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.

Meet Movability’s Newest Members!

Movability has a new membership program, and we’re excited to be working with employers, service providers, and individuals that all want to find better ways to commute and help Austin’s economy thrive. We’re happy to be welcoming several new members on board this month! Read on to learn who they are, what they do in Austin, and why they see being mobility leaders as so important for our community.

  • Box is an enterprise content management platform that solves simple and complex challenges, from sharing and accessing files on mobile devices to sophisticated business processes like data governance and retention. Having happy, healthy employees is one of Box’s biggest concerns, and with that in mind the company joined the Mobility Challenge Class of 2017. Box hopes to find solutions to help combat one of the largest sources of stress for folks who work downtown: traffic. The company wants to explore all alternative solutions for commuting and be able to bring them to its employees. As a downtown company, it is also very important to Box to help make a positive impact on Austin’s worsening traffic problem.

We’re also thrilled to say howdy to three renewing members: Cirrus Logic, Gray Engineering, and Cushman & Wakefield Austin.

  • Cirrus Logic provides innovative audio signal products for the world’s top smartphones, tablets, digital headsets, wearables, and emerging smart home applications.
  • Since 1989, Gray Engineering has provided engineering solutions for infrastructure, water, residential, commercial, and industrial development in Austin and Central Texas.
  • Cushman & Wakefield provides strategic commercial real estate solutions in Austin. Over the past 33 years, Cushman & Wakefield Austin (previously operating as Oxford Commercial) has grown to employ nearly 40 team members who provide expertise in all of the company’s integrated services.

Together they are leading the way in shaping a vibrant, healthy, and successful Austin!

If Movability membership looks like it would make sense for you or your employees, learn more about joining here!


New Bike Safety System in the Works

The growth in Austin’s bike network has been a boon to cyclists who want to get around on two wheels, but bike crashes do still happen – particularly at night.

A City of Austin Public Works employee, Robin Camp, is setting out to reduce those crashes and hopefully save lives. Camp, whose brother was hit and killed by a drunk driver while he was riding a bicycle, has proposed a plan to light up bike lanes.

The City’s Idea Accelerator program gave Camp $8,000 in funding to develop the idea. A prototype Camp’s been working on has embedded lights in the ground at intersections. Those lights would then start to flash as a cyclist in the approaches the intersection, lighting up the rider and alerting drivers that a cyclist is there.

Camp told KXAN that the team developing the system will study data for another month, and hopefully have an Austin pilot program in place within a year.