Hoping to tap into an unmet need on an emerging side of town, a California-based developer is planning a mixed-use development with a first-phase calling for 640 multi-family residential units.
In September, Dana Point, Calif.-based Goveia Commercial Real Estate unveiled plans for The Riverbend, which has been eyed for land encompassing more than 200 acres along SH130 and SH71. The property falls within a tract of land city of Austin planners have carved out as a so-called Desired Development Zone.
Kalinda Howe, a spokeswoman for the project, said The Riverbend is ideally situated between the two intersections and within an area that is rapidly expanding in population and nearby development. The site also is situated just northeast of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The city of Austin is intricately involved in some aspects of the Riverbend project. Municipal officials, for example, will have sway over 240 of the 640 proposed units because they have been described as “affordable” in marketing materials. City guidelines ultimately will determine how much rent eligible tenants will pay.
The rent collected at the balance of the site — 400 units — will be in the hands of Goveia. Plans call for the cost of housing within those units to be at market-rate prices.
Howe said staffers at Goveia, which also has an office in Texas, have been working with city officials and are hashing through some of the finer points since the plans were first unveiled. There are a few logistical issues working their way through municipal channels, including securing eminent domain rights on some portions of the site and developing plans to realign a roadway near the site.
“We’re working to get all of the necessary approvals,” Howe said. “The timeline for all this is a little soft. But the goal is to have a groundbreaking in the early part of (2016). Everything is progressing.”
While formal leasing details have not yet taken form, Goveia has touted some of the natural attributes of the area, including the rich-soiled, hilly landscape of the nearby East Austin Blackland Prairie. Dubbed at times the “sea of grass,” it abuts the banks of the Colorado River. Upward of 80 acres of green space within the prairie are being incorporated into the Riverbend design.
In keeping with the mixed-use promise, Howe said Goveia has subsequent phases planned for The Riverbend in the road ahead. Conceptually, the company has visions of incorporating office space into the development.
Also in the works is about 200,000 square feet of retail space. One hope for tenant: a grocer, as no such business exists in the immediate area at the moment.
Once the multi-family component of the project comes to fruition, Howe said details about subsequent phases will surface.
Stay tuned to BuildingATX as more details about The Riverbend project emerge.