The St. John Site is located at 7211 and 7309 North Interstate 35 (the former Home Depot & Chrysler Dealership). With a rich history dating back to the 1890s, the St. John Site has been a pivotal location in Central Texas’ African American community. After a community-driven vision was adopted in 2020, the next phase of redevelopment is set to unfold, marking a significant chapter in the site’s storied history.
In 2017, the Austin City Council directed staff to collaborate with the St. John Community in creating a new community vision, which was officially adopted in 2020.
After Austin City Council approval of the proposed multifamily and commercial development for 800 E St John Avenue (formerly 7309 & 7211 N IH 35) under a Public Facility Corporation and authorized options to repurchase the property after 60 years (October 5th, 2023 Regular Council Agenda Item #2), the City of Austin, Greystar, and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin have completed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) for the St. John Site. The City, Greystar, and HACA are continuing to meet with the community and the Council initiated Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for guidance on the implementation of the community vision.
The St. Johns Site is roughly 19 acres of city-owned land comprised of two parcels located in Council District 4 at the northeast corner of the intersection of St. Johns Avenue and IH 35. The first parcel, the 13.8-acre former Home Depot located at 7211 N IH 35, was initially purchased in 2008 using Proposition 7 funds that were part of the $58.1 million bond package approved by voters in 2006. Five years later the second parcel, known as the former Chrysler Dealership and located at 7309 N IH 35, was purchased using the same funds. This purchase consolidated City ownership between St. Johns and Blackson Avenues creating the St. John Site.
St. John Community Celebration
Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
Community Informational Session
Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
July 29, 2021
On July 29th, 2021, Austin City Council authorized negotiation and execution of an exclusive negotiation agreement with Greystar Development Central, LLC, for terms governing a master developer contract for the redevelopment of 7211 N IH 35 (the former Home Depot) and 7309 N IH 35 (the former Chrysler Dealership), known as the St. Johns Site. (Resolution 20210729-026)
On March 3, 2021, City staff begins multi-leveled review and evaluation of the RFP submissions. Proposals were evaluated by a multi-disciplined panel of City staff over three months.
On March 2, 2021 the deadline for RFP 5500 SMW3005 (Closed) submissions closed.
- On November 23, 2020, City staff offers on-site visits of the 19-acre St. Johns site to prospective development teams.
- On October 16, 2020, City staff holds a Pre-Solicitation meeting to provide background and overview of the St. Johns redevelopment opportunity and to answer questions from prospective development teams.
- On September 16, 2020, the City of Austin issued RFP 5500 SMW3005 (Closed) to either sell or lease the 19-acre St. Johns Site to a development partner who could realize the St. Johns community visions as an innovative, catalytic, mixed-use project that will improve the quality of life for neighborhoods residents while addressing the three main community goals: 1) open space for recreation and congregation 2) space for community retail and support services 3) significant investment in affordable housing options.
- On July 29th, 2020, the Austin City Council passed Resolution No. 20200729-117, which affirmed the new community vision for the St. Johns Site and initiated a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process that ensures the development will achieve community priorities.
- On June 24, 2020, the Economic Development Department presented the final St. John Report to Austin City Council, which provided a full summary of the public engagement process, the new vision for the property, and funding options for the redevelopment of the St. Johns Site.
- On March 9, 2020, the project team hosted a public meeting to present the final recommendations from the UT Study. The team reviewed how the recommendations would be used in the review process for a future RFP and its evaluation criteria.
- Beginning in February, the project team held "Coffee with the Principal" AISD meetings, to present the University of Texas Study recommendations and took feedback from school principals in the 78752 zip code.
- On February 24, 2029 the City of Austin hosted Focus Group previews of the University of Texas Study recommendations
- On February 14, 2029 the City of Austin hosted Focus Group previews of the University of Texas Study recommendations
On November 4, 2019, a public meeting was held to engage the community on the University of Texas Final Study. Community members expressed strong support for affordable housing, recreational space, and community services. There was some support for uses along the interstate that could generate revenue for the sites.
