The Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Endeavor Real Estate Group are partnering to present a new vision for a dynamic and inclusive destination that builds upon the South Central Waterfront Plan. 305 S. Congress will enhance the area’s existing roads, bikes, and trail system, further connecting and activating the Lady Bird Lake waterfront.

Community Engagement Opportunity

305 S. Congress Parkland Amenities Prioritization Survey

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Rendering of park concept showing 305 S. Congress along Lady Bird Lake and illustrative view of Great Lawn looking from Congress Avenue Bridge


The former home of The Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress is a central piece of the South Central Waterfront Plan. Today, this site consists of the existing 15 foot-wide trail of publicly accessible lakefront. On December 1, 2022, Austin City Council passed Ordinance No. 20221201-084, guiding the process for "public park amenities prioritization process" (section 10(G)).

Project Description

Over six and a half acres of land will be made publicly available with new park and open space along the lake, all accessible via Congress, Riverside, with an extension of Barton Springs Road. This project will expand existing bike and pedestrian pathways increasing connection points that will enhance the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, protect heritage trees and minimize disturbance of existing trail topography and tree canopy, and support the restoration of the shoreline area to a natural state with riparian and wetland vegetation.

The Ordinance directs PARD and Endeavor to meet with community groups and stakeholders, such as The Trail Conservancy and Downtown Austin Alliance, to participate in a Park Prioritization Process. This process should include an opportunity to provide a priority ranking of the proposed park amenities listed in the ordinance and other amenities idenitified during the public process.

Amenities listed include:

  • Great Lawn
  • Pier
  • Water steps
  • Play area
  • Boardwalk

Anticipated Schedule

Ordinance No. 20221201-084 requires that the Park Prioritization Process be completed within 90 days of approval (March 1, 2023), plus PARD Director can extend one additional 90-day period (May 30, 2023). Additional 90-day periods can be approved by agreement between the Department and Endeavor. 

Community Engagement

305 S. Congress Parkland Amenities Prioritization
Stakeholder Meeting #1: 
Thursday, March 2, 2023

Stakeholder Meeting #2: Thursday, April 13, 2023

Pop-ups on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

Funding and Resources

The ordinance identifies a minimum amount of $6,900,000 to satisfy any fee in-lieu of parkland dedication and parkland development fee. These funds will support the development of this park space. Additional funding will be possible through the South Central Waterfront approved tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ). An updated Regulating Plan is anticipated in 2023 with more information.