Austin City Council approved the redevelopment of student apartment complexes in Riverside at its meeting Thursday.
In a 6-3-1 vote, the Council approved the rezoning of 97 acres of housing into a mixed-use development. The rezoning will demolish 1,308 mainly student-occupied apartment units in Ballpark North, Town Lake and the Quad East, West and South.
“Here we are, faced with a difficult decision,” said council member Natasha Harper-Madison. “I am voting yes because I believe the work (council member Pio) Renteria, our office and others have done will … prevent displacement and is what is needed to make sure our community can still thrive against the constant waves of gentrification.”
The developers, Presidium Group and Nimes Real Estate, said construction will begin in approximately 2023 and could take up to 20 years to complete, according to the application. According to the rezoning application, approximately 4,700 multifamily units, 600 hotel rooms and more than 4 million square feet of office and retail space will replace the apartment units.
“The existing zoning virtually ensures a suburban-style condominium development with no affordable housing,” Michael Whellan, the lawyer representing the developers, said during the meeting. “The proposed plan would achieve significant affordable housing.”