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The game is afoot

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

It’s been something of a quiet week (so far) concerning Austin’s flirtation with the Columbus Crew SC and the wish of the team’s owners to relocate to Central Texas by next spring. It’s all likely the calm before the storm, however, since the agenda for next week’s City Council meeting – the last before the July recess – contains two soccer-related resolutions that appear to run somewhat counter to one another. There are a few more details dripping out about a development proposed for the McKalla Place property that is also the most likely location for the eventual 20,000-seat stadium the team would use. Developers John Chen and Marcus Whitfield’s McKalla District plan is designed to feature 50,000 square feet of grocery store retail, 75,000 square feet of senior living space, a 45,000 square foot wellness center and 250,000 square feet of office space. It would also feature 125 affordable rental units, another 125 affordable units for purchase, 325 market-rate units for purchase and another 30 retail spaces. Chen and Whitfield had given a broad conceptual presentation of the development at a community meeting earlier this month, but the recent release of a draft 2016 appraisal of the McKalla property and other diligence on the 24-acre parcel has allowed them to start fine-tuning the usage and square footage of the mixed-use project. One of the resolutions on next week’s agenda aims to open the property up to a full request for proposal process, while another would direct the city manager to begin negotiations with Crew owners Precourt Sports Ventures on a possible stadium deal.

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