About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Coalition joins Palm School discussion
Monday, May 20, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki
The Save Palm School Coalition will hold a press conference this morning to weigh in on the escalating community debate over the future of the historic downtown Palm School property. The group appears to land heavily on the side of using the site as a cultural and community space after 2020 when staff from Travis County departments are set to vacate the building. Mayor Steve Adler and Council Member Kathie Tovo are among the officials expected to attend. Last week Tovo produced a 23-page resolution regarding long-term planning for the southeastern portion of downtown, with Palm School as a centerpiece. Several city plans have called for a less development-centric use of the property while leaders from Travis County, which owns the property, seem to be in favor of maximizing the real estate return it could offer. The coalition’s Facebook page makes the differing objectives clear, noting “During the last few years, the Travis County Commissioner’s Court has been in discussions regarding the future of the Palm School site. And while the Court has NOT taken a formal vote regarding the future of the property, the main emphasis to date by County staff has centered around drafting restrictive covenants for the sale or a long-term lease of the Palm School Property to maximize the real estate value of the property. This would inevitably lead towards the maximum redevelopment of the property violating the integrity of Palm School and the nearby Palm Park.”
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