Leifer makes strides on gentrifying St. Elmo district in Austin

Wants rezoning to go from industrial to office, resi on 4.3-acre site of fast-growing neighborhood

Leifer Chugs Along With Gentrification of Austin enclave
Leifer Properties’ Max Leifer with 600 Industrial Boulevard (Leifer Properties, Getty)

Leifer Properties’ vision to transform an industrial property in South Austin into a large mixed-use development is closer to fruition. 

The Connecticut-based firm’s proposal to build a mix of creative office space, residences and retail space in the rapidly-changing St. Elmo neighborhood is making its way through the City Council approval process, the Austin Business Journal reported.  

Leifer wants to rezone the 4.3-acre site at 506 and 600 Industrial Boulevard from limited industrial services to a neighborhood plan. This would allow the maximum building height to rise from 85 feet to 125 feet and the number of permitted dwelling units to increase from 400 600. If approved, the project would mark the first step in Leifer’s broader development plans in the neighborhood, where it owns a total of 11 acres. 

The property, valued at $10.2 million by the Travis Central Appraisal District, currently houses a 105,000-square-foot warehouse. Leifer aims to repurpose the building into creative office space, while developing the retail and residential portion from the ground up. The firm’s exact plans for the project are unclear, though.

Leifer’s portfolio includes properties between 220 and 440 Industrial Boulevard, comprising a mix of vacant lots and industrial buildings. The firm has also made rezoning requests for 300 and 440 Industrial Boulevard as part of its vision for a mixed-use hub, the outlet said. 

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The planned development highlights the evolution of the St. Elmo neighborhood, which is anchored by The Yard, a redeveloped warehouse strip that includes St. Elmo Brewing Company, the Austin Winery, Spokesman Coffee and a Tesla showroom. 

Earlier this week, investment firm SomeraRoad acquired the unfinished St. Elmo Public Market at 4329 South Congress Avenue, with plans to convert the 42,000-square-foot building into a bar and arcade. 

Among the slew of residential projects in the neighborhood are the 275-unit Bishop Momo apartments and the 139-unit Congress Lofts at St. Elmo condo complex. 

—Quinn Donoghue 

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