On Aug. 27, Austin City Council tentatively approved a proposal to rezone the commercial property into a dense multifamily zoning category to make way for the project. Approved on first reading, the zoning request still needs approval on its second and third readings to fully move forward.
Tied to the rezoning is a 360-unit apartment development, offering 10% of the units at 60% of the median family income for Austin, or $58,550 for a family of four. If approved, the new zoning for the property would permit the project to reach 90 feet in height; however, Michael Gaudini of the lobbying firm Armbrust & Brown, which represents the property owner, assured the neighborhood in March that the project would “maybe need 60-75 feet with five to six floors.”
The Local Post Pub is the flagship business of the roughly 36,000-square-foot commercial building on the property, a structure that dates back to the 1970s, according to Carl Daywood, the realtor for the property. Daywood told Community Impact Newspaper that the building is about 46% vacant and has had trouble with leasing due to economic pressures associated with the layout of the property. He said a 36,000-square-foot building on a 4.4-acre commercial lot along a busy corridor means expensive rent for the building’s few tenants.
As it stands, the rezoning request only asks for multifamily zoning and does not incorporate any commercial aspects.
Residents in the neighborhood who spoke against the proposal raised concerns around traffic, emergency access to the building and undersized public infrastructure to handle 360 apartment units.
City Council will revisit the zoning request in the coming months for its second and third approvals.