A redevelopment plan for the 10-acre Twin Oaks Shopping Center in South Austin by Dallas-based global real estate developer Trammell Crow Company and its subsidiary High Street Residential could bring nearly 1,000 new homes, a hotel, offices, and extensive new retail space to the 1950s strip mall located at the northeast corner of South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Street, according to an application for a Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) submitted by representatives of Trammell Crow to Austin’s Transportation Department earlier this year. Twin Oaks, located at 2315 South Congress Avenue, was purchased by the H-E-B Grocery Company in 2016, and currently houses a temporary H-E-B store while the grocer builds a large new store at the southwest corner of the same intersection.
While the TIA application is just one small piece of the development process, it provides a unique window into the character of large pending projects like Twin Oaks due to its requirements — its purpose is to estimate the additional vehicle trips expected to be generated by a new development, and for the city to calculate this impact accurately, the applicant must include a detailed account of the anticipated future land use at the site. That includes the number of new housing units and hotel rooms, approximate square footages for offices and retail space, and other details that aren’t usually made public at such an early stage.
The TIA document indicates the Twin Oaks redevelopment is expected to be built out over multiple stages, with a possible completion date in 2030. The application lists two mid-rise multifamily buildings, together containing 748 units, along with an additional 211 “single-family attached” units, which most likely indicates townhome-style residences — that’s 959 housing units altogether. A 175-room hotel is also included, along with approximately 150,000 square feet of general office space and 125,000 square feet of “shopping plaza” retail.
It’s a significant injection of density for a piece of land currently occupied by an aging strip mall and its large parking lot, the kind of Brodie Oaksification we find especially appropriate for a site about to be next door to not only a massive multi-story H-E-B grocery store, but also the South Congress Station of Project Connect’s Orange Line. Despite H-E-B’s ownership of the Twin Oaks property, it’s unclear if the grocer will be involved at all in the branding or retail character of the Twin Oaks development once its new store opens across the intersection — either way, we’re sure the company appreciates the strategic element of putting nearly 1,000 new residences next door.