More housing is coming to East Austin, but this time it’s a proposed $30 million townhome project instead of apartments.
Todd McCullough, a local land developer, said he plans to prepare lots for 86 townhomes at the southeast corner of the 12th and Hargrave streets. The first lots on the 5.6-acre site are expected to be ready for construction by November 2014, with the first homes ready for residents in spring 2015.
McCullough said the townhomes would range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet and likely be priced in the low- to mid-$300,000 range. He said he has not yet selected a builder.
The project, tentatively called 12th and Hargrave, comes amidst high demand for housing in the Austin area. The region’s rapid job and population growth, coupled with a low supply of both new and pre-owned homes, has pushed Central Texas home prices higher.
“The desire for home ownership in East Austin continues to steadily rise,” McCullough said. “Acquiring the land for a project like this was a tremendous opportunity, as there will be high demand for lots at this price point this close to downtown Austin.”
The neighborhoods immediately east of downtown are undergoing a transformation, with most of the developing or newly completed residential projects bringing hundreds of luxury apartments to the area.
Other developments, including Riverside Villas and the Mueller community, have shown “there is a proven demand” for single-family homes in East Austin as well, said Madison Inselmann, a local housing market analyst.
“For the Austin buyer who used to buy homes south of Lady Bird Lake, they are finding that resale prices are beyond their reach,” said Inselmann, regional director of the Austin market for Metrostudy, a housing industry research and consulting firm. “In looking for an alternative with comparable access to the downtown culture they desire, they have pioneered into these near-east communities.”
McCullough’s company, 12th and Hargrave Interests LLC, financed its $3.3 million acquisition with a loan from Pride of Austin Capital Partners. Robert Buchanan, a co-managing member with Pride of Austin and a custom homebuilder, said he has seen firsthand the rapid appreciation of the city’s east-side neighborhoods.
“This project was a no-brainer for us to lend on because we’re builders too, and we know that it makes sense,” Buchanan said. “We built custom homes on the east side back when you could get an empty lot for $60,000. Those days are long gone. Now you’d be lucky to get dirt over there for double that price.”
McCullough is also developing 330 lots in Liberty Hill and 58 others in Cedar Park. In all, he will have developed 474 residential lots in Central Texas by late 2014.