Capital Metro Approves Endeavor’s Redevelopment Plan for Plaza Saltillo

Endeavor Real Estate Group will redevelop the 10-acre site into a mixed-use, transit-oriented district.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Plaza Saltillo - View of 5th Street elevation - looking West
Plaza Saltillo – View of 5th Street elevation – looking West

Austin, Texas—East Austin is on the verge of change. A master plan for developing a 10-acre plot west of a MetroRail station and its Plaza Saltillo station was approved recently by the Capital Metro board of directors. Endeavor Real Estate Group will act as the developer.

“This is an important milestone in the long history of redeveloping Plaza Saltillo,” said Capital Metro Board Member Terry Mitchell. “The community has shared excellent input about Plaza Saltillo over the past two decades that have helped shape the overall vision for the project. We’re incredibly pleased to complete this step in the process, and we look forward to continue working with the Endeavor team to create a community that they, Capital Metro and the community will all be proud of.”

The Plaza Saltillo District will include approximately 800 apartments—15 percent of them will be deeply affordable to households that earn up to an average of 50 percent of Austin’s median family income; 110,000 square feet of retail; 120,000 square feet of office space; and at least 2.5 acres of public and private open space.

The Endeavor team plans to finalize development on Plaza Saltillo District in approximately 2.5 years. Throughout the development process, MetroRail Plaza Saltillo station will not be affected and MetroRail service with adjacent MetroBus service should continue as scheduled. Upon completion, more than 1,700 people will live and/or work at Plaza Saltillo District.

Plaza Saltillo Site Plan
Plaza Saltillo Site Plan

Site work has already begun along the six consecutive blocks that make up the development, while Capital Metro completes the realignment of the rail tracks from the middle of the site to along Fourth Street to allow the construction to start. The Endeavor team is finalizing designs and pursuing the development process with the city of Austin, hoping for an early 2017 construction start.

In addition to direct access to MetroRail service and extensive Capital Metro bus service, Endeavor will extend the Lance Armstrong Bikeway from I-35 at Fourth Street to Plaza Saltillo. Pedestrian-only paseos connecting the north with the south will also be part of the development, as well as an expanded B-Cycle bike share program station(s). Moreover, reserved Car2Go parking will be available along with parking below/above-ground facilities. San Marcos Street will be expanded through the project.

“This transit oriented development in the heart of East Austin will provide important revenue and ridership to our overall operations while meeting important social goals for the surrounding community,” said Capital Metro President & CEO Linda Watson. “I want to thank everyone from Capital Metro, the development team and especially the community who so passionately and thoughtfully gave their time and expertise to get us to this moment to begin transferring ideas and sketches from paper onto the site itself.”

“The Plaza Saltillo partnership between Capital Metro and Endeavor exceeds other privately financed developments in Austin for workers’ rights,” said Jason Thumlert, principal at Endeavor Real Estate Group. “With on-site, third-party, independent monitoring and enhanced insurance and safety provisions, the Capital Metro/Endeavor collaboration is unparalleled. Additionally, Endeavor has agreed to voluntarily pay more than the City of Austin’s ‘living wage’ originally set when the project was awarded. This is unprecedented for a public-private project in Austin that is receiving no incentives from the city.”

Renderings courtesy of Capital Metro