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New development plans for Airport project include affordable housing

County hears update on future mixed-use site

Plans for mixed-use development at the corner of Airport Boulevard and East 53rd Street could include affordable housing, according to local media outlets. Community Impact’s Kelli Weldon reported Tuesday that DMA Development Company—which also developed the Wildflower Terrace in the Mueller neighborhood—had given Travis County commissioners a status update at that included affordable housing in some of its planned residential units for what it’s calling North Campus Development Project (which seems confusing, because it’s in the North Loop neighborhood, but we’ll see).

The Austin Monitor’s Caleb Pritchard reported in the site’s Wednesday "Whispers" column that Planning Project Manager Mark Gilbert showed the commission site-plan and other renderings that he said would include up to 160 residential units, 146 of them reserved for low-income residents. Pritchard also noted that DMA’s plans call for the residential part of the project—which encompass a block located at 5325–5335 Airport Boulevard—would face Helen Street, in back, and that it would have the fourth floor set back from the street, presumably in the spirit of compatibility standards for the neighboring single-family homes.

An office building up to four stories high would face Airport Boulevard, reported Pritchard, and a 350-car parking garage for residential and office use would be enclosed by the two buildings.

Weldon reported that residents would have to meet city-mandated qualifications for the affordable units and that commissioners were preparing to make a presentation to the surrounding neighborhood soon.

The project is fairly unusual in that the county owns the land and is leasing it to DMA for development. Both stories noted that construction is projected to begin in 2018.