AUSTIN-The site of the Austin Children’s Museum and the site of the proposed Austin Museum of Art have been axed from the federal government’s list of downtown blocks for a new federal courthouse, federal officials say.
The General Services Administration dropped those parcels at the urging of Rep. Lloyd Doggett, US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Austin residents. The Children’s Museum’s block is bordered by Second, Colorado, Third streets and Congress Avenue, and the art museum block is block bordered by Third, Guadalupe, Fourth and San Antonio streets. A third parcel, bordered by Seventh, Trinity, Eighth and Neches streets, is still in play, but has received little enthusiasm.
Officials say federal courts have outgrown the current federal courthouse at 200 W. Eighth Street. The proposed $62-million courthouse would be about 195,000 sf and require a city block because of setbacks.
The property containing and surrounding the unfinished Intel Corp. building might be considered, but federal officials say the price, so far, is too high. That site is roughly bounded by Sixth, San Antonio, Fourth and Rio Grande streets.
Another possibility could be the block bounded by Second and Third streets on the south and north and by Guadalupe and Lavaca streets on the west and east. It was to have been developed by Computer Sciences Corp., but the company sold it back to the City of Austin. City officials were unavailable to comment about that today because city offices were closed for Veterans Day.