Austin’s north-central Highland neighborhood has seen a consistent (if not downright persistent) rise in midrise multifamily buildings in the past few years. That’s especially true of major corridors on or intersecting with the CapMetro rail line and around the Austin Community College Highland area, where a former mall was redeveloped as a mixed-use neighborhood with numerous apartment and condominium buildings that have occupancies of several hundred people.
A local developer that has made significant forays into other areas of Austin is bringing a boutique multifamily project into the Highland neighborhood mix. The 76-unit apartment complex, called the Johnny, is in the works at 613 West St. Johns Avenue — not terribly far from the intersection of Burnet Road and Lamar Boulevard, the Crestview rail station, and the ACC Highland community.
The Geyser Group partnered with Austin development and investment firm the Sephira Group on the apartment complex, which will offer 16 units of affordable housing for those who earn below 60 percent of the area median family income. It will also feature something called the “wellness balcony” with a hot and cold swim spa (which we think are varieties of hot and cold-plunge tubs but aren’t sure). Builders broke ground on the complex in November and expect to complete it in January of 2023.
Founded four years ago, the Geyser Group has already made its mark on the local development scene with such projects as Springdale Green and the Goodwin in East Austin. It’s also partnering with Dave Murray of DMTX Realty Group to sell Hamilton Reserve Ranch, a 738-acre property off Hamilton Pool Road in Dripping Springs that is not available for commercial development.
The Sephira Group, or TSG, has so far specialized in small- to medium-scale residential projects including the Kennedy complex in South Austin, development of four freestanding homes, as well as a 50-unit apartment building called the Oscar the 92-unit Zenith on Riverside Drive.