Endeavor reveals plans for Plaza Saltillo development on CapMetro land

Endeavor Real Estate Group has unveiled its vision for the Plaza Saltillo mixed-use project in East Austin.

The land is owned by Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the Capital Metro Red Line — the commuter rail that runs from Leander to Downtown Austin.

Endeavor and its partner Columbus Realty Partners Ltd. of Dallas won the competition to develop the 10-acre site that runs six blocks east of I-35 between East Fourth and Fifth streets almost two years ago.

It’s taken this long to engage in the due diligence process and come up with a plan. Now the Capital Metro board must approve the 99-year ground lease, financial terms and overall master development agreement. The vote is expected to come at the regular Capital Metro board meeting March 21. (Editor’s note: The board subsequently approved the deal with a 7-0 vote.)

That vote has drawn some controversy. Workers rights advocates have ramped up pressure on CapMetro board members over the pay and benefits that constructions workers would receive while building the project, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Construction workers are to be paid $11.39 per hour on the project, while workers rights advocates say they should receive $13.03 per hour, in line with the city’s living wage standard.

Endeavor will pay Capital Metro a first year base rent of $1,625,000 with fixed rent increases for the first five years of the lease and variable increases thereafter. Specifics about the total rent Endeavor and Columbus will pay over the length of the lease were not disclosed, nor how much of a total investment is expected in the completed project.

Jason Thumlert, a principal with Endeavor, is taking the lead on the development with assistance from Columbus representatives.

“For me this site is so unique,” he told Austin Business Journal. “The connection on the rail stop makes this such an exciting place in the city.”

The mixed-use project is expected to include residential components — affordable and senior housing, in part — office, retail and open space. No public parking is planned.