600+ multi-family units slated for former 3M site

The former 3M campus site at 6801 River Place Blvd. is projected to add
multi-family housing units over the next five years. PASA

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

The former 3M campus at River Place Boulevard and RM 2222 is projected to have between 600 and 800 multi-family housing units over the next five years, according to the Population and Survey Analysts demographic study for Leander ISD.

The study shares that the site at 6801 River Place Boulevard will be “initially re-developing 57 acres for ~1.57 million square feet of office space, plus 600-800 multi-family units.”

The campus totals 156 acres and currently has some 1.3 million-square-feet of space spread across 11 buildings. 

Another much smaller site in Four Points near the new bypass called Aura High Pointe is also on the list to add MF housing in Four Points by 2026.

The massive former 3M site is highlighted in PASA’s research as one of the “Epicenters of Commercial Development”. The list is of mixed use developments totaling ~10,000 multi-family/urban living units.

Epicenters of Commercial Development:

• Northline/Hero Way Apts: 115 ac. and new MMD No. 1; 700,000 sq. ft. retail, 300,000 sq. ft. office, and ~2,000 urban living/MF units

• Bar W Ranch and 29 Gateway: two adjacent mixed-used developments in far north along 183A; primarily commercial with multi-family complexes and also townhomes

• Indigo Ridge: 155 ac. PUD north off Whitestone, U.S. Texas Tennis Assn. as a key tenant, retail & 3,000 MF units max

• Indigo Ridge South: 91.7 ac. south off Whitestone, heavy retail/offices, plus 1,500 MF units max

• The Bell District: Bell is being re-aligned now, 40-43 ac. planned for greenspace, new library, retail development and two high density residential complexes, one w/250-300 units; Redleaf Bell LLC – planning phases in 2022

• Former 3M Campus (probable new name “The Duval”): owners Karlin Real Estate & Trammel Crow – initially re-developing 57 ac. for ~1.57M sq. ft. office space, plus 600-800 MF units

The PASA research shows that more and more LISD families will be living in fewer single family homes in the future. Currently 10% of students live in multi-family units which is defined by any residential property that contains more than one housing unit, such as a duplex, a townhome or an apartment complex.

Looking ahead, 43% of all future housing units are projected to be multi-family units. In the coming decade, 17,224 total multi-family units are projected, according to PASA.

Four Points News reached out to Karlin about their plans but received word that “they do not have anything to share about the former 3M site at this time.”

Los Angeles-based Karlin Real Estate LLC owns the vacant 156-acre campus which Nate Paul’s World Class Holdings lost to Karlin in a foreclosure auction in June after Karlin made a $53 million credit bid for it, according to the Austin American-Statesman in July 2021. 

The Statesman reported on June 2 that nine properties of Nate Paul‘s World Class Property were foreclosed upon including the former 3M campus in Four Points, which valued at $100.9 million accounted for the largest portion of the World Class Holdings foreclosures.

3M history at site

The 115-year-old 3M ​based in Minnesota has many products including Post It notes and Scotch Guard to cell phone parts, fiber optics and touch screen hardware.

In 1988, 3M employees started to fill the Four Points campus. Its current 11 buildings were offices, laboratories, an innovation center, and an on-site co-generation utility plant that powered the 3M campus. 

The main building complex was known to be the largest contiguous office building in Austin because it is connected with walkways.  

In early 2018 —  some 30 years after 3M arrived on the campus — Paul’s World Class completed the purchase of 3M’s 156-acre site. 3M continued to occupy the site until April 2019. 

Some 800 3M employees including engineers, and research and development, marketing, and supply chain positions moved from the Four Points campus to a new, 272,000-square-foot building off Parmer Lane in the Tech Ridge area of Northeast Austin.