Stencil Group looks to the future at old YMCA building

Published 8:16 pm Thursday, December 23, 2021

With a successful apartment complex already established in Austin, the Stencil Group is looking to add another at the site of a familiar Austin landmark.

The group, which built Flats on 21st on the north edge of Austin, is looking to build an apartment complex on the site of the old YMCA building.

“It’s a market rate apartment building, 92 units,” said CEO Nathan Stencil. “This will be a higher grade of apartment.”

Stencil Group acquired the property earlier this year and with a target opening date of spring of 2023, things are already starting to move fast.

Work to remove contaminants inside the building, such as asbestos, has been finished and demolition work has been started.

“It was pretty easy to determine that unfortunately the building wasn’t going to be usable from the development end,” Stencil said. “We just started going into the mode that if we were to remove contaminated materials and demolish the building … a new project. That’s what we determined was viable.”

Housing in Austin has been a major concern recently. Single-family homes are selling almost as quickly as they enter the market.

Austin’s Port Authority initially purchased the building for $650,000, with the amount to be repaid through the a TIF district, meaning there will be no final cost to the City of Austin or Port Authority.

The property was then transferred to the Stencil Group, which is doing business as Mill on Main, LLC.

It’s hoped that this complex will help fill that housing need. Stencil said not only has Flats on 21st been a success, but similar projects in Northfield and Hastings have also been successful.

A major selling point for the group is that its close to downtown amenities including shopping, the swimming pool, restaurants and Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin.

Stencil said it’s also been easy working with the City of Austin because of past successes.

“Due to our history and [Flats on 21st] working with the city, they approached us,” Stencil said.

The complex will be taller, appearing as a four-story on the west side and a five story on the east because of the significant grade on the property.

Plans currently call for a top floor sky lounge, both indoor and outdoor, that overlooks the downtown area.

“The level of the apartments that are in the market rate represent the top end when it’s done,” Stencil said. “It’s a nice opportunity.”

“I think overall what interested us is we do an awful log of this apartment style,” he added.

Overall, Stencil hopes to build on the success of the company’s previous building to simply give Austin a quality housing addition.

“[Flats on 21st] was a well received project and I think this will compliment that,” Stencil said.