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Austin: Commission OK’s Land Use, Zoning Changes for East Side Mixed Use Project

Featured Photo (above): Austin developer Pearlstone Partners seeks to transform this vacant part of 2700 E. 5th St. into an mixed-use development. The warehouse in the background is not part of the project site. Image: Google Streets

Posted: 8-29-19

By Edmond Ortiz

Austin (Travis County)–The Austin Planning Commission has recommended approving changes in land use and zoning of a small, triangular East Side lot where a local developer wants to build a small office/retail complex.

The commission met Aug. 27 to consider Pearlstone Partners’ requests for a half-acre undeveloped property at 2700 E. 5th St.

Using the special purpose entity 2700 E. 5th JV, LLC, Pearlstone asked the city to designate the land for mixed use, and to rezone it from limited industrial to general commercial services, neighborhood plan combining district and mixed use combining district.

Pearlstone plans a four-story, 100,000-square-foot office building with restaurant/retail space on the first floor, and structured parking for 380 spaces. The new office building will be accessible only from 5th Street.

The address, 2700 East 5th, covers a larger 1.74-acre tract that is bound to the north by a Union Pacific railway and to the east by separate adjacent lots that accommodate small-scale industrial/office ventures along North Pleasant Valley Road.

Part of that 1.74-acre tract was already has mixed use zoning. However, the city accidentally left the property out of the future land use planning process, so no prior land use designation had been given.

The blue shading marks the sliver of land where Pearlstone Partners plans to build a multi-story office building with restaurant/retail space. Image: Google Streets

City staff recommended approving the land use and rezoning requests. Thanks to Pearlstone’s request, the city will include the two other lots on the 1.74-acre tract – 2716 and 2726 E. 5th Street – into its future land use planning process.

Pearlstone has yet to provide a preliminary construction timeline or cost for the project. The Planning Commission’s recommendations on the land use and zoning requests must go next to the City Council.

Pearlstone’s new office project is part of an increase in new office and retail space development on the city’s near East Side. Riverside Resources is planning to develop Centro, a mixed-use complex, over multiple phases at 1401 E. 6th St. Endeavor Real Estate Group is developing Plaza Saltillo between 4th and 5th streets.

The area immediately surrounding the property includes businesses such as a handful of auto repair and collision shops, a furniture repair shop, Hops and Grain Brewing Co. and an H-E-B store. Capital Metro’s administrative office is located just across North Pleasant Valley Road.