220-acre mixed-use project planned near Austin airport

A California developer plans to start construction this fall on more than 600 apartments in a mixed-use project called The Riverbend, a development slated for 220 acres in a growing part of Austin.

Goveia Commercial Real Estate, based in Dana Point, Calif., will build its project near Texas 130 and Texas 71, northeast of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Goveia’s property straddles Texas 130 to the east and west, and is north of Texas 71.

Amy Williams, vice president of Goveia, said 410 of the apartment units will have market-rate rents and another 240 units will be at rates deemed affordable under city of Austin guidelines.

Goveia has not released projected rent ranges for the market-rate and affordable units. No single-family homes are planned, Williams said. The project could also eventually include for-rent duplexes, Williams said.

The Riverbend development also is expected to eventually include more than 900,000 square feet of office space, 200,000-plus square feet of retail space and more than 80 acres of parks space, trails and open space.

Goveia did not disclose an overall pricetag for its project but said The Riverbend “is positioned to become a hub for the next phase of growth in Austin, Texas.”

Williams said a 30- to 50-acre commercial site on Goveia’s land is being considered by a large corporate user. For the retail component, Goveia envisions a grocery-anchored shopping center, along with restaurants and a hotel, although there are no signed deals yet.

Local developer Pete Dwyer said Goveia’s proposed project will bring needed housing, retail and other services to the area.

“With Austin-Bergstrom International Airport being one of Austin’s largest employment centers with over 4,000 employees, the area around Riverbend has long needed quality housing and goods and services,” said Dwyer, a member of the partnership that formerly owned the land where Goveia’s project is planned. “Add to that the Del Valle School District and Circuit of the Americas and you have a huge employment base that in my opinion is underserved. I think Riverbend will service some of that demand.”

Dwyer added that “whoever solves the food desert problem and gets a grocery store will win the 71/130 race.”

Goveia operates in California and Texas, developing, acquiring and managing retail, office, medical and residential space. The Riverbend will be Goveia’s second project in Austin, following the acquisition of two retail buildings at the Domain mixed-use project in North Austin.

Goveia’s Riverbend site is near 390 acres south of Texas 71 that was purchased late last year by a Texas limited partnership that includes Karl Koebel, Doug Launius and George Robinson III. The group plans to develop a mixed-use project on the site that could include office, retail, hotel, manufacturing and industrial uses, and perhaps a corporate campus.

“We believe that the Southeast market is poised for explosive growth,” Launius told the American-Statesman in December. “We think it’s where everything is headed.”

Further northeast along Texas 130, developer Taurus of Texas has broken ground on Whisper Valley, a mixed-use project planned for 7,500 energy-efficient homes. Taurus also plans another mixed-use development called Indian Hills nearby, west of Texas 130.

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