The hits just keep coming for Mueller, Austin’s best master-planned community on the site of an old airport. The past year has seen plans and groundbreakings for major mixed-use and multifamily projects, as well as an ambitiously designed middle school. 

The latest kid on the block is a peppy new multifamily number that promises a stylistic departure from the primarily traditional homes, townhouses, and condos in the area. The mixed-use Austin Modern Lofts project planned for the corner of 51st Street and Mueller Boulevard looks to be a departure in many ways. 

Completing development of the southeast block adjacent to the Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center, the new project will offer 39 homes for sale. Thirty-one of them will be traditional condominiums, and eight will be what Austin Modern Lofts (and others) call “shop homes”: ground-floor commercial space with upstairs living units. Six of the condos, or 15 percent of the total units, will be available to families who earn up to 80 percent of the Austin area’s median family income. 

Designed by Austin-based MWM DesignGroup, the four-story building will feature a bright, simple design with large, colorful balconies above additional ground-floor commercial space for retail or restaurant use. Residents will be permitted to use an established parking garage adjacent to the property and shared with Performing Art Center visitors.

Austin Modern Lofts is seeking a three-star Austin Energy Green Building rating for the project. With a groundbreaking anticipated shortly, the developer expects a completion date in the first quarter of 2023. Pyramid ATX Construction will be the builder. Pricing, unit sizes, and the building name are not yet available.

Bookending Mueller

Although we haven’t heard much about it since 2017, another Mueller project developed by Austin Modern Lofts is recently revved up with a groundbreaking on the south side of the neighborhood, more or less opposite the planned complex to the north. Located near the former airport control tower on the northwest corner of Berkman Drive and Tom Miller Street, the development will include ground-floor retail, 34 condos, and 56 townhomes—five of them shop houses—in a three-story building. Of the 90 residences, 27 (30 percent) will be a part of the Mueller’s Affordable Homes Program and will be available to families with incomes up to 80 percent MFI to 120 percent MFI. The first move-ins are anticipated by the end of 2022.