Update on Condos at 601 MacArthur – Later Than Sooner


There was another informational meeting on June 20th, held at St. Vartan’s church. The developer, Lake House Development (LHD), was represented by Public Affairs Director Valerie Camarda and Architect Tony Pantaleoni. As there was a city council meeting that same evening, Councilman Abel Guillen was not there, but Michael Drayne from his staff attended. At the first meeting about 20 neighbors attended – this time, about 10. The attendees enjoyed sampling three different pizzas from Leaning Tower, and Half-Moon Cookies from Trader Joe’s. Thanks Ms. Camarda!

Mr. Pantaleoni said that the planning department is slow/overwhelmed – that soon after the first informational meeting on Feb. 9th, LHD submitted an initial pre-plan for review – they had no feedback for about 6 weeks, and some additional feedback came as late as mid-June. The original plan called for a 5 foot setback from MacArthur, but it turns out that 10 feet is required, and no bay windows or other such features can extend into that 10 feet of airspace – thus the building will get smaller, and each unit will probably lose 100 square feet from the original plan – the 2 bedroom units might now be 1100-1200 square feet and the 3 bedroom units 1800 square feet. The 10 foot setback will be occupied by the sidewalk and planting beds, watered from rooftop-collected water, via the required storm water management plan. Another change is that the previous garage entrance was deemed too close to the corner, and so now it is likely to be near the middle of the frontage on MacArthur. They also need to maintain the ~60 ft. drop-off area for the existing bus stop. The zoning is not finalized – he said that the planning dept. will likely favor re-zoning to RU-2, but there will be no variances granted regarding open space or parking. As previously proposed, the pedestrian entrance will be on Wesley Ave., and the required setback on that side remains 4 feet. At the rear, the property line is irregular, but the setback of the building from the other property lines will be at least 15 feet.

At the February meeting they stated that the job might be completed by summer 2018. Now their goals are to receive approval and start grading the property before October 2017, to start vertical construction in spring 2018 and to complete construction in spring 2019. But of course these plans are based on getting timely approvals from the planning department. Stay tuned!





  1. FM Austin Avatar
    FM Austin

    Great summary from Dr. MCCORMICK.

  2. Jim Ratliff Avatar
    Jim Ratliff

    Thanks for this update! I was out of town that day, so I’m glad be able to catch up on developments there this way.