History of Seaholm EcoDistrict
After the power plant was decommissioned in 1989, the property was designated as a brownfield site and was considered too contaminated for use. Between 1997 and 2003, significant investment was devoted to cleaning up the historic site, and in 2005 a public-private partnership was formed to redevelop the building using green design and construction practices.
Restoration of the power plant created a ripple effect of sustainable development surrounding the site and today the Seaholm EcoDistrict is a vibrant hub of residential, office, and community gathering spaces that reflects Austin’s spirit.
The 90-acre EcoDistrict reflects Austin’s commitment to sustainable urban living and contains green features that are good for the environment and people who, live, work or play here.
Features that make the Seaholm EcoDistrict a special place include:
- Energy innovation, such as district-wide air conditioning with chilled water infrastructure and solar panels on roofs and benches.
- Water conservation through the use of large-scale rainwater collecting cisterns and reclaimed water for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing.
- Improved mobility in a compact and connected neighborhood with multi-modal transportation options including MetroRapid buses, bike-and-car-share, walkways, bridges, and urban trails.
- Place-making in the form of public art installations, the iconic Butterfly Bridge, unique Festival Street, and gathering spaces designed to bring people together.
The Seaholm EcoDistrict embodies goals from the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, such as:
Culturally significant places
The EcoDistrict contains the site of the first permanent settlement in Austin and now includes the adaptive reuse of the historic Seaholm Power Plant and new Central Library.
All new development designed and constructed according to LEED® or Austin Energy Green Building standards.
Innovative stormwater control measures capture and filter run-off using vegetation to remove pollutants before it returns to our lakes, rivers, and streams.
Shoal Creek and Shoal Beach restoration includes native riparian plantings for fish, birds, turtles. The Central Library roof provides a butterfly habitat.
Electric Drive provides fast-charging electric vehicle stations and a solar kiosk with recharging for electric bikes, phones, and tablets.
Learn more about the Seaholm EcoDistrict
Download the FREE TravelStorys app to take a self-guided audio walking tour. Chief Sustainability Officer Lucia Athens provides a behind-the-scenes narrative about each destination. The tour offers a unique perspective on the history of this important redevelopment area, as well as its bright green future.
Prefer to take the tour remotely? Explore the EcoDistrict online.