Austin Grows Again
KVUE — Lunch in the park and a trip to the Thinkery children's museum is how the Davenports are celebrating their son Oliver's first birthday. While the Davenports don't live in the Mueller development, they are fans of the area.
"I think they've done a good job of building this area up to be really family friendly," said Alison Davenport.
There are open spaces, a pond, places to shop and live. Ani Colt decided to leave the East Coast and make the neighborhood her home two-and-a-half years ago.
"I saw this and I went on the Internet and I said, 'This is for me! This is for me.' This is a place that's both doing all this sustainable stuff, but also working to create community in a new way," Colt said.
In 2004 Austin leaders teamed up with the developer Catellus to turn the old Mueller Airport into a mixed-use area where people can live, work, shop and play. Since then, the 700 acres has been buzzing with construction. Dozens of stores and restaurants and hundreds of homes have been built, but the project is still only 40 percent complete.
On the other side of Berkman Drive, construction has started on 275 new houses. There are already more than 1,000 houses and 1,200 apartments built or under construction, bringing the total number of homes in the development to more than 2,500.
While more housing is needed to meet Austin's growing demand and population, some argue more homes mean more people and more cars on already congested streets.
Mueller developers said they studied traffic before they started construction and continue to look for solutions. Crews are expanding roads and building parking, but they said people who live in the neighborhood don't necessarily need to drive.
"The big part of trying to combat some of the traffic is making it a transit-oriented community. We're encouraging people to ride bikes with cycle tracks and bike lanes, you know, we are working with CapMetro all the time to look at the bus service and expansion opportunities," explained Catellus Director of Marketing Jessica Reynolds.
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