will feature an Art Deco design to complement the look of the historic power plant building and include meeting and exhibit space both outdoors and in the existing building. Other amenities include landscaped gardens, a health spa and heated pool.

Austin Business Journal: Hotel to complement Seaholm plant

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I hope that the design fits the area. Architectually, this could be one of the most important area developements because of its proximity to town lake. Lets keep it picture perfect down on the river front.

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