Endeavor clears hurdle for Statesman site redevelopment

Plans for six towers on 19 acres at 305 South Congress would be the biggest project Austin has seen in years

Austin Texas City Mayor Steve Adler with 305 South Congress
Austin Texas City Mayor Steve Adler with 305 South Congress (Austin Texas, Getty, Skidmore Owings and Merrill)

Redevelopment of the former Austin American-Statesman headquarters is back on track.

The Austin City Council took the second of three votes needed for Endeavor Real Estate Group to rezone the site of the planned development, the Austin Business Journal reported. The vote is a step toward rezoning the site into a planned unit development.

Endeavor plans to build a complex with six high-rises on 19 acres at 305 South Congress Avenue in what would be the biggest project the city has seen in years. Plans call for 1,378 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of offices, a 275-room hotel and 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The tallest tower will rise 524 feet, or 47 stories.

The second reading of the plan was approved in a 7-1-2 vote with Mayor Pro-Tem Alison Alter opposing and Council members Ann Kitchen and Mackenzie Kelly abstaining. Kathie Tovo wasn’t present for the vote.

“At this point, I am not comfortable voting for it,” Alter said at the meeting.

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The project needs a third reading and vote from the Council to secure the rezoning. Concerns include affordable housing.

Endeavor has promised to market 55 of the residential units for people earning 80 percent of the median family income. Housing advocates want the property to offer 10 percent of the units at below-market prices rather than the 4 percent on the table. The developers propose paying a $23 million fee to the city in lieu of affordable housing.

The land is owned by members of the Cox family of the Atlanta-based media conglomerate. The family bought the site from Cox Media Group in 2015.

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— Victoria Pruitt