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New apartments on South First add to housing trend of micro-units in Austin


More micro-units are coming to Austin, this time with South First apartments that will include retail and commercial space on the ground floor.

Known as Bruno, the building will have 38 studios and four one-bedroom apartments available for rent.

“Bruno is one of only a handful of micro-unit developments in Austin and the only one in South Austin with such proximity to downtown,” said Ross Wilson, Austin and San Antonio Division President of StoryBuilt, the Austin-based real estate developer that will manage the apartments.

For renters who like the “micro” in micro-units, the smallest size apartments will be 308 square feet. StoryBuilt says these units are an attractive option for the “urban dweller that values a vibrant neighborhood and access to the city around them.”

With an average unit size of 411 square feet, the largest will be 703. Pricing will be released closer to the completion of the units, which is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2023 after starting construction at the end of this month.

Bruno will include four affordable units to be leased to people earning 50% or less of the median family income. In the 2021 fiscal year, the Austin-Round Rock metro area had a median family income of $98,900.

Micro-units are gaining steam in Austin. Last month, another Austin-based developer announced plans to build micro-apartments in East Austin, with the smallest units there being 252 square feet.

A rendering of an East Austin micro-apartment complex with an expected 2023 completion. (Mark Odom Studio)

StoryBuilt has purchased additional property on South First Street that it plans to develop into a mixed-use development with residential, commercial and retail.

The Bruno micro-units are StoryBuilt’s fourth South First project and continue the developer’s tradition of naming communities after a rescued animal or employee pet. This pet followed one of the company’s employees back to the office one day, and when an architect met Bruno, StoryBuilt said it was “love at first sight.” The architect adopted him when no owner came forward.


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