Austin development updates: Apartments could replace two Rainey Street bars, 307 affordable housing units coming to South First Street area

The Bridge at Turtle Creek apartment complex will provide more than 300 affordable units upon completion in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Journeyman Group)
The Bridge at Turtle Creek apartment complex will provide more than 300 affordable units upon completion in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Journeyman Group)

The Bridge at Turtle Creek apartment complex will provide more than 300 affordable units upon completion in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Journeyman Group)

See the latest on development in Austin, including a proposed tower on Rainey Street and more changes in the St. Elmo area of South Austin.

1. Another apartment tower could be on its way to Rainey

A 569-foot apartment tower that could take the place of Rainey Street bars Craft Pride and Javelina advanced through one stage of city approvals

Oct. 26. River Street Residences would provide approximately 409 rental units and ground-level retail space. While that space could include restaurants or bars, the future of Craft Bar and Javelina is unknown.

Space: 505,409 square feet

Timeline: TBD

2. Affordable housing complex in South Austin breaks ground in December

A 307-unit affordable housing complex is set to break ground in December at 735 Turtle Creek Blvd., Austin, according to the developer, after Austin City Council approved issuing bonds Oct. 29.

The $66 million Bridge at Turtle Creek project will offer 126 efficiency units, 104 one-bedroom options and 77 two-bedroom units to renters making at or below 60% of the median family income in Austin, which is $97,600 for a four-person household. The total square footage of the project is approximately 258,000.

The Journeyman Group is developing the project in partnership with the Austin Affordable Housing Corp. and the Housing Authority of the city of Austin. To finance the project, council authorized the issuance of $44 million in private activity bonds Oct. 29—the project will also receive a 4% tax credit through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, a program open to developers who build affordable housing.

Construction is estimated to take about 18 months, with an estimated opening date in summer 2022.

Space: 258,000 square feet

Timeline: December 2020-summer 2022

3. Apartments could replace food trucks in St. Elmo area

A new apartment complex could be on the way to South Congress Avenue, replacing a storage facility and food truck yard in the area of the forthcoming St. Elmo Market.

The Austin Planning Commission approved an application from South Congress Development LLC to build 280 apartment units with 5,000 square feet of ground floor residential and retail space.

Amanda Swor of the Drenner Group, representing the applicant, said 14 units will be for families making up to 50% of the median family income, or MFI, of $97,600 for a four-person household, and an additional 14 will be for families making up to 80% MFI.

The Austin Planning Commission approved the project Oct. 27, adding a conditional overlay to prohibit adult-oriented businesses, services such as bail bonds and payday lenders, and outdoor entertainment—such as sports arenas or amusement parks.

The St. Elmo district is a 2-square-mile rectangle south of West Hwy. 290 between South Congress Avenue and I-35. Multiple large-scale developments are under construction or pending in the district, which will bring more than 170,000 square feet of retail and office space, 286 hotel rooms and more than 1,200 multifamily units.

The St. Elmo Public Market, a development that was set to open in 2020 before it was delayed, will include 25 vendors, including a butcher shop from Salt & Time; Greater Goods Coffee; and Mignette, a restaurant from Olamaie’s Michael Fojtasek.

Space: 280 units on 2.4 acres

Timeline: TBD
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at


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