In November 2006, City of Austin voters approved a $58.1 million bond package to support the improvement of public safety facilities (Proposition 7). Part of the improvement plan included the purchase of additional real estate for new facilities. In 2008, the City purchased a former Home Depot located on 13.8 acres at 906 E St. Johns Ave/7309 North IH-35. Five years later, the City purchased the adjacent 5.2-acre site, a former Chrysler dealership, to consolidate ownership of the entire property between St. Johns and Blackson Avenues.
Though initially purchased to support public safety needs of the city, Austin City Council directed staff to reconsider future uses of this approximately 19-acre property and evaluate how the property might serve the needs of the neighborhood. In December 2017, Austin City Council passed Resolution No. 20171207-058 directing the Austin City Manager to work with the community on a new vision for the St. John property to better serve the neighborhood. On July 29th, 2020, this vision was affirmed through by the Austin City Council through Resolution No. 20200729-083.
A full summary of the public engagement process, the new vision for the property, and funding options for redevelopment are provided in a June 24, 2020 Report to Council. This report includes vetted recommendations for re-envisioning both the 906 E St. Johns Ave/7309 North IH-35 and former Chrysler dealership properties through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.