Developer weighs options after final Plaza Saltillo OK
In marathon council meeting, executives get option to build higher.
Thursday was about to turn into Friday, and the Plaza Saltillo development was in trouble.
Austin City Council members were groggy and, in some cases, genuinely angry. Endeavor Real Estate Group executives were quietly frantic, looking at their huge costs in pursuing and planning the 11-acre East Austin project potentially flushed by an amendment from Council Member Kathie Tovo that would require about a dozen more two-bedroom units in the development’s design.
And Capital Metro officials were watching their years of effort to germinate a project on the former rail yard, owned by the transit agency since the 1990s, suddenly in trouble.
The neighborhood opponents of Endeavor — who contend the development plan for the area just east of Interstate 35 has too few affordable, family-friendly two-bedroom apartments, and too much height in a proposed 125-foot office building — were seeing their advocacy possibly pay off. Capital Metro, it appeared, might have to start over and find another developer and another design.
Michele Hausman, a lobbyist for Endeavor, walked to the lectern and was recognized by Mayor Steve Adler.
“With the amendment that just passed, the project cannot be built,” she said bluntly, then returned to her seat.
After a few minutes of the council scrambling rhetorically as the import of the situation sunk in, Hausman returned to suggest another amendment reducing Tovo’s requirement for added two-bedroom units. That amendment passed narrowly — 6-5 —