Rezoning for a proposed mixed-use project to replace an empty lot and former performance space on a busy Central East Austin corridor received Austin City Council approval on first reading Thursday.

Local developer Geyser Group wants the properties  at 3117 and 3121 East 12th Street, just east of Airport Boulevard, rezoned to allow taller and denser building on the site, which has a commercial zoning designation and a 40-foot height restriction. Geyser seeks a change to mixed-use zoning, which would allow for construction of apartments and ground-floor commercial space, and to have the maximum allowable height raised to 60 feet.

While it has not presented any public plans to do so, the company says VMU zoning will allow it to build an 80- to 100-unit multifamily development with ground-floor retail on the sites, which total about one acre. The designation would also make a VMU density bonus available, which would require some affordable units, which Geyser says will make up about 10 percent of its residences, which it will price for people making at 60 percent of the median family income

City staff recommended that changes, as did city Planning Commission in May. The council is scheduled to take up the matter again on second and third readings Sept. 14.