UT to Build $56M Supercomputer; $63M Mixed-Use Project Faces Stiff Opposition

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor A new $56 million project broke ground in North Austin in late October. The University of Texas plans to build 11,000 square feet of space that will host a new computer, called Stampede, located at UT’s [...]

A new $56 million project broke ground in North Austin in late October. The University of Texas plans to build 11,000 square feet of space that will host a new computer, called Stampede, located at UT’s Pickle Research Campus. Construction is expected to be complete in approximately nine months.

UT won the approval from the National Science Foundation for Stampede in September. The supercomputer will be built next fall and will go into full production in January 2013. While the construction of the building will cost $56 million, a sum that will be paid by UT, the supercomputer costs are expected to total over $50 million, according to Austin Business Journal. The publication reported in September that UT had picked a $27.5 million grant from National Science Foundation to build the supercomputer.

DPR Construction is managing the project, while Atkins North America Inc.’s Austin office has been named the architect. The machine is being built in partnership with Dell Inc. and Intel Corp., which will supply the high-performance processors.

In other real estate news, a $63 million mixed-use project in San Marcos, proposed by San Antonio-based Darren Casey, is facing stiff opposition by residents living in the neighborhood. Plans call for 419 units and a total of 1,001 beds, and 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The apartments would be spread between two buildings connected by a sky bridge spanning the development’s entrance, according to San Marcos Mercury.

Although the development will bring around $750,000 in taxes to the city annually and could create between 70 and 90 retail jobs, the project is being largely debated, as opponents believe it will ruin the natural areas on the 14.5-acre tract across from Texas State University’s Health Center. One of the fiercest opponents has even proposed buying the land and turning it into a natural wildlife preserve, as reported by San Marcos Daily Record.

The Planning and Zoning Commission met on December 13 to vote on this matter and according to their decision, the city council can take action. If the project is approved, the project will break ground in March 2012.