The Seaholm EcoDistrict

EcoDistricts offer sustainability strategies at the neighborhood level to address equity, resilience, and climate protection. The iconic Seaholm Power Plant lends its name to the entire Seaholm EcoDistrict and symbolizes the revitalization of this prominent area in the heart of downtown Austin.

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.

Green building

All new development designed and constructed according to LEED® or Austin Energy Green Building standards.

Water quality

Innovative stormwater control measures capture and filter run-off using vegetation to remove pollutants before it returns to our lakes, rivers, and streams.

Wildlife habitat

Shoal Creek and Shoal Beach restoration includes native riparian plantings for fish, birds, turtles. The Central Library roof provides a butterfly habitat.

Zero-emissions infrastructure

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.

TravelStorys is available for download on the App Storeopen_in_new and Google Playopen_in_new.

Prefer to take the tour remotely? Explore the EcoDistrict onlineopen_in_new.

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