715 East Eighth Street in Austin (Wikimedia)

The downtown Austin real estate market is so vibrant that even the police department can profit from it.

The Texas capital is considering whether to decommission the five-story Modernist police headquarters, built in 1982, at 715 East Eighth Street, the Austin Monitor reported. Demolition or creative reuse is on the table for the move, freeing up 2.5 acres of prime real estate downtown.

A recent Urban Land Institute Austin competition produced two proposals, the outlet reported. One, builder Gehan Homes, pitched a $ 200 million project with ground-level retail and two-story affordable housing that would involve $ 20 million in tax credits, a studio d ‘registration and a city-owned event venue. It would include 400 parking spaces and five floors of offices at market price.

A team from investment firm Hawkeye Partners presented plans for a mixed-use project named Swante Palm, for one of the early immigration leaders in Austin. This plan includes 266 multi-family units, of which more than 100 are affordable. It also offered 75,000 square feet of retail, 20,000 square feet of office space and a top-floor event hall.

Hawkeye said a developer could buy the site out of town at $ 385 per square foot, using tax credit programs to get $ 14 million in seed funding. This plan includes the creation of a $ 2.5 million assistance program for minority-owned businesses to open in the new facility.

Both teams stressed the importance of bringing a diversity of communities to the site in their plans.

The corporate headquarters was the site of a number of protests in 2020 and is adjacent to I-35, a cove and several downtown neighborhoods undergoing redevelopment. The Austin Homeless Resource Center and associated businesses and services are also nearby. Part of the property sits in a floodplain and comes with a 135-foot height restriction to preserve the view of the Capitol.

[Austin Monitor] – Cindy Widner

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