Fox Pointe development takes final steps toward breaking ground

The Fox Pointe housing development project came closer to breaking ground after the Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority voted to approve the sale of the remaining property needed for construction during its regular meeting on Wednesday.

The development, proposed by the Austin HRA and Three Rivers Community Action, Inc., is a 38-unit townhome project that will include lots for single-family houses with two, three and four bedrooms.

“We’ve been working on this project for a couple of years,” said HRA Executive Director Jon Erichson. “Hopefully it will help in creating affordable family housing in Austin.”

Alleviating the housing problem in Austin was a council goal in 2017. Prior studies authorized by the city showed that the city needed more affordable high quality rentals and homes in order to attract a dwindling workforce.

The last housing development built in Austin was Science Park, built by the Hormel Foundation to house employees of the Hormel Institute.

Three Rivers Community Action, Inc., contacted the HRA in 2015 about developing the Fox Pointe project. In 2016, the project was awarded tax credit through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, a program the agency uses to stimulate the development of affordable housing.

The approximately eight-acre plat for Fox Pointe is located adjacent to Seventh Street Northwest and 24th Avenue Northwest. The Austin Planning Commission approved the plat on June 13 and the council approved the plat during its regular meeting on June 19.

Erichson said that there are still final contracts that need to be drawn up before construction can begin. He said they are hoping to break ground in spring 2018.

Once completed, the townhomes will be rented at a value ranging from $718 – $926 per month.

“We’re very excited about this project,” Erichson said. “We’ve been working hard on it.”