Green space to be added to Robbins block

Published 5:50 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

With it’s still unclear if the “Robbins block” will be the site of the new offices for health and human services, construction is likely to begin soon to develop a portion of the property.

The board of commissioners approved a request from the Main Street Project to make a 50 by 65 foot green space on the northwest corner of the block.

“It’s a nice addition to the project which will kind of tie everything together,” Commissioner Mike Ankeny said.

Public health will provide a bike rack in the space paid for through money from a grant.

Along with a small patch of lawn, there will be benches and flowers in the space. Commissioner Tim Gabrielson recommended adding park benches so county employees have another spot to go for lunch.

The Main Street Project is funding the construction to build the space, and the county — though they aren’t funding the project — will own the space and maintain the space.

“This is an asset to the county property for the city and county to enjoy,” Ankeny said.

The project is a joint effort, as the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has agreed to prune trees and plants at the site once a year.

Much of the remaining block will be dedicated to more than 90 parking spaces. The original plan called for about 104 parking spaces, but the green space will eliminate about two to four handicapped parking spaces. The handicapped parking spaces will be located west of the jail on what used to be First Street Northeast.

Spruce Up Austin may contribute funding to the project.