The former Tokyo Electron campus is on the block for $87 million, and the city might buy it. With an eye toward the property's redevelopment as a planned community, the Austin City Council will take up the matter at its Thursday meeting

Tokyo Electron put the 107-acre property, its former U.S. headquarters at 2400 Grove Boulevard, on the market last fall, signing a lease for offices in South Austin’s RiverSouth building. Located off East Riverside Drive, the property the company is selling consists of one 46.8-acre tract with two buildings totaling almost 190,000 square feet and another 60 acres of raw land.

City leaders think the former office campus could become a mixed-use community similar to the Mueller neighborhood, developed at the former location of Austin's airport.

"The vision is for a dense, transit-oriented neighborhood that could conservatively accommodate 1,100 living units with affordable housing near mass transit," wrote Mayor Kirk Watson in his weekly newsletter, the Watson Wire.

Noting its proximity to a planned light rail line along Riverside Drive as part of Project Connect, he wrote, "This $87 million acquisition will help more folks to afford creating a life in Austin while also doing right by the environment. Think about something akin to the Mueller neighborhood – but intentionally built around public transit and with the benefit of the lessons learned about ensuring affordability and other challenges in a much-in-demand planned community."

Citing the city's 2017 Strategic Housing Blueprint, the mayor also made the case that such a development could help meet its goal to create 135,000 housing units by 2028, including 75,000 market rate units and 60,000 affordable units. "Using voter-approved affordable housing and anti-displacement funds, we’re going to be able to make some real progress toward that affordable housing goal," he wrote.