Thanks to affordable housing bonds and support from the community (among other things), Austin has seen a recent upswing in innovative affordable housing endeavors like Foundation Communities’ Capital Studios and Mobile Loaves and Fishes’ Community First! Village. Now a new project, centered in East Austin, is gearing up to break ground on another affordable housing site. The Chicon is a 43-unit mixed-use affordable and market rate housing development from the Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation (CNRC) that aims to both pay respect to and be a window to the East Austin community that it will call home.
The Chicon will be located on Chicon between 13th and 14th Streets, with three buildings named for various East Austin community leaders including the Gibbs Building and the Joyce Building. One of the goals of the project is to build an environmentally friendly community with a focus on LEED and green building standards. The three buildings will accommodate approximately 9,000 square feet of ground floor retail or office space, and 43 residential units, 33 of which will be reserved for low-income owners. The units will sell between the low $100,000 range to around $300,000.
For those interested in living at The Chicon, their website is currently active and provides plenty of information, floor plans, and photos for potential residents. According to President of the Development Board, Sean Garretson, “The application progress and timeline is similar to any other mortgage application – a person applies, HomeBase takes you through the leading approval process and once you are approved, you sign a contact and we build the unit.” There will also be an early window for interested applicants with historical ties to the community, including church affiliation, work history, and familial ties, to apply to purchase a home before the general public.
Interested commercial tenants can also find information on the site. “The Chicon expects to have a variety of creative office, restaurants and retailers. Our focus is on locally-owned and operated small business,” Garretson commented.