Located at 3811 1/2 Tannehill Lane next to Norman-Sims Elementary School, the proposed Norman Commons project is a joint venture between nonprofits Foundation Communities and the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corp. The Austin-area developers were selected to bring new housing to the 9-acre city-owned property in 2021 after their plan beat out several other bids in a city procurement process.
Norman Commons is envisioned as a mix of 156 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments in a facility from Foundation Communities and nearly three dozen single-family homes and duplex homes from the GNDC. The Foundation Communities portion of the development will reserve 16 units for people exiting homelessness with on-site case management support.
The developer also said the project could include a food pantry, a learning center and outdoor amenities.
Housing is expected to be available to those earning below 60% of the regional median family income, or MFI. The Austin-area MFI sat at $110,300 for a family of four as of 2022; 60% of that figure is $66,180. Homeless housing units would be available to those earning 30% MFI—now $33,090—and below.
Council approved the rezoning March 23 with support from East MLK neighborhood representatives. In a letter, they said they were “delighted” to welcome the project to the area—but also voiced some unease about the growing unaffordability of housing based on income brackets thanks to rising wages in the region.
“Our members continue to be concerned about the rapid increase in Austin's MFI and the resulting impact to our residents. For example, residents who may have qualified for certain affordability just a few years ago are at much deeper affordability bands now, which complicates their qualification,” East MLK Neighborhood Plan Contact Team leadership said in a February letter.
The project could open late next year, according to Foundation Communities' website.