Foundation Communities to open first commercial net zero-energy building in Austin

Lakeline Station Apartments opened in December at 13635 Rutledge Spur, Austin, off RM 620.

Lakeline Station Apartments opened in December at 13635 Rutledge Spur, Austin, off RM 620.

Lakeline Station Apartments In May, Foundation Communities will open the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Learning Center at the Lakeline Station Apartments. The center will be the first commercial net zero-energy building in the city of Austin.[/caption]

Foundation Communities has been providing low-income housing to Austin residents for 25 years, and in May it will also operate the city’s first commercial net zero-energy building.

The building, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Learning Center, is located on the site of the nonprofit’s newest community, Lakeline Station Apartments, which opened in December at 13635 Rutledge Spur, Austin, off RM 620 in Northwest Austin.

“[The center] will produce at least as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis,” said Sunshine Mathon, the design and development director for Foundation Communities.

The facility is equipped with solar panels on the roof; LED lighting; and an energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit, he said.

The nonprofit also is planning to install a large-scale Tesla Powerwall battery that would help keep energy costs low and allow the building to operate during a power failure, Mathon said. Foundation Communities is the city’s largest private provider of solar energy, he added.

Part of Foundation Communities’ mission is to provide residents with resources “right at their doorstep,” said Peachy Myers, the nonprofit’s director of community engagement. The center will also provide after-school and summer programs for children as well as financial and health classes and tools for adults.

Sprinkled throughout the apartment complex are native plants and 2,500-gallon rainwater cisterns that irrigate the plants and also provide water to flush toilets at the center, Myers said.

Lakeline Station Apartments has 128 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, catering to families, including immigrants, refugees and those formerly homeless, Myers said. The complex is already fully leased.

Residents pay between $378-$1,120 a month for rent based on their income. Units are restricted to those earning 30, 50 or 60 percent of the area median family income, Myers said. The complex has a large center lawn with two children’s play areas and a basketball court.

Foundation Communities owns and operates 22 communities for low-income residents.

“You probably drove by some in Austin and not known some were ours, and that’s how we like it,” Myers said.

In December it also opened Bluebonnet Studios on South Lamar Boulevard. Although the facility has 107 studio apartments, more than 900 residents were interested in living there, Myers said.

“The demand is so high in Austin,” she said.

One other Foundation Communities site is under construction: Cardinal Point, located at 11011 1/2 Four Points Drive near the intersection of RM 2222 and RM 620 in Northwest Austin. That project will open later in 2017 with 120 units.

The nonprofit is also planning an expansion of 20 new units at Garden Terrace in Southwest Austin.

[g-slider gid="236969" width="100%" height="55%"]
By Amy Denney
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and then senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition and covering transportation. She is now managing editor for the nine publications in the Central Texas area.


MOST RECENT

Q2 Stadium in North Austin
U.S. women’s national soccer team to debut Q2 Stadium next month

The USWNT takes on the Nigerian national team at Q2 Stadium ahead of the summer Olympic Games.

Juneau was adopted at Austin Animal Center in November 2019. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Animal Center reaches critical capacity, opens doors to all adopters for first time since May 2020

Austin and Travis County’s animal shelter, Austin Animal Center, reached negative kennel space May 4, meaning there are more dogs than available kennels, according to a release from the city of Austin.

Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.

The Austin City Council is set to meet May 6 to go over a 70-item agenda. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Votes on revamped APD cadet academy, possible shift in homeless strategy on tap May 6

Council may look to the possibility of establishing designated campgrounds for the Austin's homeless this spring, with a citywide public camping ban set to go into effect May 11.

Blue Nile
Jeweler Blue Nile opening new North Austin storefront and 4 other new businesses to know in The Domain and Domain Northside

Check out these new businesses that have opened or are coming soon in North Austin.

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, child abuse advocates feared they would see a drop in reported cases of suspected abuse and/or neglect. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
As pandemic restrictions ease, reports of child abuse increase

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, child abuse advocates feared they would see a drop in reported cases of suspected abuse and/or neglect.

Austin City Council will vote on whether to reboot the police department's training academy May 6. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Benchmarks for 'reimagined' APD cadet academy on track ahead of City Council commencement vote

Training of the Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class could get underway next month following an overhaul of the academy's instructional process and curriculum.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial with the words "vaccine news" superimposed
Austin-area health officials prep for vaccines to open to kids 12 and up

Austin-Travis County interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he expects the FDA to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12 and up within a week.

New penalties for camping and several other activities will be enforced after the May 1 election is certified and Proposition B's homeless ordinances are in effect. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
With Proposition B's passage, Austin City Council looks to solidify homelessness summit goals, may consider designated campgrounds

The city may look to the concept of temporary designated campsites to house individuals experiencing homelessness after a new camping ban enacted through Proposition B goes into effect.

Photo of hands in purple gloves prepared a vaccine vial
As Travis County receives fewer vaccines this week, state asks for 'one more big push' in distribution

The Texas Department of State Health Services is shifting its distribution model for vaccines moving forward.