Three adjacent projects to bring 800 apartments to Manor Road in East Austin
More change is coming to Manor Road in East Austin, where construction has started on the first of three related projects that will add hundreds of apartments, including some with below-market rents.
Austin-based Cumby Group says it will redevelop more than a block of Manor Road with three adjacent projects that will add more than 800 apartments between Airport Boulevard and the Mueller neighborhood, as well as 150,000 square feet of live-work and commercial space.
Mueller is the master-planned community that has transformed Austin's former airport into a 700-acre mixed-use project with housing, shops, restaurants and bars, offices, parks, trails, entertainment venues and other development.
Cumby said it's too soon to say what the rents will be for its apartment units. The projects will include about 80 apartments with rents at below-market rates, Cumby executives said.
Cumby Group believes "demand for homes for rent and for sale will remain exceptionally strong in Austin for the foreseeable future," said Bryan Cumby, the company's founder and CEO.
“Austin has experienced more job growth through the pandemic than it had experienced in any single year since 2004,” Cumby said. “Strong job growth combined with a record low level of inventory of homes for sale have driven real demand for rental apartment homes to a new level — and that’s particularly true for apartments near jobs, transit, retail and dining amenities."
Cumby Group purchased the six commercial properties where its new project will be built — about nine acres — in 2019 and 2020.
The company already has started construction of the Emma at 3219 Manor Road, where it will build 146 apartments, including 15 units reserved for families making no more than 60 % of the Austin area’s median family income.
Due to open in July 2022, the five-story complex will include ground floor live-work space and an elevated courtyard pool.
Next door at 3115 Manor Road, Cumby Group plans to build two, five-story mixed-use buildings with 450 to 500 apartments. The units will include about 48 apartments reserved for households making no more than 60 % of the area’s median family income.
The building also will have live-work and commercial space, as well as a neighborhood gathering area that could include food trucks and a farmer's market. Cumby executives said they hope to begin construction in the spring of 2022, pending city of Austin approvals.
In the third project, planned for 3303 Manor Road, Cumby Group is considering building about 200 apartments, which also will have affordable housing and food trucks.
For 2021, the median family income for a four-person household in Travis County is $98,900.
The median income for a two-person household is $79,100, and $69,250 for an individual.
So to qualify for the units that will be reserved for households making no more than 60% of the median family incomes, households could earn no more than $59,340 for a four-person household; $47,520 for a two-person household; and $41,580 for an individual.
Melissa Brown, Cumby's development vice president, said that "the opportunity to transform more than a block in the urban core doesn’t come along often."
Brown said Cumby has worked "to ensure that we do so in a way that aligns with the needs and goals of the surrounding neighborhood.Together these three projects will provide a significant amount of housing for people with a broad range of incomes near jobs and transit while also creating engaging spaces that bring people together.”
Cumby officials said they began working with the JJ Seabrook Neighborhood Association shortly after Cumby bought 3219 Manor Road, the first of its six acquisitions.
The developer plans to set aside public greenspace on its property and help connect the Southwest Greenway to the north of its land with the JJ Seabrook Park to the south.
“Cumby Group has reached out to the neighborhood and shared their plans along the way,” Elisabeth Johnson, president of the JJ Seabrook Neighborhood Association, said in a written statement. “They heard our interest in providing more deeply affordable housing and are working closely with the neighborhood to ensure there are clean, thriving, and accessible public greenspaces for all."
The six commercial properties Cumby purchased had been used as rental car properties back when Mueller was Austin’s airport. A couple of the properties had been repurposed for a tire shop/tire storage and a small office building. The properties also include a former cold storage facility that was owned by Nestle.
Elsewhere in Austin, Cumby Group is building a project in the downtown area off of North Lamar Boulevard called the Colorfield, 10 luxury condos at 1012 Baylor St., the former site of the HOPE Outdoor Gallery.