East Austin Office Mid-Rise OK’d by City Council

The planned redevelopment of the Fair Market event venue at 1100-1108 E. Fifth St. can officially move forward, although the case has stoked debate about the affordable housing needs of rapidly changing East Austin.

Austin City Council on Nov. 4 gave final approval to the rezoning request for the project. On the drawing board is a six-story, 150,617-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail a couple of blocks east of I-35.

11E5 LLC and Endeavor Real Estate Group are the developers.

Right now, Fair Market is a 17,000-square-foot event venue that opened in 2014 and has been used for South by Southwest activations, Formula One events, weddings and more. Before Fair Market, the warehouse was home to Texas Office Products and Supply.

The rezoning request faced pushback from affordable housing advocates who bemoaned the lack of such housing on site. City staffers calculated if the 150,000 square feet was used for housing, it could result in 38 to 113 affordable housing units, based on the percentage of a hypothetical development dedicated to income-restricted units.

“On the surface this looks like a win but, in reality, it comes at the cost of the opportunity to build an additional 38 to 113 affordable housing units in the Saltillo [transit oriented development area], where we already have a plan in place to create affordable housing,” city staffers wrote in a density bonus comparison document. Click to read more at www.endeavor-re.com.