All over Austin, developers are taking over empty lots and run down houses and transforming them.
The Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation is planning to transform six lots in East Austin into a mixed-use apartment complex.
The development is planned for 13th Street and Chicon Street. It’s slated to have 45 residential units, 33 of which are considered affordable housing units, and 9,000 square feet of commercial space.
Officials say more eyes on the street will help transform the nearby area which has been notoriously called the “largest open air drug market in Austin.”
"There absolutely are drug dealers, drug deals going down and prostitution going on at that corner," Chestnut Neighborhood Development Corporation spokesperson Sean Garretson said. "We are part of a holistic effort."
Police have been working with Sean Garretson and the CNRC on the project.
Community members also embrace the transformation.
"A child grows for the better not for the worse, so any improvement is good," Former Neighbor Joseph Bedford said. "Everything speaks for itself. An apple tree doesn't tell you it’s an apple tree. You see it bearing fruit. If there are signs of dead leaves on it. You know that that apple tree is not doing too good."
The project is expected to cost $7 million. The city helped the nonprofit buy the properties and added $1.3 million in affordable housing bond money.
The CNRC hopes construction will begin in January. Officials say it'll be a year before the apartments are ready for move-in.