A new mixed-use development in Westlake is a completely new type of build for the tony zip code, the Austin Business Journal reports.
Located across from Barton Creek Mall on 16 acres, the project will have an apartment building with 168 units, 71 townhomes, and a three story office building with 55,000 square feet. That sort of density is a rarity for this area heavy with large homes on large lots.
After years of wrangling with neighbors who are concerned about increased traffic from the development, the project started construction at the beginning of last year and is forecast to be complete near the beginning of next year. A traffic study found that the project would add less traffic than the project that was set for the land previously (and never built).
The project also had to get approval from the Austin City Council for a mixed-use development. It was able to use an ordinance that allowed construction over the aquifer as long as it didn’t increase impervious cover, put in place controls for pollution, and put money into a fund the city maintains that buys land for preservation.
Housing and office space in the project will be pricey, but still well below prices for less densely built developments in the notoriously expensive 78746 zip code. The townhomes for sale start at $600,000 and go up to $900,000, rent for apartments will be over $2 per square foot, and $3,000 a month for townhomes that are for rent. By comparison, the median price of Westlake homes for June was $1,060,250.
The project is forecast to cost at least $75 million in total, but the developers are planning to make a huge return on that investment. Buildable land in the hilly area is rare, and so any new development is quickly snatched up.