The publicly owned land at 6909 Ryan Drive is a 5.5-acre property adjacent to Capital Metro’s Crestview Station. Austin Energy purchased the site in 1997 for their operations. The site was also used by Austin Energy for storage, but all functions have since been relocated. Austin Energy completed demolition of the existing buildings and site cleanup in summer 2023.
Community discussions regarding the future of 6909 Ryan Drive have been ongoing since 2012. Below summarizes the more recent community conversations and Council direction to issue a solicitation seeking a development partner to deliver a project that meets community and Council goals for the property.
April to November 2018
In April 2018, a working group of diverse community representatives provided a report summarizing input received from the community through extensive outreach. Read the Ryan Drive Working Group Report.
Later in 2018, Austin City Council directed staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of the site through Resolution 20181101-024.
Economic Development Department (EDD) staff received authorization to engage an interdisciplinary consulting team and put together a timeline to develop and issue the Request for Proposal for redevelopment of the Ryan Drive site based on community engagement, planning, and financial and market feasibility analysis.
Staff and the consultant team reviewed property information and held internal planning meetings to start the Request for Proposals process.
October 28, 2019: Community Meeting #1
Community Meeting #1 was an open house opportunity for the public to hear about the Request for Proposals process and give feedback on potential site uses, along with a corresponding online survey that closed on December 4, 2019.
The City received input during the October 2019 Open House meeting and subsequent survey from community members about their preferences for the type of development they would like to see on the Ryan Drive tract of land. Below is an overview of the input received from the public meeting and online survey:
Housing: Many participants stressed the need for housing that is affordable and appealing to different types of households, including seniors and families as well as live/work tenants. A wide range of housing types from row houses to multi-story apartment buildings were considered appropriate. The site’s location is near the transit system and schools making it highly valued for housing, not just for the neighborhood, but for the entire City of Austin.
Open Space: Many participants want to see open space on the site, and some expressed willingness to allow taller buildings to maximize open space. An open lawn attracted the most interest, but a children’s playground and dog park were also commonly requested.
Transit Connectivity: Given the location directly adjacent to Crestview Rail Station, there has been frequent interest cited in designing the development to support and improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between Crestview Station and the area to the south.
Retail: Many participants viewed retail as a bonus for the site, but not a primary component of the development. Given the location, a coffee shop or neighborhood cafe has been frequently suggested to encourage local business development.
Community Space: Respondents also asked for multi-use spaces that accommodate performance, art exhibits, and gatherings that can be used by the community organizations and local artists.
February-March 2020: Community Meeting #2 and Survey
The team developed five redevelopment scenarios for the property using community input, site constraints, and market analysis.
On February 20, 2020, the team held Community Meeting #2 to receive public feedback on the five scenarios and gather information on what was liked or disliked about each option. A corresponding online survey was open until March 13, 2020.
May 2020: Community Meeting #3
With the advent of COVID-19 and the desire for robust community input, Community Meeting #3 consisted of an interactive video presentation offering a final opportunity for the public to review project scenarios and share comments before the Request for Proposals was released.
The final report summarized the public engagement process and the recommended minimum development criteria for the Ryan Drive site that embraces the community goals and Council direction identified in Resolution No. 20181101-024.
Fall 2020: Request for Proposals Release
On October 8, 2020 the City issued the Request For Proposals (RFP) for the 6909 Ryan Drive project that identified policy goals for redeveloping the site .
This began a several months long process to review and select a preferred response and recommend a partner to redevelop the property.
On August 6, 2021, the City’s Purchasing Office issued the Award Recommendation for the 6909 Ryan Drive project, after the staff evaluation of the proposals was completed.
The Economic Development Department issued a memo to Mayor and Council on August 16, 2021, providing an update on the Ryan Drive solicitation, recommended development team, and public information packets for all the responsive proposers.
At the August 26, 2021 meeting, Council authorized staff to proceed with negotiating and executing an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with 3423 Holdings, LLC.
3423 Holdings and the City executed an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) for the Ryan Drive project. The ENA provided a baseline for the terms governing a master development agreement and outlined a possible 15-month timeframe to negotiate the MDA, based on an initial period of nine months followed by two 3-month possible extensions.
The ENA outlined numerous community benefits, consistent with the RFP and Council direction, to be achieved by the project including delivery of affordable housing, parks and open space, community-serving commercial space, and pedestrian and bicycle connections to transit through the site.
Over the last two years, the City and 3423 Holdings entered into negotiations to redevelop the Ryan Drive site under the terms of the ENA, RFP and Council direction for this property. After two mutually agreed upon ENA extensions, the parties were not able to reach terms for redevelopment of this property, and on May 25, 2023, 3423 Holdings terminated the ENA based on current financial conditions in the market.
The Economic Development Department issued a memo to Mayor and Council on July 12, 2023 that provided a brief background of the Ryan Drive site and updated development plans, including the recommendation to transfer the property to the Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) to help deliver the on-site affordable housing.
At the July 20, 2023 Council meeting, Council approved the transfer of the Ryan Drive site to the AHFC who anticipates issuing a new solicitation for redevelopment by late 2023 or early 2024. The solicitation will reflect the community vision and Council direction previously expressed for the site, including affordable housing and other community benefits. As part of this process, there will be future opportunities for the community to weigh on the vision and goals for the site. More information will be shared as the process moves forward.
The Austin Housing Finance Corporation has created a Speak Up Austin page for the Ryan Drive property to provide updates on the development of the site and gather feedback prior to the issuance of a new solicitation this winter. This solicitation will build on the previous community input, but staff would like to hear any new information regarding the site. Housing Department staff will also be holding a series of Office Hours in the area to connect with community members. More information can be found on the Ryan Drive Speak up Austin page.