McKalla Place Development Proposals Unveiled

Austin MLS stadium McKalla Place rendering 2

Several entities have submitted McKalla Place development proposals, giving Austin officials some options beyond a proposed MLS stadium from Precourt Sports Ventures

In late June, the Austin City Council approved two resolutions relating to McKalla Place, a city-owned 24-acre site in North Austin. That included a resolution directing the city manager to analyze the proposal and undertake negotiations with PSV, which is seeking to move Columbus Crew SC to Austin. The other resolution, meanwhile, allowed staff to receive alternate development proposals for McKalla Place.

Discussions over revised terms with PSV continue, but officials are set to take a look at other development proposals during a city council meeting on Tuesday. There were six alternate plans total from five different entities, with one–Capella Capital Partners–including a proposal that leaves room for an MLS stadium at McKalla Place. The firm submitted two concepts, including another dubbed “Option A” that calls for Crew investor-operator Anthony Precourt to partner with Bobby Epstein on a new MLS stadium at the Circuit of Americas while leaving McKalla Place open for full mixed-use development.

From the details that have been disclosed, it seems that most of the development plans for the site favor mixed-use concepts that do not include space for an MLS stadium. They also present different options for the city in terms of land sales or leases. More from the Austin American-Statesman:

With its “Option A” Capella would purchase the land for $22.1 million or lease it for $750,000 a year and offers to build eight youth soccer fields around the city and provide $250,000 toward youth soccer scholarships. With “Option B” Capella pledges a $11 million purchase price or an 80-year lease at $400,000 annually for the non-MLS stadium acreage.

Whitfield & Chen offered $22.5 million for McKalla or a $2.5 million a year lease with an escalator clause. Land Design would lease the land for $600,000 per year in an 80-year arrangement.

Both Capella and Land Design call for high-density development.

Land Design introduces the concept of a special purpose district that would collect the equivalent of property taxes to redistribute to area non-profits. Over a 40-year span that total could reach approximately $1 billion, according to Gary Bellomy, founder of Land Design Studio.

Under recently released revised terms, Precourt would privately finance a $200 million stadium at McKalla Place. The city would maintain control of the land, meaning that PSV would not pay property taxes. However, PSV would lease the land for $550,000 annually after year five, or $8.25 million over the initial 20-year agreement. In addition, the group would pay for site preparation and any cost overruns.

The city council will have three options with McKalla Place, including moving forward with an agreement with PSV, selecting another development proposal, or not moving forward with any development at the long-dormant site for the time being. PSV is looking to have a vote Thursday that would authorize negotiation of agreements for its MLS proposal. That would be a major step in the organization’s goal of moving the Crew to Austin in 2019, and having it play two seasons at an existing venue in the area before opening the new stadium in 2021.

Rendering courtesy Gensler Sports Practice.

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