Town Center Will Create Place and Value For Oak Hill Residents

24 04 2007

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On March 9, 2006 the City of Austin amended its Transit Oriented Development [TOD] Ordinance to include a TOD district in Oak Hill. Since then, stakeholders in the area [residents, business owners, employees, etc.] have been participating in the planning process that will ultimately determine what the redevelopment will look like and how it will fit in the greater context of the city and region. Oak Hill by and large has received minimal attention compared to other redevelopments that are closer to Austin’s core.

The proposed TOD district will provide a walkable destination for the residents that will promote greater connectivity to downtown Austin via new transit alternatives. In the planning process, residents are requesting zoning changes that would allow for a mixed-use, live, work and play environment. The town center presents a remarkable quality of life improvement for the surrounding neighborhoods and ought to contribute to increased social engagement, environmental sensitivity and economic benefits. This type of development isn’t unique to Oak Hill; in fact, it’s the prevailing philosophy in sensible, urban growth throughout Central Texas

So how might this impact the local real estate market? The benefit of being well connected to the rest of the city will get capitalized in the market value of the land. TOD in Dallas suburbs, such as Plano and Addison, has driven property values higher. According to an impact study performed by economists from the University of North Texas, residential properties near transit stations rose 39% more than a comparable, control group of properties not served by mass transit over a four year span. The redevelopment of Oak Hill will have a similar effect on home values near the town/transit center. Austin will have its own hard data to support the TOD argument once the Red Line opens in 2008.

If you have an interest in the proposed Oak Hill town center, join us for the next neighborhood planning meeting this Thursday.

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