AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Houston-based real estate developer wants to bring thousands of homes near Tesla’s gigafactory, saying it believes Austin is “growing into the tech epi-center of Texas.”
As first reported by KXAN’s media partners at the Austin Business Journal, Hines announced Jan. 20 it has closed on 1,400 acres in the southeastern part of the city it intends to develop into a master-planned community called Mirador.
Dustin Davidson, Hines managing director, said they hope to bring 2,500 single family homes and between 1,250 and 2,000 multifamily units.
“As well as 500 to 1,000, what I’ll call high-density, single-family housing. Think Mueller Park in north central Austin. Kind of some unique, more interesting product types,” said Davidson, adding these are ballpark numbers and subject to change.
The community will also include a lake, parks, nature trails and stores, according to Hines’ press release.
Mirador will be located off Pearce and Wolf Lanes, about 15 minutes from Tesla’s gigafactory.
“Lots of employment opportunities coming; Tesla’s obviously the big one, but they’re just one of many, and we believe more will come,” Davidson said.
Davidson said Hines also picked the area for another reason.
“We’ve strongly believed that the eastern side of Austin, particularly the southeastern side, has been underserved in comparison to north, south and west Austin metro area,” he said.
Austin realtor Paul Smith agreed.
“Once Tesla was announced, now all of a sudden you have job creation. That’s the one thing that it didn’t really have is, southeast Austin was kind of neglected for a little bit, right? Even if you look at it now, like where’s the nearest H-E-B? There isn’t one,” said Smith, co-founder of Twelve Rivers Realty.
Smith said Tesla’s move, along with access to highways besides congested Interstate 35, are a couple reasons why southeast Austin is growing, and home prices are increasing.
Data from real estate brokerage Redfin showed median home prices in Tesla’s zip code, 78725, and Mirador’s zip code, 78617, have both increased.
In December 2020, data showed the median price in Tesla’s direct neighborhood was about $269,000. That jumped more than $100,000 by December 2021.
Mirador’s neighborhood went from about $254,000 to $347,000 — a $93,000 increase.
Smith said as infrastructure continues to build out, he expects home prices to continue rising. But he said prices are also rising across Austin.
“I think at the end of the day, this is still an area where you can purchase a home sub-400 and have an Austin address. There’s not many areas where you can do that,” Smith said.
“We anticipate on the for-sale side, anywhere… in the $200,000 range all the way up to seven, eight, $900,000 on the high end, with the distribution probably being somewhere there in the middle, four to six [hundred thousand], will be most common,” Davidson said.
He also said the company plans to build affordable units, although there’s no set number or percentage, yet.
“We’re still finalizing the details, but what I will tell you is we are committed to developing an affordable housing component,” Davidson said.
Davidson said Hines expects to break ground on Mirador by the end of the year and sell their first homes by the end of 2023.
He said the full project will likely take seven to 10 years to complete.