Capitol view corridors radiating through east Austin considered by Council

Texas Capitol from east Austin (KXAN Photo)
Texas Capitol from east Austin (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — We’re all familiar with the iconic view of the Capitol from South Congress, the building serving as a “beacon” for Texas. The view from parts of east Austin is something the Austin City Council is now considering preserving as well.

The potential corridors run on Juniper Street, Huston-Tillotson University, the Texas State Cemetery, Lott Park and Rosewood Park.

Council Member Ora Houston reflected on fond memories, seeing the Capitol in full view. “As most people know, I grew up in east Austin and so I had a perfect view from my house on E. 11th Sreet,” she said.

It’s a view she doesn’t want to just be a memory, calling it an equity issue and pointing out, “The majority of the capitol view corridors are west of I-35.”

Carolyn Cornell said she settled in east Austin because of the view. “That is important to the whole community, is to be able to have free view of the Capitol,” she said. “I’m hoping that they will limit the height of the buildings.”

Proposed east Austin Capitol corridors (City Photo)
Proposed east Austin Capitol corridors (City Photo)

It’s the Rosewood Park corridor that has the Downtown Austin Alliance voicing concern.

“There is one, for sure, that runs right through the middle of this redevelopment site, this 14-acre site,” Downtown Austin Alliance CEO DeWitt Peart said, talking about the redevelopment of Central Health’s Brackenridge Campus.

“It would be millions of square feet of new space, mixed use, which would be housing, office, retail, and hundreds of millions of dollars in value. Which means tax revenue to the city,” Peart said. “The unintended consequence is, if you put in these view corridors, you’re going to limit or prohibit the development. So that’s what we’re concerned about, is that we’re losing potential tax revenue.”

Houston insists there was no ill intent with the corridor locations, which the city actually identified back in the 1980s.

“This just starts a process to look at it and see what the implications and impact may be,” she said.

While the Downtown Austin Alliance called the corridor push admirable, Peart said, “Our concern is, at what cost?”

With council’s approval today, the city manager will work to determine that and develop recommendations to extend Capitol View Corridor protections to east Austin. In two weeks, council plans to further discuss the corridor of concern that cuts through Central Health.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s