Windsor Park apartment project trades steaks for affordable homes – TOWERS

A rendering of the Windsor Park Towers project as it appears in its application for bond financing with the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation. Image: JCI Multifamily / Wilder Belshaw Architects

A five-story multi-family housing development at the edge of East Austin’s Windsor Park neighborhood is expected to bring 308 affordable housing units at a prominent empty lot near the southeast corner of I-35 and Highway 290 at Clayton Lane, a 2.5-acre site that previously housed a Texas Land and Livestock steakhouse – which closed in 2018 and was demolished shortly after, remaining fenced and vacant ever since.

The apartment community, known as Windsor Park Towers in city depots, will offer 298 of its units to households earning no more than 60% of Metro Austin’s median family income, which in 2021 ranged from $41,580 per year for an individual or $59,340 for a family of four. The remaining 10 units will be reserved for families and individuals earning at least 50% of the median family income – last year that was $34,650 a year for one person or $49,450 for a family of four.

An aerial view of the future Windsor Park Towers site near the freeway interchange. Image: Bing Maps

Planned by a partnership between leading local apartment developer JCI Multifamily and the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation, the project is now substantially approved by the City of Austin and is currently seeking permits to raise its construction cranes. The community is funded by affordable housing tax credits and a $38 million bond issue approved by the county last year.

Community amenities will include a clubhouse, on-site rental office, swimming pool, landscaping, gated access, outdoor grill and seating, cable/WiFi access, online rent and services, a garage, pet-friendly, on-site textile recycling, business center and fitness center open 24/7. Unit amenities will include energy efficient appliances, stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands, tile backsplashes, granite counter tops, full size pantries, 9 foot ceilings, spacious closets, vinyl planks, carpet and/or wood floors, ceiling fans, oversized soakers. bathtubs, linen closets, private balconies and patios, security alarms and units will be cable ready. Tenant programs and services that will be available on-site at no cost to tenants will include garbage collection, online rent payment, online service requests, pest control, financial services and meals on wheels.

— Memorandum from the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation

The most recent plans available for the building indicate a mix of 134 studios, as well as 117 one-bedroom apartments, 47 two-bedroom apartments and five three-bedroom apartments. The project’s site plan also indicates that five of its ground-floor apartments facing Clayton Lane appear to be intended for some sort of live-work setup, effectively adding 4,285 square feet of retail space. general to the mix. You’ll notice in the plan below and the rendering at the top of the article that the building cuts out a small piece along frontage road I-35 to preserve the site’s prominent heritage tree:

Image: Launcher Design / AMC Design Group

There are obviously plenty of reasons to be happy about a project with this level of affordability bringing over 300 new homes to market, especially this market — for once, it’s no exaggeration to say that we need it more than ever. While we wish it was easier to build projects like this at all income levels all over the city instead of along a few major traffic corridors, we’re always happy to see a property so obviously vacant try something new. And hey, if you’re still missing Texas Land & Cattle, you can always try Stassney’s.

Dino S. Williams