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Developers Might Get Fee Waivers Despite Controversy

The Grove at Shoal Creek's affordability plan

Main plaza rendering
Main plaza rendering
Grove at Shoal Creek

The Grove at Shoal Creek, a somewhat embattled, mixed-use development near MoPac and 45th Streets, has asked the city for fee waivers in conjunction with its building of affordable units, the Austin American-Statesman reported today.

An Austin city program that allows fee waivers on all a development's housing units on the condition that five percent of them are affordable, which has recently come under scrutiny due to its application in the Easton Park/Pilot Knob planned community, is the mechanism by which the Grove developers qualify for the waivers.

The new rule recently became the subject of controversy when an activist sued over its application at the Pilot Knob development, claiming the waivers would cost the city an unreasonable amount of money in unpaid water and wastewater revenue.

Grove developer ARG Bull Creek owner Garritt Martin told the Statesman that the differences between his 75-acre, $100 million dollar project and the larger Pilot Knob development mean the waiver situations do not compare.

Five percent of the Grove condos are intended to be affordable to households at or below 80 percent of the area median family income—between $160,000 to $200,000—according to the Statesman. ARG Bull Creek has committed to making 10 percent of the rental units affordable to households at or below 60 percent of the area MFI, from  $753 for a one-bedroom unit to $967 for a three-bedroom unit, the developer added.

The financial mechanism by which the two developers would use the waivers to create affordable housing also varies, Martin said, as do the sizes of the planned communities and the cost of building in each of their respected areas.

Like Easton Park, the Grove might receive fee waivers on all homes [Austin American-Statesman]

The Grove at Shoal Creek

W 45th St & Bull Creek Rd, Austin, TX 78731, USA