Cap Metro seeks developer for prime downtown property near train station
The authority issued a request for proposals Tuesday. It has owned the property for nearly two decades.
The Saltillo land runs from Comal Street west to I-35, between East Fifth and East Fourth streets. The site is currently home to the Plaza Saltillo rail station and has tracks that run through the center of the available land. Capital Metro is looking for a developer to remake 10.1 acres of the site so it complements the rail station.
The new project could potentially bring up to 908 residential units and 63,000 square-feet of flex space, according to a development feasibility study cited in Capital Metro documents.
Through the RFP, Capital Metro is asking developers to identify the best use of the land. The authority will score its proposals largely on the revenue gained from the property’s redevelopment – which it has indicated will likely be achieved through a long-term lease, according to documents.
However, Capital Metro is also encouraging developers to include a number of features that benefit the surrounding community. That could mean the area will grow into cultural center for East Austin. Plaza Saltillo has been a focus of the Hispanic community in East Austin for more than a decade. In 1994, a group of East Austin business leaders organized as Ole Mexico received an around $600,000 federal grant to build a Mexican-style plaza that would bring people together and serve as a transit hub.
Recently, Austin City Councilman and Capital Metro Board Chairman Mike Martinez has suggested that a permanent marketplace may do well in the area and could be a nice nod to the neighborhood’s culture.
“This is something that could be very community-centered,” Martinez said of the Saltillo development in an April interview about the potential marketplace.
Developers interested in the property can find a wealth of information about Saltillo’s history and what has been done on the project so far online at the Capital Metro website. More information about how Capital Metro’s vendor contracts work is available online here.
Austin Business Journal