Endeavor’s Statesman redevelopment plan hit with another lawsuit

Environmental nonprofit Save Our Springs Alliance alleges open meetings, city charter violations in lawsuit against City of Austin

Endeavor Hit With Another Roadblock in Massive Austin Development
Endeavor's Andy Pastor with rendering of 305 South Congress (Endeavor, Getty)

Endeavor Real Estate’s plan to redevelop the former Austin American-Statesman headquarters on Lady Bird Lake has hit another roadblock.

Environmental nonprofit Save Our Springs Alliance sued the City of Austin, claiming the city’s creation of a planned unit development, or PUD, violated open meetings rules and the city’s charter, the Austin Business Journal reported.

This lawsuit comes after another one that blocked the use of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone financing to pay for infrastructure needed for the 118-acre development. Neighborhood activists won their lawsuit last month, when a judge ruled against the city’s use of a $354 million TIRZ.

Save Our Springs’ lawsuit requests an injunction to stop the city from issuing permits, city fee waivers and “development subsidies contained in the final, Dec. 1, 2022, ordinance for the Statesman PUD.” The suit claims that the city violated the Texas Open Meetings Act and the city charter related to parkland. It also claims the city engaged in “contract zoning to provide special variances to zoning requirements” and that its procedures were inconsistent.  

“The package of development entitlements associated with the Statesman PUD is unprecedented,” said Bobby Levinski, an attorney with the Save Our Springs Alliance. “This PUD goes beyond zoning by essentially adopting a separate code unique only to this property.”

The city is reviewing the lawsuit, city attorney Anne Morgan said.

Endeavor’s proposed project, called 305 South Congress, is slated to include six mixed-use towers, the tallest being about 47 stories. The development would include 1,478 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, a 275-key hotel and 150,000 square feet of retail.

The area around the project, called the South Central Waterfront, is supposed to expand Austin’s skyline across Lady Bird Lake while creating some affordable housing.