TODs and Their Zones

What's what (and what's planned) at Austin rail stops

TODs and Their Zones

A total of nine transit-oriented development zones have been created by city of Austin, six of them around MetroRail Red Line stations. Leander has also established a TOD around its Red Line station. And while Kramer Station is not officially a TOD zone, the city of Austin's North Burnet/Gateway Master Plan calls for transit-oriented develop­ment in that area.

The TOD ordinance creates four classifications of zones: "neighborhood centers" (lowest density, buildings no higher than four stories), "town centers" (moderate density), "regional centers" (major commuter or employment center), and "downtown" (high-rise development). So far, none of the zones have been labeled as "regional." See more information at the city's TOD website:

1) Lakeline/Northwest Park & Ride (town center)

One office park; otherwise, all empty fields

2) Techridge/North I-35 Park & Ride (town center)

Not on a rail stop but centered around a bus park & ride. A dense apartment complex exists in the southern part of the zone; otherwise, it's open fields and office park/strip mall hell.

3) Crestview (neighborhood)

TODs and Their Zones

This zone has seen the completion of Midtown Commons, a mixed-use retail, office, and residential development north of the station (part of the TOD mixed-use package in brown). Residential is full, while retail and office are lagging.

Home to Blackstar Co-op Pub and Brewery, conveniently located mere steps from the rail station.

Other features will include live/work flex spaces (blue), medium- and high-density residential (in orange and pink, respectively), and mixed-use development (light brown).

4) Highland Mall (town center)

Boundaries and zones to be determined during station area planning.

5) MLK (neighborhood)

TODs and Their Zones

Mostly empty, but three blocks of dense bungalows (Chestnut Commons, see picture) have been built to the southwest of the MLK Station, completing part of the low-density planning area (in yellow).

An affordable housing project, Foundation Communities' M Station, is under way on a stretch of property at MLK and Alexander in the designated TOD mixed-use areas (in brown).

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, north of the affordable housing project, cited its religious status in refusing to comply with the TOD zoning.

The remaining area shows existing city parkland (green), planned live/work spaces (blue), and medium- (orange) and high-density (pink) residential development on busy roadways within the TOD zone.

6) Plaza Saltillo (neighborhood)

Already transitioning to denser development as a consequence of proximity to Downtown but still has a lot of warehouse-style light industrial businesses

7) Convention Center (downtown)

The city's TOD website says "Station Area Planning will be handled through a separate consultant-led downtown planning process."

8) Oak Hill (town center)

After Capital Metro selects a transit center site, boundaries and zones will be determined through a neighborhood planning process. Not on the rail line.

9) South I-35 Park & Ride (town center)

Not on the rail line. Park & ride is yet to be constructed.

  • More of the Story

  • Not So Hot TODs

    Sputtering rail, sputtering economy – the uncertain fate of Red Line development

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transit-oriented development, TOD, Crestview, Chestnut Commons, Plaza Saltillo, MLK

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