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County project to feature more than 100 affordable housing units

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

New details about Travis County’s proposed multiuse development in North Austin emerged on Tuesday along with some sharp illustrations (pdf!). Planning Project Manager Mark Gilbert showed the Travis County Commissioners Court three overhead renderings of the separate levels that could make up a commercial and residential complex on what is currently an empty lot at East 53 ½ Street and Airport Boulevard. Gilbert explained that the project would include as many as 160 units, with 146 reserved for low-income residents. The residential section of the building would face Helen Street, and its fourth floor would be set back in order not to loom over nearby single-family homes. On the Airport Boulevard side of the site would sit an office building that would also rise as high as four floors. Both office and residential components would wrap around a 350-car parking garage that would be used by both residents and office workers – “which is good,” noted County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, “because it makes it a 24-hour garage, unlike many of the garages that we see both in the downtown area and the outlying areas, where they are highly utilized during business hours but virtually empty at night.” Gilbert said the project could begin construction in early 2018 and have some units open to residents by the end of that year.

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