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AUSTIN-The Mexic-Arte Museum is ready to accelerate development of a new building now that the Austin City Council denied historic zoning to the museum’s building at 419 N. Congress Ave. in the CBD.

Museum officials will begin work on a master plan for the new structure to catch up with the fund-raising effort to pay for it, Sylvia Orozco, the museum’s director, tells GlobeSt.com. She says the museum has focused on fighting the historic designation by the city.

Parts of the 22,080-sf building date to 1869, but has undergone considerable changes over the years. City council members cited the changes in denying historic zoning.

The museum building is next to the Fourth at Congress building, a 33-story Cousins Properties Inc. development. A key to a new museum building is to build it while the Cousin’s structure is under construction. Cousins has pledged $50,000 in cash and $1 million of in-kind services to help the museum determine what it will need in a new building and to build it. Orozco says the museum is in the final phase of its $15 million fund-raising campaign.

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