94-acres at Wilson Parke/RM 620 rezoned general office

Some 80 acres of undeveloped land surrounding the SAS office site was rezoned to general office on April 11 by the Austin City Council. Courtesy city of Austin

Grandview’s SAS property rezoned, cleared for sale

By LESLEE BASSMAN, Four Points News

More development is coming to Four Points as another parcel of undeveloped land was rezoned by the Austin City Council last week.  

With a developer planning to construct about 362,000 square feet of office buildings on a 94-acre tract at 11920 Wilson Parke Avenue at RM 620, Austin City Council approved rezoning the site from interim-rural residence to general office district during its April 11 meeting. The item passed on the council’s consent agenda, with District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis abstaining.

The office buildings are slated to be located north of the intersection of Wilson Parke and Vista Parke Drive, according to a Feb. 25 letter sent to the city from engineering firm Big Red Dog. The development is expected to be constructed in 2020 and a traffic impact analysis showed the proposed use will generate about 3,692 average daily trips.

The property has long been held by Cary, North Carolina-based SAS Institute, Inc. that develops and markets analytics software to help companies access, manage, analyze and report on data. Currently, 14 acres of the property houses a 60,000-square-foot SAS office building built in 1989, prior to the site being annexed into the city of Austin. The remaining 80 acres is undeveloped and has dense vegetation.

The property is bounded by Grandview Hills Elementary School to its south, the Trails at 620 retail center to its east along RM 620 and homes to its west.

In its agenda documents, city of Austin staff stated the proposed General Office zoning will bring the existing office use unto conformance with the city’s land use regulations. Staff found that this zoning category would provide “for a transition in the intensity of uses from the commercial uses fronting North FM 620 to the east and the established single family residential neighborhood to the west.”

Although staff recommended the zoning change, they required the developer contribute its pro rata share of traffic signal modification and restriping at the RM 2222 and RM 620 intersection as well as turn lane improvements northbound and eastbound at the RM 620 and Wilson Parke intersection. The total cost of these improvements is estimated to be $1,053,263.50, with the owner contributing $645,923.24, agenda documents state. These improvements must be made before the city will issue a certificate of occupancy on the property.

Additionally, the new tenants’ uses cannot generate traffic that exceeds the TIA result of 3,692 average daily trips.

Whereas the construction of a shared pathway or public sidewalk was not made a requirement of its approval, city staff stated, in agenda documents, they hope the developer will “consider” installing these amenities within its corporate office park and along Wilson Parke to connect to nearby commercial, office and residential properties. A bike lane on Wilson Parke was also recommended as well as a public hike and bike trail within the project that joins with the surrounding residential communities.

SAS representative Drenner Group filed an application with the city of Austin to rezone the property Nov. 16  “in an effort to prepare (the property) to sell and show the potential for that land (to) developers,” said SAS corporate public relations manager Desiree Adkins at the time.

SAS recently relocated its office into a new space at 1801 E. 6th St., she said.