Colony Park, Lakeside Hills, and LBJ neighborhood residents have advocated for increased investments, services, and amenities in their neighborhoods since the 1970s. The Colony Park Sustainable Community is one part of this legacy. Beginning in 2012, the City and community jointly led efforts to develop the 208 acres of City-owned property on Loyola Lane between Johnny Morris Road and Decker Lane.
The project is led by a group of community leaders known as the Colony Park Core Team. This “Core Team” consists of representatives from the Colony Park, Lakeside, Agave, Woodland Hills and LBJ neighborhoods. Together, the Core Team crafted a community-focused vision for this area and the Colony Park Sustainable Community.
To unify their vision, they created Eight Pillars to guide their work:
- Improve mobility, connectivity, and safety of community
- Improve access to health care resources and services
- Improve access to open spaces and activate parks
- Improve access to healthy food resources
- Improve access to economic vitality of community
- Improve educational opportunities
- Improve equal access to workforce housing
- Improve quality of life through accessing available City/County resources
Over the course of the Colony Park Sustainable Community project, the Core Team has advocated for the Eight Pillars to better serve the needs of the surrounding communities. The Eight Pillars serve a dual purpose in describing both the lack resources in the community but also the foundation for how the Core Team approaches their work.
Core Team Contributions
The Core Team’s personal experiences and relationships empower them to make valuable contributions to this project. They bring new opportunities to the project while bridging partners with the City. They have significantly contributed to the success of this project, including:
Participatory Master Planning
- Advocating for a community-focused vision in Colony Park
- Attending project meetings consistently for over 4 years
- Writing the initial Public Engagement Plan for the project
- Participating in the selection of the Master Plan Design Team
- Reading and proofing the Colony Park Sustainable Community Master Plan and Design Guidelines
- Attending public and project meetings consistently over the four-year master planning and adoption process for the Colony Park Sustainable Community
Searching for a Development Partner
- Co-hosting a series of community forums where data was collected and used to inform the development of the Request for Qualifications (RFQS)
- Reviewing and providing input on the Request for Qualifications (RFQS) and Request for Proposal (RFP), including developing a scoring section specific to addressing experience working with similar communities
- Selecting a community member to sit on the developer evaluation panel and who scored the community section of the RFQ and RFP
- Co-hosting a Public Open House for a video presentation by the finalist where the scores provided by the attendees contributed towards the evaluation of the finalist’s proposal
- Attending regular monthly meetings with city staff, project consultants, and stakeholders to continue furthering the Eight Pillars of the community.
In May 2020, the City of Austin entered into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with Catellus Development Corporation (Catellus) for the Colony Park Sustainable Community project. This agreement allows the City, Catellus and community to work towards implementing the Colony Park Master Plan through the execution of a Master Development Agreement. As this process unfolds, the community will play an even more critical role in providing oversight for implementation of the Eight Pillars and bringing forward the evolving needs of local residents.
- Survey Asks Colony Park Resident What They Need, KUT
- New development to bring housing, retail to NE Austin (hyperlink), KVUE
- A Walk Through the New Colony Park , The Austin Chronicle
- The Next New Neighborhood, The Austin Chronicle
- Colony Park: Finding a Middle Way, The Austin Chronicle
Development Partner Search
- Colony Park could bounce back with planned development, Austin American Statesman
- Austin searching for Colony Park developers, KVUE
- East of the highway divide, Austin's next residential boom is on the horizon, Community Impact Newspaper
- Austin kicks off effort to select Colony Park site master developer, Austin Business Journal
- Mueller developer, W Austin Hotel owner vie to oversee huge master-planned project, Austin Business Journal
- Developer touts experience, community engagement in first pitch to lead Colony Park project, Austin Business Journal
- With Mueller under its belt, Catellus closer to building another huge Austin neighborhood, Austin Business Journal
- City to set “high bar” for Colony Park developer candidates, Austin Monitor
- Catellus on shortlist to develop Colony Park, Austin Monitor
- Related Projects
The Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park Master Plan will help determine the long-range vision for the entirety of the park, including areas currently used by other organizations. Potential improvements in the park include elements such as enhanced trails, additional water-related recreation, fitness opportunities, camping, special event venues, and educational and cultural exhibits.
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Cap Metro) has created a plan for mobility investments in Central Texas looking out to the year 2040. This plan includes a vision for a complete system of reliable and frequent transit with services that operate free from other traffic. One piece of this vision includes the Green Line Commuter Rail investment, which would repurpose a freight line owned by Cap Metro into high-capacity commuter rail running from Downtown Austin to Manor. As currently planned, this line would include a station stop at the Colony Park Sustainable Community site.
With the efforts of community leaders, the City of Austin 2018 General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds included funding for the construction of an aquatic facility in Colony Park. This new aquatic facility will complement the recently completed Colony Park District Park that provides a baseball field, soccer/multi sports field, a large play area with elements of nature based play, fitness equipment, two pavilions, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and a hike and bike trail that connects the adjacent communities.