FYI - from Council Member Ryan Alter’s office regarding the former Goodwill site.
Begin forwarded message:
From: “Leffler, Ben” <Ben.Leffler@austintexas.gov>
Subject: Message from CM Alter re items 36 and 37
Date: October 4, 2023 at 4:05:51 PM CDT
Thank you for sharing your concerns about the proposed rezoning cases 36 and 37 on tomorrow’s council agenda. I understand there is some confusion about the potential for affordable housing on the site, so I wanted to provide some clarity. First, about 10 years ago, when the parcel was still owned by Goodwill, there was a discussion to build a tax-credit affordable housing development. However, since that discussion, the ownership has changed hands and is no longer an option on the table. As the city is prohibited by law from requiring affordable housing at a particular parcel, we are unable to simply require this new owner to build an affordable housing project.
However, I share your desire to see affordable housing on this site and am pleased to let you know that the current development proposal at issue here will make 10% of all their residential units affordable at 60% of the area median family income (MFI). As I noted before, we do not have the authority to require affordable housing on this site, but the developer has chosen to enter into a restrictive covenant to ensure we get the proposed affordable units.
Ultimately, I believe what the current developers are proposing is in line with what many in our community would like to see at this site – a mixed use project with a walkable ground floor and substantial amounts of housing. The details of their proposal is as follows:
• 430 residential units (with 10% affordable at 60% MFI)
• 1st floor retail on Lamar
• 100,000 square feet of office (with ground floor retail)
• Around 700 on-site parking spaces
• Pedestrian enhancements along Lamar
• Street light enhancements at Dickson and Lamar
Based on this information and conversations with staff, the developer, and the community, I am comfortable proceeding with staff and Planning Commission’s recommendations to grant the rezonings which will include a significant level of housing with 10% of all the housing units being required to be affordable at 60% MFI, as well as ground floor retail that further promotes walkable communities.
Thanks again for sharing your concerns about the project, and please reach out if you have any additional questions.
Ben Leffler (He/him)
Chief of Staff | Austin City Council District 5