On October 15, 2019, Economic & Planning Systems (EPS), the economic consultant secured by the City of Austin, delivered a market study showing the strong market demand for affordable housing, market rate housing, lodging, and light industrial. The market study also revealed low market demand for office or retail uses.
Beginning in September, a survey was conducted to gain input on development features important to the neighborhood and key resources for the University of Texas to address in their study. The survey concluded in November 2019.
On September 25, 2019, a public meeting was held with the goals of sharing 1) the University of Texas research process with the community and 2) to inform the community of how this process will inform the future “Request for Proposal” (RFP) from developers for the two parcels.
On September 4, 2019, the consultant team visited the St. Johns neighborhood to get oriented with the sites and to meet with community leadership and Council Member Casar’s office.
Beginning in September, a survey was conducted to gain input on development features important to the neighborhood and key resources for the University of Texas to address in their study. The survey concluded in November 2019. On September 25, 2019, a public meeting was held with the goals of sharing 1) the University of Texas research process with the community and 2) to inform the community of how this process will inform the future “Request for Proposal” (RFP) from developers for the two parcels.
- On September 4, 2019, the consultant team visited the St. Johns neighborhood to get oriented with the sites and to meet with community leadership and Council Member Casar’s office.
On May 30, 2018, a community meeting was held to 1) share the results of the online and paper survey with the community, 2) to define the overall vision through a charrette, and 3) to discern any needs for future Council advocacy.
On May 2, 2018, community engagement begins with an online and paper survey was conducted with 644 respondents who provided input on desired uses such as green space, recreational uses, housing, a grocer, youth development, community services, and retail.
In December 2017, Austin City Council passed Resolution No. 20171207-058 directing the City Manager to work with the community on a new vision for the St. Johns Site, one that would better serve the surrounding St. Johns neighborhood. After two years of robust community engagement, the new community vision for the St. John Site was affirmed on July 29th, 2020 by the Austin City Council through Resolution No. 20200729-117. This Council action also initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit a development partner to realize the community vision. A full summary of the public engagement process, the new vision for the property, and funding options for redevelopment were provided to Council in a June 24, 2020 Report.
On June 14, 2017, Austin City Council passed Resolution No. 20171207-058 directing the City Manager to work with the St. Johns community to create a new vision for the St. Johns Site that honored the history of the St. Johns neighborhoods while taking into consideration future opportunities for affordable housing, local business, recreation spaces, non-profit partnerships, and governmental facilities.
On April 26th, 2012, Ordinance No. 201204026-100 for NP-2011-0029 is adopted by City Council on second and third reading, amending the Austin Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan to adopt the St. Johns/Coronado Hills Combined Neighborhood Plan (SJCH). To view the complete SJCH Combined Neighborhood Plan.
On January 24th, 2012, the draft St. Johns/Coronado Hills Neighborhood Combined Neighborhood Plan (SJCH) is approved by Planning Commission.
January 2009 - September 2010
In February of 2009, planning efforts for the St. Johns/ Coronado Hills Combined Neighborhood Planning Area officially begin.
Between January of 2009 and September 2010, City staff holds 31 community workshops and planning meetings over the course of 18 months covering topics related to neighborhood character, code enforcement, environmental issues, transportation upgrades, and potential zoning changes.
Austin City Council approves Resolution 20061214-014 selecting the St. Johns/Coronado Hills Combined Neighborhood Planning Area as one of the next neighborhoods to develop a neighborhood plan.
During the Creating the Livable Communities Workshop, Austin neighborhood representatives expressed a desire for the city to undertake neighborhood plans at a faster pace. Based on neighborhood input, the boundaries of 50 neighborhood planning areas within the Urban Core were developed including the St.Johns/Coronado Hills Combined Neighborhood Planning Area.