Cap Metro Breaks Ground on Plaza Saltillo

On June 28 Capital Metro and its partners at Endeavor Real Estate and Columbus Realty celebrated the groundbreaking of the Plaza Saltillo District. Braving the warm, muggy weather, about 200 people gathered at Plaza Saltillo next to the MetroRail station and directly adjacent to a 10-acre tract of land that’s laid empty since the mid-1990s.

It won’t be empty for much longer; when construction is through, the development will feature 800 residential apartment units (almost 20 percent of which will be reserved as affordable housing), more than 110,000 square feet of retail space, 140,000 square feet of office space, an acre-and-a-half of open space with public art and access to a range of transportation options. In addition to MetroRail and MetroBus services, the Plaza Saltillo District will be located right along an extended Lance Armstrong Bikeway and two historical walking paths (the Tejano Music Legends Trail and the Tejano Healthy Walking Trail). It will also have access to Austin B-cycle stations and Car2Go vehicles.

“The Plaza Saltillo District is the realization of a shared vision of literally hundreds of talented and dedicated people, and reflects more than 20 years of input from surrounding neighborhoods, businesses, elected leaders, and community stakeholders,” said Linda Watson, president and CEO of Cap Metro. “We are very grateful for all of their efforts in the creation of this future vibrant and transit-rich neighborhood that will help address two of the region’s biggest problems: mobility and affordability.”

Pio Renteria, a member of both the transit agency’s board of directors and the Austin City Council, also spoke. He and East Side resident Johnny Limon talked with passion about the history and the people of East Austin. In his dual roles, Renteria was instrumental in getting the project through the final steps of the approval process. Limon, too, worked for years leading a community group dedicated to finding a solution for the abandoned railyard that will be home to the development.

Remediation work on the former brownfield site has already started and construction of the underground parking structure will begin shortly. In all, the project is expected to take about 30 months.

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