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Updated: Austin developer planning 10-story mixed-use project west of Pearl

by Ben OlivoDec 17, 2019
A 10-story mixed-use project by Sabot Development of Austin will include 325 apartments, 400 parking spaces and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Courtesy Sabot Development
A 10-story mixed-use project by Sabot Development of Austin will include 325 apartments, 400 parking spaces and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Courtesy Gensler | Sabot Development

Sabot Development of Austin plans to build a 10-story mixed-use project west of the Pearl across the Museum Reach, despite some minor pushback from abutting residents.

The project, which is estimated to cost more than $100 million, will include 325 market-rate units, a 400-space parking garage, and 14,000 square feet of retail. It's the first major Midtown development west of the San Antonio River, among a cluster of industrial structures that separate the river from Tobin Hill neighborhood's single-family homes.

Sabot owner Jim Young is in the process of purchasing the majority of the properties bound by East Euclid, East Locust, East Elmira and East Myrtle streets—1.55 acres total. Two of the properties, on the corner of Myrtle and Elmira, are owned by a family called the Lozanos, and are not included in the development. Various structures will have to be demolished; currently the properties are occupied by a storage facility, a production company, shared workspace Cubes at the Quonset, and various offices.

Sabot Development project map west of the Pearl.
GOOGLE | HERON

At the Zoning Commission meeting today, in which the commissioners unanimously voted to rezone the properties, two residents who said they live across the street from the site aired their concerns about the project's height and density. [ See correction below. ]

Scott O'Brien, who lives at the three-story Sojo Crossing townhomes across Myrtle, was concerned about the density of a multi-family structure on the neighborhood, as well as the additional parking demand such a development—with its residential and retail components—would bring.

"Our neighborhood is ... primarily, largely single-family residential with very, very light commercial and nothing above three stories right now," O'Brien said.

He added, "I'm certainly concerned about somebody looking into my bedroom from across the street."

O'Brien is one of six Sojo Crossing residents who oppose the Sabot project, according to letters of opposition mailed back to the city. Both the Tobin Hill Neighborhood Association and the Tobin Hill Community Association voiced their support for the project at the meeting. District 1 Commissioner Summer Greathouse, whose district encompasses the site, mentioned that the Sojo Crossing residents association declined to give a formal position.

Austin-based land use consultant Michele Haussmann, who works for Sabot, told commissioners that an entire floor of apartments—56 total—were removed from the original plan and replaced by a floor of parking, or 100 spaces, to appease neighborhood concerns about increased density.

She also highlighted that the first three above-grade levels of the building will be parking, the fourth level being the first of the residential units, which also will be set back 10 feet from the building's edge. She said such a design makes it impossible for those fourth-floor residents to peer into the homes of their Sojo neighbors.

Haussmann also told commissioners the density and height was consistent with the recently-adopted Midtown Area Regional Center Plan, a component of the city's SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Tobin Hill neighborhood plan. They were points Greathouse echoed.

"I appreciate we are seeing development that seems to be more in line with the revitalization of the center city," Greathouse said.

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Young, who's a San Antonio native, said he's not pursuing tax-rebate and fee-waiver incentives from the city, for now.

"We're modeling it as a market-rate project for the time being," Young said. "We certainly aren't blocked into that. We're still evaluating that."

Young said a recent residential development he completed in Austin included affordable housing.

He hopes to break ground by April 2021, and complete the unnamed development in late 2022—or, in 18 months.

Last month, the Historic and Design Review Commission gave the project conceptual approval.

A 10-story mixed-use project by Sabot Development of Austin will include 325 apartments, 400 parking spaces and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Courtesy Sabot Development
COURTESY GENSLER | SABOT DEVELOPMENT
A 10-story mixed-use project by Sabot Development of Austin will include 325 apartments, 400 parking spaces and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Courtesy Sabot Development
COURTESY GENSLER | SABOT DEVELOPMENT
A 10-story mixed-use project by Sabot Development of Austin will include 325 apartments, 400 parking spaces and 14,000 square feet of retail space. Courtesy Sabot Development
COURTESY GENSLER | SABOT DEVELOPMENT

Setting It Straight: Because the reporter misheard the roll call vote, an earlier version of this article misstated the Zoning Commission vote as 7-1 in favor of the rezoning. The vote was unanimous. View all corrections here.

Contact Ben Olivo at 210-421-3932 | ben@saheron.com | @rbolivo on Twitter

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