Forecasting a Summer Opening for Parker Lane Apartments

February 28, 2024 | Posted in Healthy Initiatives, Green Building, Affordable Housing, Housing, Education, Health, Uncategorized |

At Foundation Communities, we’re excited that construction crews with BEC Austin have us on track for a summer opening for Parker Lane Apartments. The interest list is already open for the 135-unit affordable community in Southeast Austin as we prepare for the time when we can begin welcoming home families. Parker Lane Apartments will have 24 deeply affordable apartments set aside for families in our Children’s HOME Initiative who are at risk of becoming homeless. The Learning Center may be fully operational by the beginning of the school year.

Parker Lane Apartments sits on eight acres near Parker Lane and Oltorf Streets, on what was the site of Parker Lane United Methodist Church for 60 years. The church closed its doors, but church officials are continuing its legacy of community service by offering Foundation Communities a long-term lease agreement for the property. Besides affordable housing, Parker will have a Learning Center for After School and Summer Learning programs for children, as well as educational and healthy living programs for adults. There will also be a Healthy Food Pantry to provide healthy food options for the community at no cost. Also, a half-basketball court, a large courtyard with a playscape, and space for a community garden. Another nod to the church’s legacy, we are re-seeding the front of the property to grow Texas wildflowers.

Parker Lane Apartments is also possible thanks to $15 million in tax credits approved by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The City of Austin pitched in a total of $9,663,669, a combination of voter-approved General Obligation Bonds and Project Connect funds. Our major debt and equity partner is Wells Fargo Bank, and other funders include the St. David’s Foundation and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.

In keeping with Foundation Communities’ commitment to energy-efficient and sustainable initiatives, we are building Parker Lane Apartments with the intention of receiving an Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) 3-star certification. Similar to other Foundation Communities properties, Parker will have low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, and low-VOC paint for better indoor air quality. The building is also ready for the addition of solar panels to the roof when the funding becomes available.
Finally, during the design phase we were intentional about including trauma-informed features. The architecture and colors of the building will assist with wayfinding. The bright colors on the facade indicate the places where pathways connect the parking areas to the courtyard, and the locations of the stairs and elevators.  Other features enhance a feeling of safety, like not having dead-end corridors, having clear sightlines to reduce surprise encounters, and locating the laundry room across from property management offices.