Council Approves PUD for The Grove

December 19, 2016 by Kate Harrington

Austin neighborhood groups have been arguing over the proposed development The Grove at Shoal Creek for nearly two years, but with final approval from Austin City Council it’s now set to move forward.

Council’s PUD approval means that the development will follow guidelines set out in a recent agreement between the developer, ARG Bull Creek, and neighborhood groups that were concerned with affordable housing and traffic planning around the development.

The site for The Grove is a rare 75 acres of undeveloped land in Central Austin, at 45th Street and Bull Creek Road. The land had previously been owned by the state. ARG will build 325,000 square feet of office and retail space, as well as residential. Due to several amendments hammered out at the Dec. 15 meeting, the details around the housing changed slightly: the development will include 160 units of affordable housing (up from 138); a higher number of affordable housing units for families of four making less than $46,680 annually; and the affordable housing will be paid for by $13 million in fee waivers and the City’s affordable housing trust fund.

Council also approved an amendment that replaces a road connection between 45th Street and Jackson Avenue with a bike and pedestrian path. That road was one of the more controversial elements in the fight between the Bull Creek Road Coalition (BCRC) and ARG.

BCRC, which represented neighborhoods that opposed the development’s original plans, had voiced concern over the past two years that the project would inundate the already-crowded streets with traffic.

The Grove was an issue that became a campaign issue for two races, Districts 7 and 10. District 7 incumbent Leslie Pool is keeping her seat, but District 10’s Sheri Gallo lost in a runoff to opponent Alison Alter. Many of Alter’s supporters were openly concerned with growth in West Austin, an area that’s always been dominated by single family homes on quiet, leafy streets.

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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.