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Pick Your Plan for McKalla Place

Precourt vs. the field

City Council will vote on taking another step toward bringing a Major League Soccer team to Austin on Thursday – and at the same meeting will discuss potential alternative uses for McKalla Place. Item 19 on the agenda would “authorize negotiation and execution of agreements with Precourt Sports Ventures” to bring a soccer stadium to McKalla, using the term sheet negotiated between the city and PSV as a guide. Item 109 would allow Council to discuss and take “possible action” on any of the five alternative plans which were submitted to the city.

Whereas the pro-soccer resolution and pro-other-use resolution were able to coexist following their separate approval on June 28, that is not the case with Items 19 and 109. Should Council vote to proceed with PSV, the alternative plans would be put on hold – for now.

The alternative proposals were due last Friday. Most outline developments that blend open and greenspace with retail, office, and residential space, especially affordable housing. But some of the developers felt that it was ultimately a futile effort, and that Council had made up their mind to proceed with PSV. On Monday, developers described the submission period as frustrating and perfunctory; in part because of a vague process in which little direction was provided to interested parties. A memo sent from the city’s Economic Development Department compounded these fears, reading, in part, that the “submission of plans is not a purchasing activity and/or a procurement event.” It continues: “The City of Austin will not award any contract based on any information received in response to the Resolution on June 28. … Because this is not a procurement event, there will be no analysis or evaluation of information the City receives.”

Read more from Austin Chronicle here

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