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Council approves lease for Urban Roots in Southeast Austin

Friday, November 30, 2018 by Jack Craver

On Thursday City Council voted unanimously to lease a 9.4-acre parcel of city-owned property in Southeast Austin to Urban Roots, a nonprofit focused on getting young adults involved in urban farming. The organization offers various programs, including internships and fellowships, to teach young people how to grow and cook their own food. Council Member Delia Garza, whose district includes the site, said that the site at 4711 Winnebago Lane likely would have been sold to a commercial developer four years ago had Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo not strongly advocated holding on to the land, although Tovo’s suggested use for it at the time was housing and workspace for artists. Garza said that the new facility will be helpful in addressing “food security issues” in her district, much of which is considered to have “food access issues” because of the lack of grocery stores or other outlets for healthy food and fresh produce. The contract has Urban Roots paying $1,000 a month in rent over the next 15 years for the plot of land.

This whisper has been updated to clarify Tovo’s role in the development of the tract.

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