Micro-Apartments Coming to East Austin

March 20, 2015 by Kate Harrington

Austin will soon see its first micro-apartment development. Spire, which will rise five stories and include more than 260 rental units that each span about 400 square feet, will break ground at East Fifth and Waller Streets next year.

The project, which is located near Capital Metro’s Plaza Saltillo rail stop, will also include about 6,500 square feet of street-level retail, live-work space, and an underground parking garage. A quarter of the Spire’s units will rent to people earning 50 percent to 70 percent less than Austin’s median income – about $52,800 for an individual, or $75,400 for a four-person household.

Spire Austin Rendering
Spire East 5th LP

Spire East Fifth is the developer behind Spire, and is working with BIG RED DOG Engineering, Kelly Grossman Architects, and dwg. urban landscape architects.

Spire is tapping into several trends that Austin and other growing cities have been seeing, including a desire for living space in walkable neighborhoods and access to transit. Nearby Spire’s site, Endeavor Real Estate Group is developing a transit-oriented development on 11 acres of land that Capital Metro owns. That project will include senior affordable housing, a grocery store, residential units, and retail and restaurant space.

Austin City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria said to the Austin American-Statesman that the development, which is in his district, “will be providing affordable housing without requiring scarce public funding available for affordable housing. I hope this project inspires other private developers to include affordable units on-site.”

Let us know what you think of this type of housing in the comments below!

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.