By: J.M. ClarkPosted November 04, 2018 05:01PM The Park City development company that once brought the idea of the park into existence has pulled out of its downtown redevelopment plan, citing a lack of support from City Hall.
Kathy A. Smith, the City of Austin’s director of parks and recreation, sent a letter to City Councilmembers Thursday, calling the park district’s decision to close the project a “difficult decision for us to make.”
Smith noted that the Park District is working with the City to continue its work with the city and other partners.
The Park City District’s closure is a loss of life, Smith wrote, and will affect the lives of many of our community members.
It will affect property values, jobs and tourism, Smith said.
The district’s Downtown Plan for Austin called for a revitalization of downtown that would have included the construction of a park and other public spaces.
The project, known as the Central Texas Convention Center, had been envisioned as the centerpiece of a redevelopment of downtown and an opportunity for a large, new, public park.
However, a lack, as Smith put it, of public support, combined with an economic downturn and a lack from City Council, has left the project “very uncertain.”
In the letter, Smith noted the park would have been the largest project in the city’s history, and she called it an important contribution to downtown’s future.
The park, she wrote, “is an opportunity to showcase the downtown of this region and the unique character of Austin and the greater Austin region.
It is an opportunity that will help bring new people and businesses to downtown Austin and will bring even more new residents to the city.”
The project is slated to reopen in 2020.