Condos, townhomes, shops planned near old Mueller control tower


Construction on the project is expected to start early next year at Berkman Drive and Tom Miller Street.

Almost a third of the residences will be set aside as part of Mueller’s affordable housing programs.

A mix of condos, townhomes, shops and restaurants will occupy a prime spot near the former air traffic control tower at the Mueller development in East Austin.

Construction on the project, which is being developed by local firm Austin Modern Lofts, is expected to start early next year at the northwest corner of Berkman Drive and Tom Miller Street.

When completed in 2019, the three-story building will have 91 residences – 35 condos and 56 townhomes – and about 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Five of the townhomes will mix commercial and residential space in what Catellus is calling “shop houses” – ground-floor retail space topped by a two-level townhome.

Prices for the condos and townhomes haven’t been set yet, pending final design of the project, according to Catellus Development Corp. About a third of the residences – 29 – will be set aside as part of Mueller’s income-based affordable housing programs.

Catellus is the master developer overseeing the transformation of the 700-acre site, which was previously home to the city’s now-closed Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. The tower was among just three structures — along with a 1940s-era wooden hangar and the private terminal that was converted into the Mueller Central visitors center and office building — left standing when the old airport was demolished after its closure in 1999.

“There is so much going on at Mueller, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” J. Thomas Mercer, founder of JTM Development and a representative of Austin Modern Lofts, said in a written statement. “Austin Modern Lofts is thrilled to bring another unique development to a community that has already distinguished itself with a wide variety of home types. Set near the historic control tower, we aim to carry on the great neighborhood character that Mueller has become known for.”

The mixed-use development marks Austin Modern Lofts’ Mueller debut.

“We’re pleased to welcome a new homebuilder who appreciates Mueller’s goal for more dense and diverse home products that appeal to a wide variety of homebuyers,” Catellus senior vice president of development Ken Blaker said. “Austin Modern Lofts has a strong reputation and tremendous experience in this type of product. We look forward to seeing this new, thoughtfully designed project join the Mueller community.”

The project is one of many in the works at Mueller, including a new $50 million headquarters for Texas Mutual Insurance Co.the region’s eighth Kerbey Lane Café and a 132-unit affordable housing complex called The Jordan.

Already, the development is home to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, administrative offices for the Seton Healthcare Family, The Thinkery children’s museum, a variety of residences and dozens of local and national shops and restaurants.

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