The Central Health Board of Managers voted Wednesday, Oct. 25 to allow staff to begin negotiations with a master developer for the Brackenridge Campus redevelopment, former home of University Medical Center Brackenridge (UMCB).
Following an intensive review process, the Central Health procurement committee unanimously selected Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, of Baltimore, MD, one of two firms that responded to Central Health’s Request for Proposals. Brandywine Realty Trust was the second firm.
“Selecting a preferred master developer is an important first step to move this project forward,” said Mike Geeslin, President & CEO of Central Health. “We look forward to starting this process and keeping the board and community apprised of our progress.”
Central Health owns the 14-acre Brackenridge Campus, that since 1889 had been home to the community’s safety net hospital. Seton Healthcare Family, which operated UMCB, moved hospital operations across the street in May to a brand-new hospital – Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas. This move cleared the way for the redevelopment of the historic campus – six contiguous blocks located at 15th Street and Interstate 35.
While Central Health begins negotiations with Wexford Science & Technology, demolition of the former hospital tower is still six months to a year away. It will be at least two to three years before construction begins on the property.
For more than 100 years the Central Health Brackenridge Campus has served the medical needs of Austin, Travis County, and surrounding areas. Today, the 14.3-acre Brackenridge Campus resides at the heart of Austin’s most dynamic downtown areas – the University of Texas at Austin Medical District, the Texas Capitol Complex, Downtown Austin, historic East Central Austin and Waterloo Park – and holds the potential to connect our communities. The location of the Brackenridge Campus – combined with the relocation in 2017 of University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital operations from the campus to the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas – offers an unprecedented redevelopment opportunity for Central Health with the potential to greatly bene t all of the residents of Travis County in the years to come. It is Central Health’s intention that the campus continues to support our mission while also aligning with the synergy of the surrounding transformation. We are proud to present the Brackenridge Campus Master Plan as a vision of what the Brackenridge Campus may become, and some of the ways it can continue to serve our community.
The Master Plan is intended to guide Central Health, its present and future partners and the community about the redevelopment of this landmark downtown property. The Master Plan expresses a vision created and refined through a robust stakeholder and community engagement process, which is ongoing. The Brackenridge Campus Master Plan will be an evolving, long-term plan that establishes a basic site planning framework, as well as planning parameters for the property.
The Master Plan establishes a framework of streets and open spaces that break up the large “superblock” of the Brackenridge Campus into new development and open space parcels, while connecting directly to the surrounding streets and districts. The Master Plan recommends three phases of development within the overall project, beginning in 2017 and ending approximately 2035. The Plan calls for the near-term reuse of more valuable buildings and for the immediate deconstruction of those that have little reuse value, relative to the revenue they could generate through redevelopment.
The Master Plan is guided by three, over-arching guiding principles – Mission, Stewardship, and Partnership – developed and adopted by Central Health’s Board of Managers at the outset of the planning process. These principles have been used to evaluate different scenarios for developing a “complete community” that could feature medical uses, housing needs, recreation, and retail.
Project Next Steps
• Continue community conversations
• Design and construct streets, open spaces and other infrastructure
• Finalize the project’s zoning parameters
• Pursue a development partner or partners for the project
• Partner to create a public market
• Collaborate in transportation and parking management planning
• Continue to develop the Brackenridge Campus for health care uses