If everything goes as planned, there will be some exciting steps forward in 2017 when it comes to development around Dell Medical School, otherwise known as the Austin Innovation Zone. Mayor Steve Adler says street alignment and other improvements to enhance the Innovation Zone are among his top priorities moving forward, which could help propel Austin into the next class of major cities in the United States.
Cities such as Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago already have big innovation districts, which also serve as gathering areas for residents and tourists alike. With Austin's balanced economy and growing job market leading to a rapidly increasing population, it only makes sense for officials and developers to get moving on the Innovation Zone to surround Dell Medical School with other amazing amenities.
What Kinds of Amenities Will be Part of the Austin Innovation Zone?
According to proposals laid out in 2016, the Austin Innovation Zone is set to include mix of office buildings, apartments, unique shops and restaurants, art projects, and space for cultural events. Dell Seton Medical Center is already being built and, along with Dell Medical School, will hopefully be just the beginning of a completely revamped downtown Austin.
For more ideas on how to make it all happen, organizers are seeking advice from leaders involved in creating Atlanta's innovation zone. It's another step forward in the planning process, after a non-profit organization was formed in the spring of 2016 to oversee development and help bridge the gap between the various industries involved. Organizers have said they want the Austin Innovation Zone to create a beautiful area for the public to gather, as opposed to an arbitrary collection of buildings.
Where Will the Innovation Zone be Located?
The rough borders of the Austin Innovation Zone are expected to extend to Martin Luther King Boulevard to the north, Cesar Chavez Street to the south, Interstate 35 to the east, and Trinity Street to the west. Included in this zone will be 14 acres of undeveloped land created by the destruction of University Medical Center Brackenridge, which should make for some important decisions on how to fill this prime piece of Austin real estate.
With the Innovation Zone being a mixed-use development, there is potential for some very exciting projects. Austin tech startups have thrived in recent years, but it's hard to ignore the massive demand to build more Austin homes for sale. High-rise apartments could be ideal homes for students and employees of Dell Medical School and Dell Seton Medical Center, as well as downtown Austin's ever-increasing number of new residents.
An intriguing factor into the appeal of the Austin Innovation Zone as a public gathering area will be the redevelopment of Waller Creek.
Plans are already underway to restore Waller Creek and improve both Waterloo Park and Palm Park, not to mention creating more than 37 acres of urban parks and open public space. There are endless ideas for the potential appearance of the parks and public space, but based on some of the conceptual renderings that have surfaced, Austin residents and visitors will be pleased.
This area has the potential to draw in crowds with community events, cultural performances, and the lure of hiking through a series of scenic downtown Austin parks. The opportunities are plentiful for this section of downtown Austin and the future looks even brighter for an already-booming city!