Lawsuit stymies Endeavor’s redevelopment of former dairy plant 

Claims city council unlawfully approved rezoning of East Austin site

Lawsuit Targets Endeavor’s Borden Dairy Redevelopment in Austin
Endeavor Real Estate's Kirk Rudy and 71 Strandtman Cove in Austin, TX (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

Litigation has thrown a wrench in Endeavor Real Estate’s plan to redevelop the former Borden Dairy plant in East Austin into a sprawling mixed-use campus.

Neighborhood and advocacy groups are suing Austin City Council, alleging it illegally approved Endeavor’s request to rezone the 21-acre property, at 71 Strandtman Cove, along the Colorado River, Urbanize reported

The lawsuit, filed in Travis County District Court on Friday, claims that the city’s process of rezoning the site from industrial to retail, residential and high-rise buildings is irregular. 

Representatives from the Save Our Springs Alliance, People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources, and the River Bluff Neighborhood Association contend that officials gave special treatment to the property owners when approving redevelopment plans last summer, despite opposition.

Endeavor, led by CEO Kirk Rudy, aims to convert the former dairy plant into a mix of 1,400 apartments, about 400,000 square feet of office space, more than 100,000 square feet of retail and a 220-key hotel. It would be one of the largest developments in East Austin.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The project has been surrounded by controversy since its inception, as the site borders the Colorado River and a 43-acre wildlife preserve. Protesters previously urged the city to delay a rezoning vote until thorough studies could assess the project’s potential effect on the environment, water quality and traffic.

Opponents of the development have argued that the development would increase traffic at the intersection of East Cesar Chavez Street and U.S. 183, which is already a congested area. 

Endeavor is facing a similar challenge with its planned redevelopment of the former Austin American-Statesman site, at 305 South Congress Avenue, into a six-tower mixed-use complex. 

Save Our Springs Alliance, Taxpayers Against Giveaways and former officials sued Austin City Council last summer, alleging that council members acted unlawfully by creating the South Central Waterfront Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, which comprises the former Statesman site. 

—Quinn Donoghue

Read more