AUSTIN, TEXAS (June 15, 2020) — A significant mixed-use project in southeast Austin that’s already attracted an international large manufacturer and an H-E-B grocery store is growing in size, scope and land that will be preserved. Construction will also begin early next year on its next components.
Previously called Velocity Crossing, the updates begin with the mixed-use development’s name, now simply called Velocity – which has been accompanied by a new website and brand that speaks to the increased degree of open space that’s being preserved alongside the new development.
Internationally acclaimed architecture and planning firm Sasaki redesigned the land plan for the project’s remaining 314 acres, growing the concept to 7 million square feet, an increase of 1.5 million from its prior design. Now, the project will feature a total of 2,683 multi-family units and 2.9 million square feet of office providing the opportunity for two, large corporate campuses along with traditional office space. It will also feature 585,000 square feet of flex industrial and creative office, 310,000 square feet of commercial use for retail, restaurants and a cinema, and three hospitality sites, all surrounding a large central park.
Austin-based Marketplace Real Estate Group initially purchased the 390 acres located at the southwest corner of SH 71 and SH 130 back in 2014, and recently added Texas-based Presidium Group as a joint venture partner. Velocity is in a federally designated Opportunity Zone, the City of Austin’s Desired Development Zone and also a Triple Freeport Zone, which exempts businesses from paying taxes on inventory that leaves the state within 175 days.
Breaking ground in early 2021 will be a 295-unit apartment complex called Presidium Velocity, followed shortly thereafter by 140,000 square feet of amenity space and creative office – featuring office space designed for incubating small businesses and creative types, restaurants, and health and wellness users. The first phase roads for the project will be complete later this year, focused around the forthcoming H-E-B to be located at the southeast corner of SH 71 and FM 973, with second phase roads breaking ground first quarter of next year.
“We’ve done our best to update the land plan in a way that respects community wishes and market demand. Velocity’s inclusion in an Opportunity Zone has also attracted significant interest from both investment capital and companies seeking to locate within the development,” said Doug Launius, principal with Marketplace Real Estate Group. “Our new partner enables us to be even more nimble as Velocity progresses.”
Launius and Marketplace’s founding principal, Karl Koebel, also note the new land plan incorporates a 42- acre public park along Onion Creek and numerous open spaces including a 7-acre signature central park. The joint venture will make a hefty investment in parks, open space, trees, landscaping and creek preservation efforts enabling residents, workers and neighbors to enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities – many in shaded places, including hiking and biking on the property, fishing and kayaking in Onion Creek. The updated masterplan also incorporates approximately 8 miles of internal pedestrian trails that will connect with others along the eastern side of Travis County.
“Austinites have always felt passionately about preserving nature’s greatest gifts, and our new land plan ensures Velocity’s natural treasures will thrive for generations to come,” Koebel said. “Our sense is that people appreciate breathing room now more than ever, and this site will have everything you could want within walking distance – including a place to get away from it all.”
The project, initially 390 acres, is currently comprised of 314 acres after sales to H-E-B in 2016 and a well- known French cosmetics company coded Project Bluewave, in 2018. Austin Community College also owns 124 acres adjacent to Velocity where it plans to build a regional workforce campus for 10,000 to 12,000 students for various kinds of technology programs – including ones focused on automotive, building construction, heating and air, welding and jewelry making.
Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez said: “What excites me most about Velocity and its new vision is that the residents of Southeast Austin are on the cusp of having the kind of well-planned, attainable mix of uses they’ve wanted for years. Frankly, I can’t imagine the length of the line out of the door when H-E-B opens.”
Austin City Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza notes she appreciates the way the Velocity team has worked with the community.
“For years and years, residents of Southeast Austin have wanted new development that adds to their neighborhoods without negatively impacting them,” Garza said. “With Velocity, we are gaining housing, places of employment and hopefully, a grocery store. The Velocity team has shown great care and concern for the local community and I’m grateful for their work to understand the community and their concerns.”
Below is a full flyover video animation showing off our vision for the future of Velocity:
Velocity entails a mixed-use, master-planned district comprised of 390-acres in southeast Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing and most vibrant cities in U.S. The project is located in a federal Opportunity Zone, offering investors and companies potential significant tax advantages. The project has entitlements for 7 million square feet of mixed-use space, sits proximate to Austin’s main international airport and is located only eight miles from the Austin CBD. For more information, visit: www.VelocityATX.com.