Capital Metro will pick developer to transform Plaza Saltillo in East Austin

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AUSTIN (KXAN) –CapMetro in the midst of developing a major transportation project in an underdeveloped part of Austin, on Wednesday they’re looking for feedback from the public.

The Plaza Saltillo development project covers undeveloped blocks on 11 acres on East 4th Street and 5th Street from Comal Street to Interstate 35. Plans include creation of green spaces, and construction of condos and stores in the area.

The public hearing, scheduled for noon on Thursday, May 14 will give the community the opportunity to check out the four developers who want to take on the project.

Linda Watson, president and chief executive officer of the CapMetro Transportation Authority, told KXAN neighborhood input has been key in this project.

“We have a really good sense for what the community is interested in seeing here,” Watson said. “They had a significant role in helping us define that.”

CapMetro will select a developer by the end of May and construction could start late 2014.

Plaza Saltillo served as Austin’s train depot for 100 years until it was abandoned in the 1980s. CapMetro purchased the property in 1995 with plans to incorporate it into future light rail service. In 1997, Capital Metro leased one acre to the City of Austin for Plaza Saltillo, a Mexican-style plaza named for Austin’s sister city Saltillo, Coahuila in Mexico.

Part of this transformation project is designed to increase MetroRail ridership, and help bring new revenue to this section of Austin.
The four firms CapMetro is considering are Argyle Residential/Cypress Real Estate Advisors, Endeavor Real Estate Group, Riverside Resources and Saltillo Collaborative.

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