Archives for February 2012

Austin Bike Zoo Needs Your Help | Support the Arts in Downtown Austin

Austin Bike Zoo Needs Your Help | Support the Arts in Downtown Austin

Readers, I’m guessing by now that you’ve been to G’Raj Mahal – one of my favorite restaurants in all of Austin. I’m betting you enjoyed the food immensely, loved the fact that you could bring your own alcohol, and reveled in the open atmosphere of the trailer / restaurant / Indian food sensation. I’m also guessing you’ve noticed the rather large and fantastic white “snake” bike that hangs out at G’Raj Mahal.  And you probably were, like, “What is that thing?”

Here’s a picture, just in case you have no earthly idea what I’m talking about: [Read more…]

Capitol Terrace: An Affordable Housing Development Proposed In Downtown Austin

Capitol Terrace: An Affordable Housing Development Proposed In Downtown Austin

foundation communities site for capitol terrace

Foundation Communities site for Capitol Terrace 11th @ Trinity

Walter Moreau is a developer with a unique vision.

Walter’s vision is to bring housing into downtown Austin for people who earn $15.00 per hour, or less.

Say what?!

Proposed is a 135 efficiency-style apartment building (for rent) at the southwest corner of 11th & Trinity.  The site is currently a surface level parking lot.  It is intended that 27 of the units will be reserved for people with absolutely no income, specifically clients of Caritas, Trinity Center, ARCH, and the Salvation Army.

Musicians can afford it.  Many downtown workers, including State employees can afford it.  Veterans on disability can afford it. Initially, the average rent would be between $400-650 per month, all bills paid.

Walter is the Executive Director of Foundation Communities (FC), a nonprofit affordable housing developer.  FC has a track record of success.  Established in 1990, FC is owner and manager of 13 communities all around Austin and built with support of local neighborhood associations. They are a long term owner, have never sold one of their properties, and claim they never intend to.  Last year FC opened M Station on MLK: the first LEED for Homes Platinum apartment building in the entire country!

foundation communities site for capitol terrace

Foundation Communities site for Capitol Terrace 11th @ Trinity

Here’s the rub: FC cannot build an affordable housing community without the express support of the immediate neighborhood association.  In this case, it’s either DANA or the DAA.

I was invited by FC to tour their other buildings, which was needed because I wasn’t really educated about affordable housing.  Elliott McFadden, the communications director for FC (also the publisher of Austin On Two Wheels), succinctly explained what affordable housing isn’t.   [Read more…]