What’s being built in south Austin? A look at the future of S. 1st and S. Congress corridor

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Neighborhoods along South First Street and South Congress Avenue already have 2.61 million square feet of office space and more than 11,000 apartment or condo units, but those numbers will get even higher in the near future.

According to data from commercial real estate company JLL, six new office properties are either under construction or planned, and three multifamily properties will add 548 new housing units to the corridors.

At 900 S. First St., Story Built recently opened a mixed-use development called Frank. The project has condos, townhomes and detached houses, as well as office space.

He said, the development is “trying to create a more pedestrian oriented street, continuing to build amenities like restaurants and additional retail. [It] also bring[s] some daytime users to the street to help keep the retail and keep those restaurants going.”

Wilson said he’s lived in Bouldin Creek for 12 years. A lot has changed since he first moved there.

“You had a couple of restaurants that popped up on South First Street, but really the majority of that, that’s changing now with all the developments happening on Barton Springs and South First Street. Really becoming a more mature neighborhood,” he said.

More mixed-use developments coming

the Frank on S 1st. A new mixed use development.
New mixed-use development the Frank on South First Street (KXAN Photo/Yoojin Cho)

Austin’s “Emerging Projects” map shows several developments that have been approved by the city. Many are mixed-use properties that have office or retail space and homes.

The draft Land Development Code that passed the first reading vote Wednesday will allow lots near South First or South Congress to be taller and denser. Some single-family lots are set to change to multifamily.

An example of a zoning change on S. 1st Street that changes lots from single-family to multifamily. (Photo Courtesy: City of Austin)

“The growth in Austin certainly has its pain points. Traffic and things along those lines,” said Wilson. But he said he continues to see the demand.

Another project Story Built is working on, also on South First, Wilson said sold 17 units in one month. The project is still under construction.

“At the end of the day it’s all about amenities and proximity to downtown,” said Austin Trees, Senior Associate at JLL.

Many expect south Austin to continue to grow. Trees said, “More amenities, more things to do, more day to day tenants, I think it’s going to go more vertical.”

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