An Austin developer that has been active in East Austin of late is looking to a city program to help build affordability into its latest multifamily project.

The Austin-based Geyser Group recently closed on the purchase of a two-acre property at 2900 Oak Springs Drive in, according a company spokesperson. The property in Central East Austin's Rosewood neighborhood is currently the address of a masonry supply store and had a 2021 tax-appraisal value of $910,000, according to county documents.

Geyser Group wants to build a 250 apartments there, using the city's Affordability Unlocked density-bonus program to make half of the units for Austin residents seeking income-restricted housing. 

While the project is in early stages of development, Geyser has plans to build a 200,000-square-foot apartment complex with a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 450 to 1,100 square feet in size. The company plans to develop the multifamily property under the Under the city's Affordability Unlocked program, which waives or relaxes specific rules — such as height and density, parking requirements, and compatibility standards — required by zoning regulations in exchange for the making half the units affordable by city standards.

The Austin City Council passed an ordinance creating Affordability Unlocked program in 2019 as a way to capitalize on $250 million in housing bonds that voters approved in 2018 and to help meet a goal of creating 60,000 new affordable housing units by 2027. Depending on incentives developers seek, it can result in up to 75 percent of units being reserved for residents with incomes a low as 30 percent of the area median.

Geyser expects to begin construction on the complex in the first quarter of 2024 and is aiming for it to be finished within a year to 15 months of its start date.

The Geyser Group has been busy on the Eastside in the past couple of years, being involved in development of the Goodwin apartments and the Springdale Green office complex. It's also developing the Johnny apartment complex in the north-central Highland neighborhood.