New Crew stadium site plans in Austin includes more parking, affordable housing - Columbus - Columbus Business First

New Crew stadium site plans in Austin includes more parking, affordable housing – Columbus – Columbus Business First

Precourt Sports Ventures is listening to its critics in Austin.

The company’s business arm in the Texas capital today released a new proposal for a stadium site at McKalla Place, the city-owned, 24-acre parcel that is being eyed as a home for the Columbus Crew SC.

After several Austin City Council members said they wanted to open up the site to other ideas as well, including mixed-use and affordable housing options, MLS2ATX released the new plans that include additional parking and 130 affordable housing units.

The company’s principal, Anthony Precourt, has been looking to move his team there since last fall.

The new rendering is similar to the one released in May. That site plan included a stadium surrounded by about 1,000 parking spaces, walkways and trails, a retention pond, a bicycle valet with room for about 500 bikes, park space, a music or performance space and an optional rail station. It also shows roadway access from nearby roads.

The new proposal includes a 600-car parking garage and the housing units which would go up in partnership with a local affordable housing group Foundation Communities. There are no changes on the size of the parcel or stadium itself.

“Precourt Sports Ventures’ vision is to create a true partnership with the City of Austin at McKalla Place, revitalizing an unused site to generate the greatest community benefit," Richard Suttle, attorney for PSV, said in a statement.

The idea of an MLS stadium in Austin has been getting mixed reviews from City Council.

Precourt Sports Ventures said it would privately finance the $200 million stadium. Under PSV’s proposal, Austin would own the stadium, the infrastructure and land it sits on. The team and PSV would collect the revenue.

"There’s no guarantee that (Precourt would) stay as long as he says he would," Councilwoman Leslie Pool told me a few weeks ago. "Watching what has happened in Columbus raises questions for me, because if he leaves early, then the debt would be the responsibility of Austin taxpayers."

Pool said she has had concerns since the beginning when Precourt was looking at public parkland for a stadium site. Vocal public opposition sent Precourt looking elsewhere for a potential stadium home.

"That was an early indication to me that he was tone deaf to what this community wants, and things haven’t really gotten much better,” she said.

Pool and councilwoman Alison Atler are co-sponsoring a resolution for council’s Thursday meeting that would ask the city manager to look over other potential plans for the McKalla Place development, in addition to the Crew proposal.

Those include a mixed-use development, affordable housing, parks and open space, affordable creative space and public transit, including a train station.

Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Mayor Steve Adler are sponsoring a different resolution that would have the city manager analyze the proposal from Precourt and “begin negotiations for a Major League Soccer stadium to be located at 10414 McKalla Place."

"McKalla seems like a real viable location and I’m excited to see if it can be done without City financing the stadium or being liable for any debt, and with community benefits like affordable housing support and youth soccer programs," Adler said in an email last week.

Precourt is hoping a decision will be made at this week’s meeting on the fate of McKalla Place. The sooner a decision comes, the sooner Precourt can move forward.

In Columbus, Precourt has been sued by the city and the state of Ohio in hopes he will keep the team here or sell it to investors.

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