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Look to the skies

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Some possible food for thought during the ongoing evolution of the city’s Land Development Code comes via a new study from RentCafe that finds growing demand for apartment housing and rising land values are causing developers to think vertically. The study of three decades’ worth of apartment construction in major metro areas found that mid- and high-rise apartment buildings made up more than one-third of all apartment building projects from 2010-2018. That total – with high-rises representing 7 percent of all projects and mid-rise buildings accounting for 29 percent – reflects a drastic shift from 1990 through 1999 when every apartment project in the area was a low-rise, one of only five areas in the study with no tall apartment buildings constructed. The trend toward taller residential buildings is expected to continue as higher land values force developers to create more units per square foot wherever allowed by zoning regulations. Austin’s numbers roughly mirror the national totals for the markets included in the study, which showed low-rise buildings make up 63 percent of all new apartment projects, and mid- and high-rise buildings coming in at 31 and 7 percent, respectively.

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