After months of attempting to get zoning changes granted for the One Two East housing tower project on a three-acre lot at the northwest corner of East 12th Street and IH-35, developers have withdrawn requests that would have increased height and density beyond currently allowed limits.
According to a Friday Austin American-Statesman story, the withdrawal was filed last Wednesday. Landowner and developer Haythem Dawlett and his representative, Drenner Group, were met with consistent opposition from neighborhood groups when they attempted to move forward on a planned 15-stories tower to feature 472 luxury apartments priced between $1,900 and $3,500 a month. A second tower would have been for retirees, and 4 percent of the apartments (17 or so) would be priced according to the city’s affordable housing requirements
The developer also proposed building a ground-floor grocery store and underground garage with several exits on a narrow residential street behind the towers.
According to the Statesman, organized groups from historically African-American neighborhoods that surround the site, voiced fears the project would intensify the gentrification that has pushed many longtime residents out of their homes. Some also felt the plan did not respect that it is a landmarked historical site and former home of Anderson High School, a point of some pain and controversy in Austin’s racial history.
Neighborhoods met in their formal association meetings, as well as with city council and planning members, about the project; there was also a highly visible yard-sign campaign opposing the building plan, which have put one of the towers at 185 feet high, or 35 feet higher than its current entitlement, which is already much higher than that of any other building in the downtown stretch of the east IH-35 frontage road.
• East Austin Towers Get Go-Ahead [Curbed Austin]
• Developer Granted Delay on Controversial East Austin Tower Decision [Curbed Austin]