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Adler drafts Convention Center plan amendments

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Ahead of City Council’s consideration of a long-term plan for the Austin Convention Center on Thursday, Mayor Steve Adler posted a draft online Tuesday of amendments that he plans to propose prior to the vote. Those amendments state that, before asking Council to take any action to implement the plan after it is adopted, city staff should bring the Council Economic Opportunity Committee recommendations on several issues. These include “assessment of the long term viability of the convention and exhibition industry,” “other potential venue needs in Austin,” “use of open space and other facilities developed as part of the Convention Center expansion for free and meaningful community events and programs of interest to the Austin community” and “addition and enhancement of publicly accessible open spaces and green spaces within the Convention Center complex area.” Adler said at Tuesday’s work session that he drafted up the amendments in an attempt to address concerns about the impact of the proposed expansion, which the plan states is “best accommodated on the city blocks immediately west of the existing Convention Center.” Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said that she’s heard concerns from residents “that the expansion of the Convention Center, if not done in a way that’s really sensitive, would create a dead zone in that spot.” She added that it’s “really critical to make sure that we have services, if (the center) is to be expanded.”

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