Austin: Developer Delays Zoning Vote on Apartment Project as Neighborhood Team Talks Persist
Feature Illustration: An aerial view of the proposed mixed-use development site in south Austin; inlaid above the site is an early version of the building’s east elevation. Image: Google Earth/VBX graphic.
by Art Benavidez
Austin (Travis County) — The hearing on a zoning application for a multi-story apartment building with ground floor retail has been postponed to Feb. 9 by the Planning Commission.
Commissioners had the project on their Tuesday agenda, however, a decision was delayed to give the developer more time to communicate with the South Congress Combined Neighborhood Plan Contact Team.
The developer is calling for vertical mixed use building zoning as an addition to their community commercial conditional overlay. Development Services staff is recommending approval of the development.
Except for a drainage pond, the 3.82-acre site is undeveloped land. It is located at 6311 South 1st Street, at the northeast intersection of South 1st Street and Eberhart Lane.
The project has been referred to as the SoFi Apartments, or simply as 6311 South 1st Street, according to city documents. Leah M. Bojo of the Austin law firm Drenner Group is representing the developer–Haythem Dawlett, president of the Dawlett Group LLC.
The developer is proposing to develop the site with up to 251 apartment units, along with 926 square feet of ground floor retail uses.
A recently revised version of the project provides an additional 93 units over a previously approved site plan (from 158 to 251), as well as the addition of a retail component.
The April 2020 version of the SoFi Apartments site plan. It has since been revised. Courtesy: Consort Inc.
Under Austin’s land development code, a V-building is also eligible for 60 percent of the minimum requirement for off-street parking.
Also, a V-building must reserve 10 percent of the units at 80 percent of the median family income for a period of 40 years.
The maximum impervious cover allowed by the general retail base zoning district is 80%, based on the more restrictive watershed regulations.
An administrative site plan for a four-story building named SOFI Apartments, with 158 residential units and office use, with approximately 76.27% impervious cover, was approved and released in Oct. of 2019, according to cases related to the property. However, site plans for the revised concept have not been released.
Austin-based Dawlett Group created the special entity ND South First LP to own the land. The engineer/landscape architect is Consort Inc. of Bee Cave. The building architect is Rhode Partners of Austin.
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.