Senior living project expected open in 2021
By LESLEE BASSMAN, Four Points News
A high profile piece of real estate in the Four Points area — Champion Tract 3 off RM 2222 at City Park Road — has recently sold and is slated to become a senior living complex.
Two months after the site was approved for development by the Austin City Council, HPI purchased the Champion 3 tract in late December. The site is a 15-acre section of the 144-acre Camelback planned unit development off a to-be-constructed extension of Bridgepoint Parkway, said Jon Erickson, strategic investments partner at HPI, a commercial real estate company.
“We closed on the (Champion 3) land and we’re working on the design of it now to build a senior living community there,” said Erickson, a resident of Steiner Ranch. “We haven’t finalized (the design) yet… That’s what we’re working towards right now, to make sure we have the right mix.”
This project is in the works at the same time as the nearby Camelback PUD development which will include homes, office space, parkland, trails and a restaurant along Lake Austin. Additionally, there are other new projects near RM 2222, City Park Road and Loop 360 that will impact Four Points and the area traffic especially during construction: a storage unit project, a hotel and planned Texas Department of Transportation roadway improvements to RM 2222.
The HPI group would like to get started on their senior living project before the end of the year and, if not, in the first quarter of 2020, with a projected opening in the second half of 2021, Erickson said.
The Solera Reserve at Lake Austin will include a mix of assisted living and memory-care services, he said. The site is zoned for a facility of up to 130,000-square-feet, although the exact floor plan and community square footage has not been finalized, Erickson said. The project’s amenity package has yet to be completed but he said it will include the typical benefits for residents of a high-end, senior living community such as a salon, gym or exercise/rehabilitation room, a community room and bistro.
“As a Steiner Ranch resident and with our company offices on (Loop) 360, we are focused on creating a community that lovingly serves our seniors with a hospitality mindset,” Erickson said.
HPI representatives held a meeting with community members on Thursday, Jan. 16 to discuss the project that has taken years to get through the city of Austin’s permit process. Residents and local citizen groups were opposed to the prior denser apartment complex plans for the site. Austin City Council passed its final approval on the project Nov. 1 with it previous owner, Jonathan Coon.
“We’re just looking forward to providing a quality community for the community,” Erickson said. “As we get our plans more finalized, we look forward to providing more detailed information.”
Linda Bailey, president of the Lake Austin Collective, a volunteer group that aims to protect the neighborhoods around City Park Road and Lake Austin, said she was not surprised at the sale or that the stated use of the tract would remain a senior living center.
“We knew early on, I mean months ago, that it would be sold,” she said, adding that she was unaware the buyer would be HPI. “It’s not like anybody did anything behind our back. I heard a couple of people saying that and that is flat wrong.”
She said area residents “are delighted to have a senior living center” on the tract that will have much less traffic than its originally-planned apartment complex as well as a primary driveway on RM 2222 instead of City Park Road.
“We perceive this (senior living project) as a real benefit to the community,” Bailey said. “It’s a use that met all of our requirements.”
She said the original tract owner, Coon, is a member of the new Champion 3 ownership group along with Adam Kaplan and HPI. Coon retains a 25 percent stake in the tract. According to Bailey, Coon said he wanted a senior living center on the tract to “limit the traffic for us.”
However, with the new facility construction coming, traffic in the area may, at least temporarily, become even more of an issue that it already is.
Bailey said she has asked for a construction plan of the senior living project and “should see that very soon.”
“We do not want the traffic on City Park Road,” she said. “We prefer it on (RM) 2222. And, where they can, we will ask them to do that.”
Bailey said the reason for the traffic request is because an approved storage unit project will be under construction in the vicinity in addition to the nearby Camelback mixed-use project; a hotel; and planned Texas Department of Transportation roadway improvements to RM 2222. The hotel, to be developed by Avenue East on the southeast corner of RM 2222 and Loop 360, is currently under review by city of Austin staffers, she said.
“We need to coordinate all of this stuff,” Bailey said of the expected construction traffic.
River Place HOA
Scott Crosby, president of the River Place Homeowners Association, cautions residents to be mindful of changes to their commute as a result of anticipated construction.
“It looks like City Park Road is going to be pretty screwed up between Camelback, Champion Tract 3 retirement community and the storage facility across the street,” Crosby said. “And that’s probably next fall, in the September time frame.”