AUSTIN - A city program approved by Austin City Council changes the requirements downtown high-rise project developers face when negotiating public benefits for the extra square footage.
Developers of taller residential structures must pay fees or set aside space for low-income residents under the bonus program. The requirements do not apply to commercial projects, such as hotels.
If the project is in downtown Austin, developers will pay $10 per sf of bonus space as part of an affordable housing fee. If developers opt to include low-cost housing in the project, the rules require that 10 percent of the bonus space is affordable.
The program, which takes effect in two weeks, replaces a program where developers wanting to construct big downtown projects negotiated with city officials over what perks they would offer — such as park upgrades — in exchange for bonus square footage.
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