Development of new Chalmers Courts complex in Austin reaches significant milestone

The new Chalmers South apartment complex features 86 new units. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper
The new Chalmers South apartment complex features 86 new units. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper

The new Chalmers South apartment complex features 86 new units. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper

The Chalmers Courts apartment complex on East Fourth Street in Austin has been around since 1939. Pio Renteria, who grew up in Austin and now represents the area around the complex on Austin City Council, said he remembers a time when people would pass by the complex and say “this is where all the poor people live at.”

“They had that stigma,” Renteria said. “If you lived here in Chalmers Courts, you were poor, and [other people] looked down on you.”

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin, which manages the complex, is working to change that stigma, along with help from partners working in development and politics. The complex is in the midst of three-phase approach that will add close to 400 rental units to Chalmers Courts and include amenities such as central air conditioning, a new plumbing and electrical system, and Google Fiber internet.

On Nov. 7, HACA announced the pivot from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of that project. The first new building to open, called Chalmers South, features 86 new units and began construction in August 2018. A ribbon cutting on Nov. 7 commemorated the opening of the building.

Chalmers residents were given right of first refusal to move across the street into the new property at 1640 E. Second St., where HACA previously had administration buildings. According to Printice Gary, partner and principal at Carleton Companies, which led the development of the project, 60 of 70 eligible residents decided to accept the offer and move to the new Chalmers South facility.


Mary Apostolou is one of those residents and also serves as the resident commissioner on HACA’s board and as the Chalmers Resident Council president.

“Everything is bigger and brighter,” Apostolou said at the ceremony.

The next phase of the project will be Chalmers East, which broke ground Nov. 7 and is set to open sometime in 2020 at 1801 E. Fourth St., followed by the final phase, Chalmers West, at the same address—scheduled to open in 2021.

HACA says at the new complex, residents will have access to workforce development, educational, and health and wellness services on-site, which will provided by community partners.

The ceremony Nov. 7 featured appearances by Renteria; Mayor Steve Adler; state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin; and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.

Rodriguez, a resident of East Austin since 1999, said projects like the new Chalmers Courts complex will “keep the fabric of a diverse community.”

Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect the correct number of new units in the Chalmers South complex.


MOST RECENT

Photo of a hand holding a vaccine vial
As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.

Photo of a woman holding a Pride flag
Austin July and August events: Bat Fest, monster trucks and Pride

A variety of in-person and virtual events are happening around Austin this summer.

Photo of a home with a "just listed" sign in the front yard
A seller’s market in Central Austin drives challenging landscape for buyers

Local experts say a "perfect storm" of construction obstacles continue to restrict home supply.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Search for Austin's next top cop narrows to 7 finalists; new chief to be named by end of August

Seven finalists from across the country remain in the search for Austin's next police chief, the city announced July 26.

Austin ISD will offer virtual learning options to students in kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2021-22 school year, according to a July 26 news release from the district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin ISD plans to offer virtual learning for some students in 2021-22 school year

The district changed course on virtual learning after rising case counts led the local health authority to revert to Stage 4 guidelines, including wearing masks.

Chick-fil-A will open a location in downtown Austin on July 29. (Courtesy Chick-fil-A)
Chick-fil-A coming to downtown Austin; Dutch Bros Coffee opens in Round Rock and more Central Texas news

Located at 600 Congress Ave., Ste. C150, the newest outpost for the fast-food fried chicken giant is locally owned by Luke Steigmeyer.

City and criminal justice representatives gathered July 26 for a virtual forum about public safety in downtown Austin. (Screenshot via Downtown Austin Alliance)
Officials talk violent crime, diversion options amid continuing discussions over downtown Austin safety

City Council this week could also vote to roll out a new Sixth Street public safety strategy and support a county criminal justice diversion program.

State Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin sent a letter July 23 urging Gov. Greg Abbott to allow schools to require masks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas state reps. call on Abbott to permit school mask mandates amid rising COVID-19 cases

The letter, spearheaded by Rep. Vikki Goodwin, called upon Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath to permit school districts to enact mask mandates and provide virtual learning options.

photo of Chick-fil-a fries and sauce
Chick-fil-A to open in downtown Austin July 29

A new location for the chicken giant is coming to 600 Congress Ave.

The new 35-story building overlooks Lady Bird Lake and Shoal Creek. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Workers celebrate topping out of Austin 'sailboat building' concrete structure

Workers who contribute to the construction of the Block 185 building celebrated topping off the structure, a big milestone for the development project that began in 2019.