Proposed apartments in Austin closer to becoming reality

The builder, Stencil Group, already has approval from the school district and city for the tax abatement program. Now they need the OK from Mower County.

Posted: Aug 27, 2018 8:56 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 6:33 AM

AUSTIN, Minn. - Many people struggle with a lack of housing. A multi-family apartment development is trying to help with that.

The proposed apartments would be located in the Northwest part of Austin, on 21st Avenue NW.

Craig Clark, the city administrator of Austin, said the 82-unit development would fill a huge gap in the community.

That's because a 2017 housing study showed a demand for multi-family and market-rate apartments in the city.

"This is a key initiative so that people invest their dollars locally when they're living here," Clark said, "rather than living in another community and commuting into Austin."

Clark said the proposed development would meet 40-percent of that.

"Naturally when someone moves in to a market rate unit, that frees up an affordable unit for someone else," Clark said, "so because we haven't seen that, we've kinda had a pressure cooker of demand and supply not being created."

Both the school district and city have already OK'd the builder's request for a tax abatement program.

Before the builder, Stencil Group, can apply for the building permit, they need approval from Mower County. They will be voting on the abatement request Tuesday morning.

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