Wilson requests upzoning for resi project impacted by I-35 expansion
Wants height limit raised 40 feet to recoup interstate encroachment
Wilson Capital is moving forward with an apartment project in Central Austin’s Hancock neighborhood, despite encroachment from the widening of Interstate 35, Towers reported.
The long-awaited redevelopment of the 22-acre former Concordia University campus, at 1010 Concordia Avenue, has faced numerous setbacks over the past 16 years. Zoning for the project, which includes apartments, office and retail buildings, was approved in 2007. However, various challenges, including the 2008 economic crash and criminal prosecution of the project’s master developers, have delayed progress.
The latest hurdle for the project, known as the Frio Apartments, comes via the Texas Department of Transportation’s plan to widen I-35. That will require a right-of-way acquisition along the eastern frontage of the Frio site to accommodate the additional lanes of interstate highway.
The right-of-way acquisition is expected to reduce the potential unit count of the Frio by nearly 50 apartments, given its maximum height limit of 120 feet under the zoning agreement.
To offset the loss, Wilson Capital has requested to amend the agreement to allow a 160-foot height limit at the site. Wilson Capital founder Taylor Wilson has stated that he’s prepared to move forward with the 120-foot version of the project if the city rejects the proposed amendment. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.
The widening of I-35 has the potential to push out a number of residents and businesses, KUT reported.
has raised questions about the impact on other properties facing partial acquisitions due to eminent domain. Some have called for upzoning these properties to compensate for reduced development value, and such measures remain under consideration by the City of Austin.