AUSTIN, Texas — As the city of Austin continues to grow, so does its homeless population, with many of those in need concentrated downtown.
At a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, Mayor Steve Adler and several community leaders will unveil the city’s plan to help house those who are dealing with homelessness, and to relieve overcrowding at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless.
Adler has been an advocate for addressing the homeless population that is part of what he calls the "downtown puzzle." Last December, he sent a letter to his colleagues on the city council outlining his main objectives for 2017, with ‘downtown homeless and the ARCH’ listed as the second item.
In the letter, Adler stated:
"My understanding is that best practices indicate a continuing need for the ARCH to be the downtown shelter. Rightsizing the ARCH and housing the homeless is also just the right thing to do for some of the most vulnerable among us."
The area surrounding the homeless shelter remains a constant safety concern, but that wasn’t enough to deter one developer. There will soon be a high-rise multi-use project right next door to the ARCH in what is currently a pay-to-park parking lot.
The property, known as “Block 87,” is privately owned by the Episcopal Church and is bordered by Seventh, Eighth, Trinity and Neches Streets.
Conceptual renderings from Cielo Property Group , an Austin-based company, show what the project could look like once it’s finished.
The large mixed-use proposal would also offer a permanent home for the church’s archives. There is no official construction date for the project, but developers hope to break ground sometime next year.