Category: 
RFP


Location: Austin, TX

Redevelopment of the St. John Site

RFP Submittal Date: 01/14/2021

LINK to REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: https://www.austintexas.gov/financeonline/account_services/solicitation/...

The City of Austin, through the Economic Development Department, has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the 19‐acre, city-owned St. John Site located at St. Johns Avenue and Interstate 35 (906 E St. Johns Avenue/7309 North IH-35). The Site provides the opportunity to partner with the City of Austin to establish a mixed-use, mixed-income district in the heart of the St. John neighborhood.

Located within the “triangle” of US 290, US 183, and Interstate 35, the Site was originally acquired in the late 2000’s by the City for new public safety facilities. A decade later, Austin City Council directed staff to reconsider future uses of the Site and to work with the community, with assistance from the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Design, to craft a vision for how the properties could better serve the needs of the adjacent neighborhood. Two years of outreach followed and three key community goals emerged:

1) Quality and active open spaces for current and future residents of the St. John neighborhood,
2) Affordable housing that can serve a range of income levels and types of households, and
3) Space that could potentially accommodate local non‐profits that support the diverse St. John community, especially for workforce and youth development.

The St. John neighborhood has a rich history beginning with the establishment of its African-American freedman community in the 1890’s. For roughly a century, the St. John Site served as a central anchor to the neighborhood. The site was first home to the St. John Industrial Institute and Orphanage for African American Children and then later to the St. John Elementary School until it was purchased in the early 1990’s by Home Depot and then subsequently acquired by the City of Austin. Intertwined with this history is the story of segregation, which ensured disinvestment by the City in infrastructure, services, and amenities, disinvestment that has continued as the neighborhood has transitioned from a majority African-American to a majority Hispanic community. The City and surrounding community now look to implement an innovative, catalytic, mixed‐use project that improves the quality of life for neighborhood residents and strengthens the fabric of the surrounding area. This Request for Proposals is designed to harness the creativity of the market and is an opportunity for qualified development teams to demonstrate their placemaking experience in creating complex, urban projects through public‐private partnerships to reach social, economic, and environmental goals. The City of Austin looks forward to crafting a partnership to realize the St. John community vision.

CLICK HERE to visit the Request for Proposal. Questions about this development opportunity can be directed to our authorized project contact, Shawn Willett at shawn.willett@austintexas.gov and for more information about the history of the project, visit the St. John Project webpage.