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Brackenridge site could be downtown’s biggest new building project

Central Health issues official call for development proposals

University Medical Center Brackenridge, which has served as the city hospital (though not in its current building) since 1887, is almost ready for its redo. Ever since the new Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, a teaching hospital that is part of the behemoth Dell Medical School campus, was slated to absorb UMC Brackenridge’s functions, Central Health (which manages the district, basically) has pondered how to repurpose the Brackenridge building and its 14-acre campus at East 15th and Red River streets.

Now, according to a Thursday Austin American-Statesman story, Central Health has put out an official call for qualified developers to apply for the project. The paper reports that the transformation could result in up to 3.7 million square feet of new development that would include buildings 35 to 40 stories tall.

Central Health approved a general plan for the area last March, around the time Austin Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson made his high-profile press conference, during SXSW Interactive, about the city’s new “Innovation Zone” (which the hospital campus is part of). That plan the calls for a mix of residential, retail, office, and hotel spaces, as well as medical uses.

According to the Statesman, Central Health will lose $32 million per year when Seton Healthcare Family, which operates UMC Brackenridge, moves hospital operations to the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, projected to happen in May 2017. Central Health is looking to revenue from redevelopment to offset that loss.

Central Health seeks developers to transform Brackenridge site [Austin American-Statesman]