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Austin: Local Real Estate Company Proposing 300-Unit Development on Former Bowling Alley Site

Feature Photo: A street view of Dart Bowl at 5700 Grover Avenue where Oden Hughes is proposing the apartment development. Image: Google Streets. 

Posted: 6-24-2021

by Art Benavidez

Austin (Travis County) — A local real estate developer received rezoning for a 300-unit apartment complex during Tuesday’s meeting of the Austin Planning Commission.

The 4.135 acres (180,120 SF) property covers two lots, with Lot 1 converting from mixed-use (MU) and Lot 2 converting from multifamily (MF-3) to multifamily-highest density-conditional overlay (MF-6-CO) district zoning.

Lot 1 is on the west side of Grover Avenue between West Koenig Lane and Houston Street at 5700 Grover Avenue. The 34,660 square-foot Dart Bowl bowling alley, an Austin institution that closed last summer, was the former tenant.

The adjacent Lot 2 is an undeveloped site, and to the west of Roosevelt Avenue where it ends at Dart Bowl.

Aerial view of site by the City of Austin.

The property is south of The Pearl Apartments, currently under construction, and across from the McCallum High School sport fields.

The working name of the project is 5700 Grover Avenue & 5612 Roosevelt Avenue.

The CO contains the following development conditions:

  • The combination of lots one and two are limited to 300 dwelling units.
  • A six foot high solid fence will be installed and maintained along the west property line. 
  • Lot one development standards include a maximum building height of 45-feet and four stories, along with a minimum 40-foot wide building or structure setback along west property line
  • Lot two development standards include a maximum building height of 35 feet and three stories, along with a maximum of 20 multifamily dwelling units and maximum impervious cover limited to 65%.

John Donovan owns the property through the entity Family Sports, Inc. Donovan told the Austin American Statesman last year that he was closing the bowling alley due to the financial strain the pandemic had put on the business and wasn’t sure of what would become of the property after years of turning away real estate investors.   

David Hartman, with Austin-based law firm Smith Robertson, LLP, represented the project to the commission.

Hartman stated in a letter submitted to the commission that the developer is proposing constructing  300-units, most of which would be located in a four-story building that is less than 45 feet in height.

The real estate blog, Austin Towers, has identified Oden Hughes as the developer of the project. Oden Hughes is an integrated real estate company that does development, construction and investment. 

The building would be similar in scale to The Pearl Apartments building, according to submitted documents.  

An artist rendering of The Pearl Apartments building by Lincoln Property Company.

A second smaller building, with 16-to 20-units, is planned on the south side of lot two.

Most or all of the parking will be in the four-story parking deck accessed from Grover Avenue, with four parking spaces potentially provided under the smaller building.

Compatibility requirements will guide design decisions related to building height and setback because there is single family-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) zoning along most of the west site boundary and also on the McCallum High School property.

Parkland dedication will be required for the new residential units proposed by this development, multifamily with MF-6-CO zoning, at the time of subdivision or site plan.

City Council is expected to vote on the recommendation at their July 29 meeting.

VBX Project ID: 2021-451E


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By |2021-06-24T16:41:33-05:00June 24th, 2021|Construction Preview, Feature Story|

About the Author:

Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, East 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 UTRGV.