Background

The publicly owned land at 6909 Ryan Drive is a 5.5-acre property adjacent to Capital Metro’s Crestview Station. Austin Energy purchased the site in 1997 for their operations but will relocate these functions in the near future as it is currently being used for storage.

The Economic Development Department uses an open process to review city-owned properties and make recommendations to City Council for community benefit. Community discussions regarding the future of 6909 Ryan Drive have been ongoing since 2012.

Project Timeline

In April 2018, a working group of diverse community representatives provided a report summarizing input received from the community through extensive outreach. Read the Ryan Drive Working Group Report.

After the report, Austin City Council directed staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of the site through Resolution 20181101-024.

Staff and a consultant team are working together on a strategy to focus on local benefits based on community conversations. The team will develop a site plan for a solicitation seeking a developer partner to deliver a project that meets future community goals for the property.

June 2019

Staff received authorization to bring on a consulting team and put together a timeline to develop and issue the Request For Proposals.

July-September 2019

The team reviewed property information and held internal planning meetings to start the Request for Proposals process.

October 28, 2019: Community Meeting #1

Community Meeting #1 was an open house opportunity for the public to hear about the Request for Proposals process and give feedback on potential site uses, along with a corresponding online survey which closed on December 4, 2019.

Survey Results

We received input during our October 2019 Open House meeting and subsequent survey from community members about their preferences for the type of development they would like to see on the Ryan Drive tract of land. Here is an overview of the input received from the public meeting and the online survey:

Housing: Many participants stressed the need for housing that is affordable and appealing to different types of households, including seniors and families as well as live/work tenants.  A wide range of housing types from row houses to multi-story apartment buildings were considered appropriate.  The site’s location is near the transit system and schools making it highly valued for housing, not just for the neighborhood, but for the entire City of Austin.   

Open Space: Many participants want to see open space on the site, and some expressed willingness to allow taller buildings to maximize open space.  An open lawn attracted the most interest, but a children’s playground and dog park were also commonly requested.   

Transit Connectivity: Given the location directly adjacent to Crestview Rail Station, there has been frequent interest cited in designing the development to support and improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between Crestview Station and the area to the south.   

Retail: Many participants viewed retail as a bonus for the site, but not a primary component of the development.  Given the location, a coffee shop or neighborhood cafe has been frequently suggested to encourage local business development.   

Community Space: Respondents also asked for multi-use spaces that accommodate performance, art exhibits, and gatherings that can be used by the community organizations and local artists.   

February-March 2020: Community Meeting #2 and Survey

The team developed five redevelopment scenarios for the property using community input, site constraints, and market analysis.

On February 20, 2020, the team help Community Meeting #2 to receive public feedback on the five scenarios and gather information on what was liked or disliked about each option. A corresponding online survey was open until March 13th. The Phase 2 Survey can still be viewed at this link.

The team compiled the results of Phase 2 feedback. The Phase 2 Summary is available here.

May 2020: Community Meeting #3 

With the advent of COVID-19 and the desire for robust community input, Community Meeting #3  consisted of an interactive video presentation offering a final opportunity for the public to review project scenarios and share comments before the Request for Proposals is released. Details of this effort can be found here.

Final Report

The final report summarizes the public engagement process and the recommended minimum development criteria for the site that embraces the community goals identified in Resolution No. 20181101-024. To view the final report, please click here.

Fall 2020: Request for Proposals Release

On August 25, 2020, the Economic Development Department issued a memo to Mayor and Council providing an update on Resolution No. 20181101-024 and the 6909 Ryan Drive project. The full memo can be viewed here.

It is anticipated that the Request For Proposals and supporting solicitation materials will be issued in late September or early October 2020.

This will begin a several months long process to request, review, and select a preferred response to negotiate all necessary legal agreements to redevelop the property.