A five-story multifamily housing development at the edge of the Windsor Park neighborhood in East Austin is set to bring 308 affordable homes to a prominent empty lot near the southeast corner of I-35 and Highway 290 at Clayton Lane, a 2.5-acre site previously home to a Texas Land & Cattle steakhouse — which closed back in 2018 and was demolished shortly after, remaining fenced-off and vacant ever since.
The apartment community, known as Windsor Park Towers in city filings, will offer 298 of its units to households earning no more than 60 percent of the Austin metro’s median family income, which in 2021 ranged from $41,580 per year for an individual or $59,340 for a family of four. The remaining 10 units will be restricted for families and individuals earning at or below 50 percent of the median family income — as of last year, that’s $34,650 yearly for an individual or $49,450 for a family of four.
Planned by a partnership between major local apartment developer JCI Multifamily and the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation, the project is now substantially approved by the City of Austin and currently seeking permits for the raising of its construction cranes. The community is funded by affordable housing tax credits and a $38 million bond issue approved by the county last year.
Community amenities will include a clubhouse, on-site leasing office, pool, landscaping, gated access, grill and outdoor seating, cable/WiFi access, online rent and services, garage parking, pet-friendly, on‐site textile recycling, business center, and 24/7 fitness center. Unit amenities will include energy‐efficient appliances, stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands, tile backsplashes, granite countertops, full-sized pantries, 9‐foot ceilings, spacious closets, vinyl plank, carpet and/or wood floors, ceiling fans, oversized soaking tubs, linen closets, private balconies and patios, security alarms, and units will be cable‐ready. Tenant programs and services to be available onsite for no cost to tenants will include valet trash, online rent payment, online service requests, pest control, financial services, and Meals on Wheels.
— Travis County Housing Finance Corporation Memo
The most recent plans available for the building indicate a mix of 134 studio units, along with 117 one-bedroom, 47 two-bedroom, and five three-bedroom apartments. The project’s site plan also indicates five of its ground-level apartments facing Clayton Lane seem to be intended for some sort of live-work configuration, effectively adding 4,285 square feet of general retail space to the mix. You’ll notice in the plan below and the rendering at the top of the article that the building carves out a little chunk along the I-35 frontage road to preserve the site’s prominent heritage tree:
There’s obviously a lot to celebrate about a project with this level of affordability bringing more than 300 new homes to market, especially this market — for once, it’s not hyperbole to say we need them now more than ever. Although we wish it was easier to build projects like this at every income level everywhere in town instead of along a few major traffic corridors, we’re still glad to see such a conspicuously vacant property trying something new. And hey, if you’re still missing Texas Land & Cattle, you could always try the one on Stassney.