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Apple in Austin: Does the city have enough housing to support 5,000 new jobs?

Austin's housing supply is already tight, but there are several new housing developments and projects in the works in and right outside of Austin.

AUSTIN — After the excitement of Apple's Austin expansion announcement passed, a lot of people started asking questions about two things: traffic and housing.

Apple executives haven't yet submitted a site plan to the city for the 133 acre campus, so it's unclear if they plan to include a housing component similar to Oracle's plan to add a luxury apartment complex to its campus.

Austin's housing supply is already tight, but there are several new housing developments and projects in the works in and right outside of the city.


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Apple's new campus will be about a mile from the current campus which is located off of Parmer Lane. Parmer Lane and the area immediately around it is already home to dozens of apartment complexes.

VIDEO: Drone video of where the new Apple campus will be in Austin

The City of Cedar Park is about nine miles away from the site and the city is growing rapidly.

Just four miles away from the site is the Domain and Domain Northside, which continues to add high-density apartment complexes.

On East Parmer Lane, about eight miles away, 2,650 homes are planned for a new development called East Village.

Also eight miles away is what will soon be the crown jewel of Pflugerville, The Pecan District. Forty-seven acres will be turned into a mixed-use development with houses, condos an apartment complex, business and retail, which are all in walking district to Pflugerville schools. Construction on the first building, The Elliot, a 272-unit apartment complex, has already started.

Developers expect to see more projects like this in the suburbs because they can build more housing outside of Austin than they can in the city.

The process that the city has us go through to create even one or two units of housing, it often takes a year or more and the more units you want to create, the longer it takes generally," said Scott Turner, a board member with the Home Builders Association Of Greater Austin.

Just to keep the status quo of housing stock, City of Austin staff tell KVUE News the city needs 135,000 new housing units to be built over 10 years. Of course that was before Apple announced plans to add up to 15,000 new jobs.

Developers say it all comes down to the city's land development code. Many say it's long, complicated, the permitting process takes too long and the rules make it expensive to build in Austin.

"It takes just as long to build a 220-unit apartment complex like the one here as it does to get four units out of the ground in the City of Austin," Turner added. "So it really is a lengthy process no matter what type of housing you're building."

The plan to re-write it, Code Next, was thrown out the window and as of now the City Council is waiting on recommendations from the new City Manager about how to move forward.

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