Austin: City OKs Local Developer Rezoning Request for up to 500 Unit Apartment Project
Feature Photo: Street view of Gourdough’s located at 2700 S. Lamar, its address is were the working title of the project takes it cue from. Image: Google Streets.
by Art Benavidez
Austin (Travis County) — A local developer received rezoning for up to 500 apartment units, at last week’s meeting of the City Council.
The 2.9-acre site consists of seven lots and were a combination of community commercial vertical mixed-use and multifamily (MF-3) district zoning that converted to multifamily highest density (MF-6) zoning.
The working name of the project, 2700 S. Lamar, was derived from one of the lots facing South Lamar Boulevard. The development is located in the Zilker neighborhood of South Austin at a confluence of the Zilker, South Lamar and Barton Hills neighborhoods.
The Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA) reported in July their support of the project, noting that developer Seamless Capital is proposing to build a 480-unit residential structure in eight floors and with 80% impervious cover.
“The increased entitlements of MF-6 would actually allow 686 units, but this is probably reduced by compatibility setbacks for height. The concept plan presented by the owner would likely contain only 463 units, if one assumes that most of the ground floor would be taken up by parking,” the ZNA stated.
The Zilker Neighborhood Association was disappointed, however, with the paltry number of units being set aside as “affordable,” and provided cases in the area proving a more generous apportionment should have been possible.
In the ZNA Zoning Committee’s Oct. 12 correspondence with the city they concluded, “The applicants ‘volunteer’ the same affordability as the existing VMU zoning‐‐10% of units at 60% MFI‐‐which in the best of circumstances would yield only about 40 income‐restricted units.
Seamless Capital restricted its affordability commitment to 10% percent of the units at 60% of the area median family income.
The tract is currently home to Two Hills Studios, an architectural metal fabricator that plans on relocating and a four-unit multifamily building that Seamless Capital is willing to provide tenant relocation, along with the opportunity for those tenants to return when the project is completed.
The rest of the tract consists of a restaurant, a dentist office building, a dog grooming facility and a furniture store.
Parkland dedication will be required at the time of subdivision or site plan application per city code.
City Council held a first reading of the request on Oct. 14. The Planning Commission forwarded the request to the city without a recommendation on June 8.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.