The Seaholm Power Plant, a City-owned retired power generation facility, was designed by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. and built of cast concrete in two phases in 1950 and 1955 by Odom Construction. Seaholm Intake was the pump house for the Seaholm Power Plant. The Seaholm Power Plant represents a strong civic presence in the cityscape of downtown Austin and showcases a unique period of American Art Deco municipal architecture and public works engineering.
The plant was dedicated posthumously in 1960 to Walter E. Seaholm, who served as Superintendent of Water and Light and City Manager during his 33-year career with the City of Austin. Seaholm operated as a power plant until 1989. In 1996, Austin City Council authorized the decommissioning of the plant and all the associated buildings, in preparation for future adaptive reuse. In 2000 a District Master Plan for the site was commissioned the City of Austin. In 2005 the Austin City Council selected Seaholm Power, LLC, to redevelop Seaholm. Council approved the Master Development Agreement with Seaholm Power Development, LLC in April 2008. Once complete, the site will feature a mix of office space, local retail shops, residential, special event space and an outdoor terrace that overlooks Lady Bird Lake.
The Seaholm Intake Facility is located on the banks of the Lady Bird Lake and the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail and bonded by César Chavez Street. The project site is bonded north south by the César Chavez and the Lake and east west by Shoal Creek and the Railroad bridge. Stakeholder involvement will begin with Speak Up Austin and Open House Events. The most prominent ideas will then be incorporated into a Design Idea’s Competition. The Open Houses and Design Idea Competition are sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Parks Foundation, The Trail Foundation and AIA Austin. The Trail Foundation will possibly engage a consultant/designer to design Phase 1 which entails the trail head restrooms and site work near Shoal Creek. The top ten (10) will then be on display at Austin City Hall from July 29, 2013 through August 2, 2013. All top ten (10) will be posted on the City of Austin project website, www.austintexas.gov/seaholm-intake. The top three (3) entries will receive recognition for their efforts and their concepts will be incorporated into the next stage of development of a Public Private Partnership for a Master Development Agreement.
For more information on the Seaholm Intake Facility, site and its history please see the Seaholm Intake Feasibility Study posted on the web site. The feasibility study will also be the guideline for the constructability of the Design Idea Competition.
The Seaholm District is a former industrial section of downtown Austin that is being transformed through residential and commercial development. The Seaholm District is bounded on the north by 5th Street, on the east by San Antonio Street, on the south by Lady Bird Lake and on the west by Lamar Boulevard. The centerpiece of the Seaholm District is the Seaholm Power Plant Redevelopment, located north of Cesar Chavez Boulevard, east of the Union Pacific Railway line, south of 3rd Street, and west of the proposed extension of West Avenue. The former power plant is planned for adaptive reuse as part of a mixed-use development containing a condominiums, office, retail and public open space.
2nd Street District
The 2nd Street District is a new, multi-use urban neighborhood that includes six city blocks of downtown Austin near Lady Bird Lake and the Warehouse Entertainment District. The 2nd Street District is bounded on the north by 3rd Street, on the east by Colorado Street, on the south by Cesar Chavez Boulevard and on the west by San Antonio Street. The 2nd Street District was developed with specific coherent and unique pedestrian environments, which will be carried over into the development of the Seaholm District. The six blocks (2, 3, 4, 20, 21, and 22) were developed between 2000 - 2011.
Green Water Treatment Plant
The area to the north east of the intake structures, next to the new Central Library is the Green Water Treatment Plant Redevelopment. In April 2012 the City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the City Manager to execute a Master Development Agreement with TC Green Master Developer, LLC. for redevelopment of the property formerly occupied by the Thomas C. Green Water Treatment Plant. Block 1 is currently under construction with a mixed-use development containing apartments, office and ground floor retail. Block 23, containing office with ground floor retail is expected to break ground in 2015. Block 188 will be a boutique hotel and Block 185 is expected to be apartment / mixed-use. Nueces and 2nd Streets will be extended through the property as part of the project.
Central Public Library
As a result of voter approval in 2007 of a $120 million dollar bond proposition and City Council’s selection of a site, a new Central Public Library is planned for the southern half of the current Seaholm Substation site. The new Library will be separated from the Seaholm Substation by the extension of 2nd Street and a new bridge that will span Shoal Creek. The project broke ground in May of 2013, with completion estimated in 2016.