By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Members of 2222 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations shared with Karlin Real Estate a list of requests recently for the massive 156-acre site off of River Place Boulevard and RM 2222 now called Highpoint at 2222.
The developer is currently rehabbing the existing nine buildings and the 1.1 million-square-feet of office space in Phase 1. Last fall, plans were unveiled for future phases which include retail and apartments.
Linda Bailey, president of Lake Austin Collective Inc., which is a member of 2222 CONA, shared a few weeks ago in January that Karlin was given an initial list of requests as the developer is in the planning stages of redevelopment:
- A wish to maintain greenbelt designation at 6800 River Place Blvd (where Karlin wants to build some 320 apartment units),
- A robust Transportation Impact Study be completed to understand future mobility needs,
- That Hill Country Roadway Ordinance height and setbacks be respected.
This wish list stems from the results of a community wide survey that was circulated over 10 days last fall and had participation from 915 individuals.
On November 21, members of 2222 CONA shared the survey results with top executives at Karlin Real Estate. The results primarily indicated concerns with the potential huge traffic increases on River Place and Sitio Del Rio boulevards and RM 2222. Other survey results indicate the need for another road to Four Points Middle School and Vandegrift High School, and a desire for a more kid-friendly park land.
“Karlin management acknowledged that traffic congestion is an issue for our community and their future tenants,” Bailey shared. “They have agreed to continue discussions on our community’s concerns this year.”
That is significant, according to Bailey, because at previous meetings, Karlin unveiled plans that did not include feedback from the community.
Mike McGlashan, vice president of acquisitions and development for Karlin, shared at a September 16 presentation to leaders in the community that Karlin was planning to have “up to 1.5 million square-feet of office space, 77,000 square-feet of retail, and up to 1,400 apartments” over multiple phases, according to Bailey, who was at the meeting.
Karlin shared plans to build 315 or so apartments in Phase 2 at the 10-acre site at 6800 River Place Blvd.
The Karlin website also shares that the development potential of the Highpoint 2222 site is 2.6 million square-feet.
After Karlin’s plans were revealed in September, there was community concern and pushback. A petition was launched and gathered more than 1,700 signatures.
That petition likely helped spur Karlin to host a meeting with a group of some 15 Four Points area community leaders in mid October. At that meeting, Karlin apologized for not listening to the needs of the community sooner and it said then that its pausing plans past Phase 1.
The pause could be two months, six months or a year, “we want to understand the area better,” McGlashan told the group.
Additionally Karlin leadership have told Bailey and 2222 CONA that “future plans are on hold for now.”
According to those keeping a close eye on the former 3M site redevelopment, no plans have been filed or permits issued yet for other work outside of the existing nine buildings.
Four Points News reached out but as of press time, had not heard back from Karlin.
2222 CONA plans to stay involved with the Karlin redevelopment project.
“Continued community engagement over the next 1-2 years will be the only way we can ensure this new development is completed safely and with minimal impact to our neighborhoods and families,” Bailey shared with those who are part of the Lake Austin Collective newsletter. “We will keep you updated on next steps and opportunities for your participation in the process.”