Bouldin Creek Cottages

Bouldin Creek Cottages is a community of 33 detached single-family homes located 1.5 miles from downtown Austin in the old Bouldin neighborhood. Employing a condominium approach as well as traditional neighborhood design, the development offers a larger, newer housing product with the eclectic charm of the neighboring 1920s homes. The cottages feature cathedral ceilings, covered front and back porches, wood-burning fireplaces, attached garages and other amenities, offered at a price per square foot lower than or equal to the surrounding older homes.

The starting point for the project was a troublesome multiple-lot infill site with various zoning classifications and old, crisscrossing utility easements. The three-acre site, adjacent to a public housing project, was covered with trash and debris from years of neglect. While other developers had looked at the property, it had proved difficult to plat under traditional methods, which provided a lot yield of just seven to eight homes.

Jay Symcox studied the site and offered progressive ideas about maximizing yield while retaining the neighborhood’s distinctive character. His solution introduced a private street and favorable use of development ordinances to reduce per-lot costs and achieve the density that was needed to make the project financially attractive. His experience proved critical when it came to designing, engineering and gaining approvals for the site plan, which provided a density of more than 10 units per acre for single-family detached homes.

Construction on the Bouldin Creek Cottages started in summer of 1999 and was completed in the first quarter of 2001. The project is completely sold out, and exceeded pro forma returns and profitability by at least 50 percent.