Tightening Austin Apartment Market to Get New 336-Unit Addition
- Jan 26, 2012
Austin, Texas—It’s been a long time coming but construction has officially commenced for Oak Meadows, a mixed-use luxury apartment project that will sprout 335 residential units in what will ultimately be a transit corridor providing a direct connection to downtown Austin.
Originally planned for development by Cypress Real Estate Advisors, Oak Meadows is now coming to life at the hands of real estate company Greystar. In addition to premier residential units, the property will feature nearly 6,700 square feet of amenity space and 4,800 square feet of ground-level retail to accommodate the blossoming neighborhood, which is located a few blocks from St. Edward’s University.
The architectural firm of Meeks + Partners worked with engineering firm Big Red Dog to conceive a plan that would allow the sizeable mixed-use project to sprout up on a relatively small infill site. Space was a concern, as was the fate of a series of live oak trees specified for preservation.
“Overall, it’s a six-acre site and about a little over an acre of it is designated as parkland, and that was done to save a stand of beautiful live oak trees,” Keith Malone, associate partner with Meeks + Partners, tells MHN. “So 10 or 12 of a couple-hundred-year-old live oaks were saved on that piece of the property, and then the building form itself was put together to meander around those existing trees, both inside and outside of that parkland space.”
Integrating the trees into the development was no simple task; a couple of the live oaks proved to be particularly challenging. Two of the trees, protected per the city code, were smack in the middle of the parcel. Solution: relocation. “We had a team physically move the trees to another part of the site, so the trees were saved by a combination of moving a couple of them and designing the building to wrap around the rest of them,” Malone explained.
Of course, there were positive aspects to the topography of the location as well. “It’s a huge sloping site and we did take advantage of that and ran the garage up the slope and went up another five or six levels beyond that, so the apartment building itself wraps around a six-level precast parking garage.”
The constraints did not prevent the design team from its architectural vision. “It’s been a challenge but it’s going to be a great project, and it’s going to fit into the much more edgy urban design that you see in Austin at a lot of multifamily projects.”