A potential office building development at an East Austin industrial site in the Govalle neighborhood is headed to tomorrow’s meeting of the city’s Planning Commission, seeking a change of use from industrial to commercial and a Planned Development Area (PDA) rezoning for the roughly 1.42-acre property at 4927 East Fifth Street.
The change, which is recommended by city staff and on the agenda of tomorrow’s Planning Commission meeting, would allow an office project here to rise to a maximum height of 75 feet on an eastern portion of the tract near the corner of East Fifth Street and Spencer Lane, with roughly 64 percent of the remaining land on the western side of the tract limited to 60 feet in height. The site is surrounded on all sides by other commercial properties, making this land a relative slam dunk for office use — and it’s only the latest of several developments proposed in even this immediate area of Govalle, with both the Eclectic at Fifth Street mixed-use project and the potential redevelopment of the Borden Dairy Company only a few blocks removed from here.
The applicant, which has owned the site since 2021, is an LLC connected with the investment partnership of the family of former Austin mayor Roy Butler. Currently home to industrial welding gas firm Precision Oxygen & Supply, the presentation on the property and its potential development prepared by the owner’s representatives at land use law firm Drenner Group remarks that the site currently contains uses that are incompatible with the region’s neighborhood plan, with the potential new development agreement for the site proposing a limitation on intensive industrial use.
In addition to its office space, the development imagined here would include ground-floor space containing “clean industrial creative and maker space uses, that support the surrounding neighborhood” — it’s a proposal that reminds us of the creative studios and workshop spaces found at the nearby Springdale General project, which we think are a greater benefit to the region than more traditional retail use. Assuming the item is approved by the Planning Commission tomorrow, it should head to City Council at its upcoming meeting on February 9 — one of many cases we’re excited to watch as Austin greets a new mayor and some welcome new faces on council.
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