AUSTIN (KXAN) — Developers behind “The Grove” at Shoal Creek, the 75-acre mixed use development being constructed in Central Austin, tell KXAN that the very first residents in the development have moved in over the past month. Around a dozen people have moved in so far and more are expected to move in by the end of the month.

People passing through the area will likely notice the cones and construction around 45th Street and Bull Creek Road. In addition to the homes and apartments being built there, the developer is also planning for 20 acres of parks and commercial retail. Developer Milestone Community Builders also plans to pay for several features in hopes of easing worries from neighbors and improving the surrounding area for everyone who lives nearby.

Intersection improvements

A rendering of the planned changes at the intersection of 45th Street and Bull Creek Road to be paid for by the developer of “The Grove.” (Courtesy: The Grove.)

Milestone will be paying $4.5 million for improvements to the intersection at 45th Street and Bull Creek Road.

Garrett Martin, the CEO of Milestone Community Builders, noted that this intersection was one of the primary concerns of the surrounding neighborhood related to this development.

“And we’re excited to announce that we’ve fully addressed those concerns with an intersection that will perform better than most intersections in Austin,” he said.

Specifically, the changes to the intersection will be designed to improve safety and decrease the time cars spend waiting there. The developer plans to add new turn lanes, new bike lanes, and radar technology at the intersection to adjust signal timing to the traffic flow. The planned improvements also include adding left-turn lanes along 45th Street turning both north and south.

A new CapMetro bus stop will be constructed near the intersection. The developer said the design will funnel bicycle traffic behind the bus stop platform just as the bus stop does at Guadalupe Street across from the UT Austin campus.

Drivers can expect some delays and lane closures while this construction is underway.

Improvements to the intersection began in August and they are expected to continue through June. A spokesperson for the developer explained that construction around the intersection will intensify in the weeks to come.

Todd McCann, who lives near The Grove, explained that since construction has started on the development, he avoids using the 45th Street-Bull Creek Road intersection “at all costs.”

“You’ve got trucks going in and out all day long, dump trucks and all that because of the development,” McCann said.

He welcomes the idea of improving the intersection, which he notes is already congested with traffic from nearby MoPac, CapMetro buses on the street, and people walking in the street because of the lack of sidewalk infrastructure.

“If they can make it better that’s great because right now it’s awful, it’s gotten a lot worse since they’ve started breaking ground on the whole project,” McCann said.

A bridge over Shoal Creek

Milestone announced earlier this summer that their company would also be funding the construction of a bridge that will go over Shoal Creek and connect with Shoal Creek Boulevard. The bridge will be designed for pedestrians and bicycles. It is slated to be 180 feet long and 10 to 12 feet wide.

The construction of this bridge was made possible after the City of Austin got an easement to allow one side of the bridge to be built on state-owned property, (something the developer notes was also made possible by recently passed state laws HB 2911 and HB 2978.)

Garrett Martin explained that the entirety of the development will take five to seven years to complete. The goal is to have residents all moved in within the next year or two and to have the commercial parts of the project completed within the first half of next year.

The development

An image from the inside of a home at The Grove. (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez.)

Homes in the development will include stacked flat condominiums, townhomes, and large free-standing homes — ranging from 1,000 square feet to 4,200 square feet.

Milestone staid that they have around 160 homes available and around 100 people under contract to own those homes. Ultimately, they plan to have a total of 535 and to have apartments available later on.

Homes at The Grove start at prices of around $400,000 and can go upward of $2 million, a spokesperson confirmed. There will also be 194 affordable units at the development, ranging from $200,000 to $230,000. Those units are for teachers, nonprofit employees, police, fire and EMS workers.

Construction underway at “The Grove” development. (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez).