300-plus townhomes cleared to rise in Manor

Manor City Council has agreed to rezone nearly 63 acres east of the city, clearing the way for the creation of a new neighborhood with some commercial space.

Council unanimously voted July 20 to zone the land for townhome and medium commercial use. Developer Mill Creek Residential plans more than 300 townhomes on the site just south of U.S. Route 290, according to city documents.

The community can help “meet the needs of Manor’s growing population,” Amanda Couch Brown, a senior development and land use planner at Kimley-Horn and Associates, wrote in the rezoning application. Kimley-Horn is working for Mill Creek, which is based in Boca Raton, Florida.

Council’s decision came a week after the Manor Planning & Zoning Commission deadlocked 2-2 on the rezoning request.

A non-annexation development agreement was approved for the property in 2017, according to city documents. Because property owners applied to rezone the land and change its use, the property needed to be annexed into city limits.

Mill Creek plans to develop 335 townhomes on 52 acres at the site, according to its conceptual plan. The townhomes will mostly consist of three to four bedrooms with backyards and garages and will range from 1,100 to 1,700 square feet.

A little more than nine acres at the site’s northwest corner will be zoned for medium commercial development. Permitted uses include art studios, child care centers, event centers, financial services, general retail and restaurants. Prohibited uses include standalone nightclubs and bars, pawn shops, bail bonds, gas stations, mobile home parks, junkyards and funeral homes.

Beyond the homes, the development will have a clubhouse with a gym, pool and multi-person room and 11 acres of open space including a dog park and outdoor seating areas.

The new neighborhood is in an area that’s expected to see head-snapping growth.

About one mile to the east is Elgin’s Brickston neighborhood, which is expected to eventually have 2,500 new homes. To the west, closer to the center of Manor, the Manor Crossing project is expected to be a 95-acre neighborhood with 26.5 acres of multifamily development and 16 pad sites for retail and restaurant space — and could be anchored by Manor’s first H-E-B.

A 15-minute drive southwest is Whisper Valley, a 2,063-acre community set to include 7,500 single- and multifamily homes, all of which utilize geothermal heating and cooling. A bit farther south is the new Tesla Inc. gigafactory.

Manor’s estimated 2021 population was 18,285, up more than 260% from 5,037 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the Austin area, Mill Creek Residential owns the Alister Balcones and Alister Oak Hill apartment communities. The company is also developing Modern EaDo in North Austin, a 377-unit luxury apartment complex, according to its online portfolio. That project is located at 11604 Stonehollow Drive and Mill Creek expects tenants to move in next summer.

Mill Creek Residential ranks as the country’s third-busiest multifamily developer, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. In 2020, the company started 5,755 units, up from 4,949 in 2019.

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