To get the incentives, Vignette must agree to a short list ofimprovements for the building project. The $25-million packagecalls for reimbursement of the first $20.4 million in propertytaxes plus a waiver of $4.5 million in development fees. Thepackage is a means to keep Vignette from heading to west Austin orthe suburbs, where a comparable project would cost $75 millionless. In exchange, Vignette must clean up an overgrown creek thatruns through the property and widen Cesar Chavez and Red Riverstreets, which access the site. Vignette expects the improvementswill cost as much as $7 million.

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Vignette now offices its 1,000-plus workforce on MopacBoulevard. The five-year-old company has experienced a ten-foldgrowth in the last several years and desperately needs morespace.

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Last night, the property's zoning had been changed fromcommercial and multifamily so the site will have CBD status,allowing for higher density and greater height in the area, saysGreg Guernsey, a principal planner with Austin, toldGlobeSt.com.

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Vignette plans two to three, 25- to 30-story office buildings,retail and a parking garage on the site. The first phase of theproject includes one building totaling nearly 750,000 sf. Vignettehas yet to select a project architect.

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"Now we'll begin working with the city planners and look at ago-ahead strategy," says a Vignette source. He says the companyexpects to break ground in about six months and complete theproject within two years.

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The city's next step will be approval of a site plan, which isan administrative step and not subject to council approval, saysGuernsey.Council had unanimously approved the rezoning while theincentive package had passed on a 6-1 vote, with councilwomanBeverly Griffith abstaining.

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