Asian American Resource Center (Austin, TX) – Master Plan

ChallengeThe creation of a cultural resource center has been a goal of Austin’s Asian-American leadership for more than a decade. To facilitate this goal, a number of Asian organizations worked with the city of Austin to form the Asian American Resource Center Advisory Board. The nine-member board was charged with developing a comprehensive master plan for the facility and serving as a liaison between the city and the Asian-American community. Under a planning grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Board engaged a multi-disciplinary team led by Austin-based planning firm Broaddus & Associates to prepare the plan.

ApproachThe planning process centered on a 15-acre site in northeast Austin, with the understanding that the property would ultimately be purchased by the city and leased to the AARC. TIP was tasked with helping the team understand the implications of the master plan from an economic development standpoint. To accomplish this task, TIP looked at demographic changes in Austin’s Asian-American population, provided an analysis of market conditions around the proposed site, benchmarked similar facilities across the country, identified potential development scenarios, conducted a preliminary impact analysis of the proposed private sector uses, and created a sample operating budget. In addition, TIP participated in a number of public workshops.

OutcomeThe city’s rapidly growing Asian-American population, coupled with the general health of the regional economy suggests that a cultural center could be supported in the region. The proposed site offers several advantages, including proximity to fast-growing Asian population centers and strategic location near major transportation arterials (SH-183 and the recently completed SH-130). The planned relocation of selected city of Austin functions and business growth on adjacent properties creates an additional market for the center and related retail development beyond the market represented by surrounding neighborhoods. During the course of the master planning work, city residents passed a $31.5 million bond package in support of a number of area cultural facilities, including $5.0 million for the Asian American Resource Center. Construction of the Resource Center is expected to begin in late spring of 2011 and be completed by summer of 2012.

TIP Contact Tom Stellman
512.343.9113
tom@tipstrategies.com

Photo credit Broaddus

Photo credit Broaddus

Photo credit Broaddus